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Opening a Bank Account in Turkey For Foreigners
Because of the services and perks that help consumers manage their financial concerns with ease, bank accounts have become a vital necessity for people everywhere. The most crucial part for residents and investors in Turkey is opening a bank account to save funds, simplify their functions, and take advantage of banking services.
When you first arrive in Turkey, one of the first and most basic concerns on your mind is probably; “How to open a bank account in Turkey? You’ve probably heard about the challenges of opening one or are simply seeking more information. You’re in luck because you’ve come to the right website. This article is based on our own personal experiences with creating a bank account in Turkey.
Turkey is a crossroads of east and west, historic and modern cultures. Many ex-pats have relocated to Turkey, particularly to Istanbul, to relax, study, travel, work, or retire in a vibrant and enriching environment. You’ll need a local bank account if you’re planning to make this intriguing country your home. You’ll have trouble getting a cell phone service or even access to the internet if you don’t have one.
With such a variety of people congregating within the country for so many purposes, they require opening bank accounts in Turkey. So, if you too are looking for information about opening a bank account in Turkey as a foreigner, here is all the information you need.
Bank Account in Turkey for Foreigners
When establishing a business in Turkey, it’s important to keep in mind that a bank account will be required to function correctly and conduct transactions. Individuals can also open personal bank accounts in Turkey if they match the financial institution’s standards. If you wish to open a bank account in Turkey, our experienced Turkish lawyers are ready to provide you with information and legal help.
TL (₺) or Turkish lira is the official currency of the Republic of Turkey. In the past, inflation plagued the currency, and due to this foreign currency holdings were much prized in Turkey. But the recent economic growth has ensured considerable stability of the Turkish lira. However, foreign currencies are still accepted for opening up a bank account in Turkey.
So, if you are looking to open a bank account in Turkey, a step-by-step guide to open a bank account in Turkey is given below:
How Can You Open a Bank Account in Turkey?
The first thing you should decide is which bank you want to open your account in. The major banks of Turkey are; Turkey Is Bank, Garanti BBVA, Yapi Kredi Bank, and AkBank. Regardless of where you are located in Turkey, you will definitely find a branch of one of these banks near your location.
If you are wondering about; “can a foreigner open a bank account in Turkey?” The answer is yes. All of these banks, especially Garanti Bank goes out of their way to have English-speaking staff at most of their branches. The other banks are equally accommodating and eager to welcome foreigners to open bank accounts at their bank.
It’s also possible to open an offshore bank account in Turkey. There are numerous international banks operating within the country, including HSBC Bank, Deutsche Bank, and Citibank.
If you are looking for Islamic banks, the two major ones are Turk Arap Bank and Turkish Bank. These banks regulate their accounts as per Islamic laws. If you want to open a bank account in Turkey with an Islamic bank, make sure you are aware of the rules and regulations.
In Turkey, there are two procedures for creating a bank account for foreign citizens; The first is for an individual account, and the second is for accounts in the name of a business.
The following are the legal procedures and principles that must be followed in order for a foreign citizen to open a bank account in Turkey:
● First and foremost, the person who wishes to open a bank account must choose a correspondence address.
● To open a bank account in Turkey, foreign citizens must obtain a tax number. A foreign citizen can obtain a prospective tax number by visiting a state tax office with his or her passport within a time frame determined by the office’s capacity.
● The foreigner will be able to open a bank account and carry out banking transactions after receiving a tax number from the tax office.
● Some banks may request their customers’ mobile phone numbers. As a result, the foreign citizen must obtain a mobile number from a Turkish operator provider.
The following are the legal procedures and rules that must be followed in order for a foreign company to open a bank corporate account in Turkey:
● The company will need to obtain a tax number from the tax authorities. A bank account doesn’t really require to be opened for a company that is located in Turkey or has financial activity there. It is sufficient to have an address for correspondence.1 2
● To open an account, the responsible company director must submit an application to the bank, together with the tax number and all company paperwork that have been translated and certified by a notary or consulate. The basic company agreement, trade chamber registry, commercial registration, establishment and activity documents, and, if applicable, licenses are among the company documents required for opening a bank account in Turkey.1 2
What are the Types of Bank Accounts in Turkey?
1. Current Account: A non-term account is one that allows you to deposit and withdraw funds at any time but doesn’t earn you any money in the process.
