Banks in Montenegro

banks in montenegro

Even though Montenegro is not part of the EU thus far, the official currency in the country is the euro and the financial system is regulated in accordance with European and international standards. According to the Central Bank of Montenegro, there are 11 banks in the country and most of them provide services to non-residents. This means that foreigners can freely bank in Montenegro.

Of all Montenegrin banks, foreigners usually prefer Erste Bank, Adriatic Bank, Universal Capital Bank, CKB, or Hipotekarna banka. These financial institutions stand out for their high-quality services and lack of strict requirements for foreigners. You don’t have to live or work in Montenegro to be able to set up an account with one of these banks.

All banks in Montenegro are reliable and stable and all of them offer a wide range of financial services. When choosing the Montenegrin bank, you have to assess the cost of the services, the list of available transaction types, the speed of transactions, the opportunities to take out a loan, the interests on loans and deposits, and the use of innovative technologies (online banking, mobile applications, etc.). Please bear in mind that some Montenegrin banks also provide additional services such as issuance of Letters of Guarantee and investment management.

A bank account in Montenegro: advantages for foreigners

Foreign customers of Montenegrin banks point out the following main advantages:

  • Free entrance to the country. EU citizenship as well as citizens of some other countries enjoy visa-free entry to Montenegro. When you don’t need a visa to enter a foreign country, the task of setting up a bank account there becomes easier.
  • Simplicity of the account opening procedure. You can set up a bank account in Montenegro by visiting any bank office. The application document package is going to be quite small. In some cases, it is possible to set up a bank account remotely in Montenegro by filing an online application. 
  • Deposit insurance. All bank deposits are insured for up to 50,000 EUR by the state. In case of bankruptcy, Fond za zaštitu depozita, a state insurance company, will compensate the account holder. Your deposit is going to be insured whichever Montenegrin bank you choose, including branches of foreign banks.
  • The client is always right. In case of a dispute with the bank, you can contact a special division of the Central Bank of Montenegro that helps settle down conflicts with bank administrations. You can write to or visit the agency at the following address: Centralna banka Crne Gore, Bulevar Sv. Petra Cetinjskog 6, Podgorica.

What banking operations can you perform in Montenegro?

Most banks in Montenegro provide services to foreign customers but some don’t. You’d better inquire about the issue with each Montenegrin bank that you are considering. Individual foreign clients of Montenegrin banks can perform the following operations in Montenegro:

  • Deposit money;
  • Receive wire transfers from individuals and companies;
  • Make payments including payments for goods purchased online;
  • Withdraw cash from ATMs or at bank offices;
  • Transfer money inside and outside Montenegro;
  • Making investments in securities, real estate, or commercial assets.

Non-resident corporate clients can perform the following banking operations in Montenegro:

  • Deposit money and make money transfers;
  • Receive money transfers from counteragents;
  • Open several corporate accounts and freely transfer money between them;
  • Make international money transfers;
  • Order debit cards for company workers who can make full use of them (pay for goods and services, withdraw cash, top up their mobile phone accounts, etc.);
  • Make investments.

If you want to perform a financial operation, you can visit a bank office or use such instruments as:

The exact list of payment instruments will depend on the particular bank.

Types of bank accounts that you can open in Montenegro

Foreign clients can set up the following types of bank accounts in Montenegro:

  • Individual current account. This type of bank account allows making transactions in Montenegro and beyond. Some banks in the country open separate accounts for domestic and international transactions. Payments from any legal source can be transferred to your current account in Montenegro: salaries, pensions, royalties, etc. An underage person can also use a current account to receive a scholarship, for example, or some prize money. Their adult legal representative has to set up a bank account in this case. You can use your current account yourself or authorize somebody to use it.
  • Corporate current account. This type of bank account allows conducting financial operations on behalf of your business company. One or several individuals can be authorized to use a corporate bank account.
  • Savings account. You can set up a savings account with a Montenegrin bank on various conditions. If you make a fixed-term deposit for a long period, the interest is going to be higher. If you make an instant access deposit, the interest is going to be low but you will always have access to your money. You can put some money in the bank and have it transfer the accrued interest onto your debit card every month.

Types of bankcards that you can acquire in Montenegro

Any Montenegrin bank will issue cards of the following types:

  1. Debit card (Visa or MasterCard). It is linked to your bank account and you can use your own money to make payments in Montenegro and abroad. Naturally, you can use your debit card to shop online and withdraw cash. You can order a personal or a corporate debit card. Besides, you can order a card that allows making contactless payments.
  2. Credit card (Visa or MasterCard). Only some banks in Montenegro such as Adriatic Bank and UCB, for instance, will issue credit cards to foreigners. You have to inquire with the particular bank about the credit conditions. 

How can a foreigner open a bank account in Montenegro?

In most cases, you would have to pay a personal visit to the bank office to open a bank account in Montenegro. All you have to do is fill out the application form and supply your passport. Some banks may request additional documents, however. They may want to have some proof of your ties with Montenegro or ascertain that your money comes from a legal source.

If you are opening a corporate bank account in Montenegro, you have to supply the following application documents:

  • Company registration certificate from the country where it is registered;
  • Company By-laws and other corporate documents;
  • Certified signature of the authorized company representative and company seal;
  • Copies of personal IDs of company owners and directors;
  • List of company officers who have authorized access to the bank account;
  • Other documents on request from the bank administration.

Application processing is going to take some time.

Some banks in Montenegro (such as Erste Bank, for example) make it possible to set up personal accounts with them remotely. You have to file an online application to make use of this opportunity. Please note, however, that this is more of an exception rather than a rule in Montenegro.

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