How to open a bank account in Monaco is one of the first things future residents ask themselves.
Contrary to widespread belief, you don’t have to be a millionaire to open an account. All you need is a valid resident card or proof of identity. However, when you apply for residency, you need to provide evidence of your ability to cover your living costs.
If you’re looking into how to open a bank account in Monaco, you’ll obviously need to choose a bank. There are around 40 full-service banks that all belong to leading banking groups. Under agreements between France and Monaco, they are supervised by the Prudential Supervisory Authority (Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel – ACP). The activities of the ACP comply with strict regulations that guarantee the confidentiality of Monaco’s financial institutions’ transactions.
Just as you are wondering how to open a bank account in Monaco, banks must know why you want to open an account and they will collect information on your financial situation. When you have provided these details, your bank will draw up a deposit account agreement.
The deposit account agreement
The deposit account agreement covers all contractual commitments between you and the bank, from the date on which the account is opened to when it is closed. It defines the services provided and fees associated with them, how you and the bank will communicate, terms of power of attorney and how the agreement can be changed or terminated. It also sets down methods of mediation and appeal in the event of a dispute and what action should be taken if you die.
The agreement also contains information about the means of payment connected to your account, such as whether you will receive a cheque book, the spending limits for each means of payment, as well as fees, interest rates and exchange rates. It details the procedures in place in the event of payment issues or badly executed transactions and overdraft management.
The deposit agreement must be signed before your deposit account can be opened.
Managers and employees of financial institutions operating in Monaco are bound by the rules of professional secrecy and face prosecution if they breach them.
Professional secrecy does not apply to information requested by the financial industry’s supervisory and money laundering authorities.
Banks are subject to checks in the event of complex transactions and in certain cases stipulated by the law, they must submit suspicious activity reports to the Information and Financial Circuit Inspection Department (Service d’Information et de Contrôle sur les Circuits Financiers), the national financial investigation unit specialised in combating money laundering, terrorist financing and corruption. This unit works with more than 130 countries around the world.
If you require more information about different services and procedures in the Principality, our Monaco real estate brokers will be happy to guide you.