Opening a bank account in Turkey
Türkiye is a member of the G20 group and is considered one of the fastest growing economies in the world. The country supports international investors and gives foreign entrepreneurs access to the world's largest markets. The most significant factor that determines the attractiveness of Turkey for trade and investment activities is the high-tech banking system that offers a wide range of financial services.
West Union consultants talk about how to open a current account with a Turkish bank in 2023 and other nuances that are important for international business.
Turkish banking system
In 2023 Turkey has completely moved to a consolidated system of regulation of local banks. Financial institutions are controlled by the independent agency Bankacılık Düzenleme ve Denetleme Kurumu (BDDK). BDDK also supervises banks in terms of operations with foreign currencies, checks compliance with reserve requirements and rules for calculating capital adequacy.
Types of banks in Turkey
Public and private banks in the country are regulated by the BDDK in accordance with the Banking Law and applicable regulations. Despite the absence of an official classification, Turkish banking institutions can be roughly divided into 3 categories:
- deposit banks (mevduat bankaları) - optimal for short-term transactions;
- development and investment banks (kalkınma ve yatırım bankaları) - recommended for individuals and regular transactions;
- participation banks (katılım bankaları) - operate on the principle of Islamic banking with interest-free banking services.
In order to open a Turkish bank account that can provide the services and products you need, you need to understand the features and differences of these three groups. For example, the Katılım bankaları format is not suitable for companies whose activities involve working with loan agreements.
To open a bank account in Turkey, please contact our specialists for individual advice.
Which banks in Turkey are the most loyal to foreign clients?
In the 2023 year, opening an account in Turkey for non-residents who do not have a residence permit and the status of a resident of the country is possible in the following banks.
İşbank (İş Bankası)
The largest private bank in Turkey with almost 100 years of history, serving more than 20 million customers worldwide. The bank opens both savings and current accounts with no minimum balance requirements, gives you the opportunity to get pre-approval before submitting all documents.
The oldest state-owned banking giant with tangible support from creditors and the ability to open an account for an offshore company and a current foreign currency account for non-residents.
The second largest and largest bank with an extensive network of branches and ATMs. VakifBank offers many services, including online bill payments, Swift transfers outside the country, and domestic transactions transferring financial assets to other banks.
Vakıf Katılım Bankası
The bank, along with deposits, offers remote banking services, corporate financing, letters of credit, several insurance programs and leasing services.
Emlak Katılım Bankası
One of the most demanded and popular financial institutions with comfortable conditions for clients with any resident status. The advantage of the bank is an extended package of investment, corporate, investment and brokerage services.
Basic requirements for opening an account in Turkey
In order to open a bank account in Turkey, a company must meet certain requirements, which may differ and vary depending on the internal policy of the bank.
The following conditions are universal for non-resident companies for 2023:
- Must be a direct owner (nominal service is not accepted or considered).
- Legal documents are translated into Turkish, certified by a public notary or Turkish consulate, and submitted to the bank.
- It is necessary to leave for 3-4 days in Istanbul and a personal visit of the director of the company to the selected bank.
- The company must apply to the tax authority in Turkey and obtain a local TIN.
The list of documents for opening an account in Turkey may differ depending on the requirements of a commercial bank and needs to be clarified in each specific case.
The standard package most often includes:
- Constituent and primary corporate documents.
- Good Standing certificate issued no earlier than 3 months prior to application.
- Certificate of Incumbency. Can be replaced by an extract not older than 3 months from the commercial register.
- Information about planned settlement, currency and other banking operations. The document is provided in English, indicating all counterparties and their banks. Attached is a description of the structure of the company and the products/services offered.
- Personal documents of the beneficiary (passport, documentary confirmation of the registration address, resume in CV format, bank statement).
Procedure for opening an account in Turkey
- Preparation of originals in English or Turkish with notarization. At the first stage, you can provide scans.
- Analysis and verification of documents. Usually it takes no more than 1 - 2 weeks, but if there are questions from the bank, the period can be extended.
- Assigning and agreeing on the date of a personal meeting (if the decision is positive).
- Departure of the director to Istanbul to sign documents and obtain a TIN for the company.
- Opening an account (in time - from 1 to 3 weeks, depending on the complexity of the case).
Cost of opening an account in Turkey
The cost of opening an account in Turkey depends on who plans to become a client - a company or an individual. Also, the final amount is affected by the type of bank, the selected service package and the currency in which it is planned to conduct transactions (dollars, liras, euros). The approximate amount of the commission for opening an account can be clarified with our specialists.
Do you have any questions? Contact us!
Opening a bank account in Turkey can be the best solution for your company. Contact West Union experts to get individual advice on the specifics of doing business in a country with Islamic traditions and find out how to open a bank account in Turkey with minimal personal involvement.
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