Latvia is located in Northern Europe and is one of three Baltic States. It has been a member of the European Union since 2004, a member of the Eurozone since 2014 and the 35th member country of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) since 2016.
The Latvian banking and financial sector is relatively small, heavily concentrated in the capital, Riga, and has a high proportion of foreign capital. There are currently 23 banks operating on the Latvian market; 16 of them are domestic banks, seven are branches of foreign banks. Most Latvian banks are privately owned and operate as universal banks, but some specialize in corporate banking and/or wealth management. Most foreign banks have their origins in the Scandinavian countries: Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark.
Out of all banks operating in Latvia, 14 offer corporate banking and other services to non-residents. Latvian banks have actively sought to attract deposits from non-residents. In fact, by the end of 2015, deposits from non-residents had overtaken those from residents of Latvia.
Advantages of opening a bank account in Latvia There are several reasons why non-resident individuals and companies might decide to open a bank account in one of the Latvian banks:
Latvian banks offer a wide range of services to non-residents, including retail, retail and corporate banking, as well as online trading and brokerage services. Latvian banks employ English and Russian speaking staff and their websites are available in different languages.
KYC procedures are straightforward and simple, with some banks offering their customers the option to open an account online. Latvia is a member state of the EU and in the Eurozone and facilitates cash transfers to other member countries. Latvia uses the IBAN system, which makes international payments easier. General Requirements The procedure and required documents to open a bank account for a non-resident business differ from bank to bank. In general, all the documents you are likely to need can be sorted into two lists: the standard corporate documents that most banks require and which are usually listed on the bank's website, and specific documents that banks require non-residents to make sure that the owner or beneficiary of the company has sufficient funds and verify his or her background and learn more about the activities of the company. These documents are not usually found on the bank's website and in many cases are dependent on the customer opening the account.
In addition to the bank's standard account application forms, other commonly required documents include:
Certificate of Incorporation (with apostille) Certificate of Incorporation and Articles of Incorporation (with apostille) Minutes of the board meeting approving the opening of a bank account General power of attorney (with apostille) Documents confirming the ownership of the beneficial owner(s) in the company Copies of the beneficiaries' passports Copy of Account Manager's passport List of signatures and samples of seal impressions As previously mentioned, banks have the right to request additional documents during the pre-account inspection phase and later if the compliance officers believe that information is missing or if the bank wants to better understand the nature of the customer's business.
Corporate banking for non-residents in Latvia More than half of banks in Latvia provide corporate banking and other services to non-residents. These banks have their differences, and before you decide which one is best for you, there are certain things you need to consider. While most banks offer multilingual services and you will most likely be able to speak to your private manager in English or Russian, AS “Rietumu Banka” offers its services in Chinese and French in addition to Latvian, English and Russian. AS Rietumu Banka offers retail banking, corporate banking and online brokerage for non-resident individuals and businesses. In addition, it is possible to open a bank account through an online application system.