Open a Bank Account in Russia - Updated Guide 2022

Open a Bank Account in Russia

Updated on Wednesday 07th September 2022

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open a bank account in russia
The Russian banking system has developed a lot during the last several years, as the country has become more open to foreign investments. The large number of foreign enterprisers has determined Russian banks to provide advantageous conditions for companies to obtain loans and the possibility of opening bank accounts remotely. There are over 20 large banks operating in Russia at the moment.
Our law firm in Russia can assist foreign investors setting up companies here to open corporate bank accounts in 2022. Plus, those interested in immigration to Russia can discuss all the legal aspects with us.

How to open a bank account in Russia in 2022

Foreign citizens and newly registered companies are required to open bank accounts in Russia when working, respectively doing business in Russia. While foreign citizens can open current or savings accounts, many banks offer various packages for companies setting up their corporate bank accounts with them. Foreign citizens can open bank  in Russia in rubles, euros or dollars, based on the following documents:
  • an application form issued by the bank;
  • a valid passport;
  • a valid residence permit;
  • proof of residential address.
For those working within a Russian company, a confirmation letter from the company may be required. However, most banks have simplified their requirements by reducing the number of documents needed when opening a bank account.

Opening a corporate bank account in Russia

All companies carrying out business operations in Russia, even through branch offices, are required to set up bank accounts. These types of accounts are primarily used for depositing the company’s share capital for incorporation and compared to current or savings accounts, the requirements for corporate bank accounts are more stringent. The following documents are necessary when setting up a corporate bank account in Russia in 2022:
  • a prescribed application form;
  • the applicant’s passport;
  • a residence permit, if applicable;
  • a statement issued by the Russian tax authorities for carrying out business activities in Russia;
  • a statement from the company’s owner confirming the opening of the account.
Foreign enterprisers can also appoint Russian lawyers or representatives who will open the account on their behalf based on a power of attorney. However, the director of the company must be present to the bank in Russia to manage a couple of formalities.
Plus, all the documents must be translated in Russian at a notary. We can help international entrepreneurs start a business in Russia and also open a bank account in 2022. Also, our immigration lawyers in Russia are at your disposal with legal advice.

Opening a bank account in Russia as a foreigner

Even if there are quite strict formalities for opening a bank account in Russia, foreigners can do so if they take into account the formalities imposed by the selected financial institutions. Here we mention some of them if you want to open a bank account in Russia as a foreigner:
  • The passport must be translated into Russian.
  • You must present the migration card, the document you receive when you enter Russia.
  • You also need the registration document that certifies your domicile in Russia.
  • Once these documents are collected, you must go to the bank to be able to open the respective account.
We remind you of the support and legal advice offered by our Russian lawyers if you want to open an account in this country. We can prepare the documents and manage the formalities to guarantee that you will not run into complexities when you do this.

Setting up a brokerage account in Russia

If you want to open a brokerage account in Russia, you must call on the experience of a lawyer in Russia who can explain to you what it means to convert ADR (American Depository Receipts) or GDR (Global Depository Receipts) into local shares. There are some formalities that you must respect, and among them, we mention:
  • Each conversation must be managed separately, however, if the applicant has ADR or GDR in Russia's companies, the conversion is much simpler.
  • Foreigners can be represented with Power of Attorney for opening a brokerage account in Russia.
  • Our lawyers in Russia can help you choose a broker as well as create a general conversion plan.

What does the conversion of ADR or GDR in local shares entail

The current social context has caused foreign investors to encounter complex situations in the management of assets such as ADR or DGR. However, the investments made in Russian companies and their management is possible with specialized help from a lawyer. He/she can help you open a brokerage account in Russia and convert ADR or GDR into local shares and more precisely Russian depository of type C or S. 
It is recommended that foreign investors collaborate with a specialist in the field to be up to date with changes in legislation and to benefit from correct business schemes. We also remind you that a Power of Attorney is needed to be able to solve the presented cases, respectively the conversion of Russian issuers ADR or GDR into local shares.

The main laws governing banking in Russia

The first Banking Law in Russia was issued in 1990. This is the Federal Law No. 395-1 “On Banks and Banking”. The law was altered several times, with the last modification registered at the end of 2013. Other important laws on banking activities in Russia are:
  • Federal Law No. 86-3 of 2002 on the Central Bank of Russia;
  • Federal Law No. 40-3 of 1999 on the insolvency of financial lending institutions.
As mentioned above, the Banking Law was amended in 2013 in order to adhere to international standards and to provide easy access to the market to foreign banks. One of the most important amendments brought to the law refers to banking groups and bank holding companies, which are now allowed to be formed by others than credit institutions alone with only one of the companies required to be credit institution.

Why invest in Russia?

Russia continues to remain an important player in the market, despite the current political situation. Investments in energy and IT are on the list of international players who want to expand their portfolio in Russia. Here are some figures in this direction:
  • 4.3% was the GDP growth rate in 2021 in Russia.
  • Also in 2021, PPP, or gross domestic product reached the threshold of USD 1.47 trillion.
  • The inflation rate in 2020 was approximately 3.38%.
Being the largest gas exporter in the world, and registering notable developments in communication and technology, Russia is on the list of those who want to make investments, open businesses, and access safe commodity markets.
For assistance in opening any type of bank accounts in Russia, do not hesitate to contact our Russian law firm. You can also ask information about immigration to Russia from one of our immigration lawyers in Russia.