What banking services can be done through current accounts?
- Money transfers,
- Checkbook Transactions,
- Forex trading orders and gold,
- Repayment of loans and credit cards,
- Payment of contributions, fees, and rent,
- Paying bills, taxes, insurance premiums, and social security,
- Foreign currency transactions and precious metals,
- Transfer of deferred funds,
- Payment of periodic installments (delayed funds transfer) such as buying real estate in Turkey in installments and paying the installment amount every month to the constructing company’s account,
- Payment orders that are automated (automatic payment or bill payment every month, for example, and this process is automatically scheduled without the need for the intervention of the account holder).
2. Participatory Account: A type of account that permits the account holder and the bank operating under the participatory system to split profits within the boundaries of the profit and loss partnership. In accordance with the principles of interest-free Islamic banking, funds collected from participant accounts are utilized to finance commerce, industry, and services. The most crucial aspect of this system is that the rate of return is established at the end of the term, not at the beginning.
3. Gold Current Account: A sort of account that is open indefinitely and allows you to evaluate your savings in gold.
- This account can be used for saving,
- The possibility of buying or selling gold at any time,
- The minimum transaction is 0.01 grams,
- Retains gold stored by 995/1000 purity,
- A certificate will be given in exchange for the gold that has been preserved (at the banks where real gold buying and selling is available, such as Kuwait Turk Bank),
- You may write gold checks and convert gold via bank transfer using the gold in your existing gold account,
- You can withdraw gold in grams from the branches of Kuveyt Turk Bank.
4. Other Bank Account Types: Such as an insurance account, a savings account, a temporary interest account, and so on.
What documents do I need to open a bank account in Turkey?
The following are the documents required to open a bank account in Turkey:
- Tax number,
- Residency permit,
- Proof of your address,
- Proof of signature form,
You have to get a tax number before you can open a bank account in Turkey. You can get your Republic of Turkey Tax Identification Number from the Finance and Tax Office of Turkey.
To open a bank account in Turkey as a foreigner in the Turkish lira currency type, you must also have a resident’s pass in Turkey. You might want to negotiate opening an account without the resident pass, but being granted the permission would solely depend on your negotiation skills and the discretion of the bank.
However, if the amount you want to deposit into your account is substantial, the banks might overlook the need for a resident’s pass.
Opening a bank account in Turkey for foreigners in a foreign currency is much easier. But there are rules and guidelines that need to be followed. If you are opening a bank account in Turkey as a foreigner and the bank account type is in a foreign currency, it might be better to open a current account instead of a savings account.
You can use the current account to transfer money as well as pay all your bills. Most banks offer online banking services to current accounts. With savings accounts, there is certain tax involved that might not be profitable or beneficial for you as a foreigner in Turkey.
If you still want to open a bank account in Turkey for a savings account, note the following:
- You would need to maintain your savings account for a minimum of one month,
- All the interest that you earn in your savings account will be subject to a 15% withholding tax,
You can also choose to open a business bank account in Turkey. In fact, the first step to starting your own business is opening a business account in Turkey. The documents required to open a business bank account in Turkey as a foreigner is mostly similar to what is needed for opening a savings or current account. But there are some more documents needed as well. For business purposes, to open a bank account in Turkey you will need:
- The Articles of Association related to your business,
- Proof of your business’s registered address,
- Details of all the people who will be managing the account,
- Filled application form,
You are allowed to open more than one bank account in more than one bank. But make sure you know and follow all the guidelines for opening a bank account in Turkey, be it as a tourist, as an offshore investor, as a business professional, or as an ex-pat.
Can I open a bank account in Turkey from abroad?
The type of account you wish to open and whether or not you already have a residency permit in Turkey will determine your possibilities for opening a bank account in Turkey from abroad. The major banks mentioned below offer banking services to both local and foreign clients and can explain the alternatives and procedures accessible to you. All of the employees are fluent in English.
Can I open a bank account in Turkey as a non-resident?
It will be more difficult to open a bank account as a non-resident, but it is doable. Banks will be more willing to assist you if you are depositing a substantial sum of money. Similarly, residency is not normally required when opening a foreign currency account in Turkey. If you don’t have the exact documents required, ask and be prepared to negotiate, according to ex-pats already in Turkey.
The biggest challenge is obtaining a Republic of Turkey Tax Identification Number, which is necessary by most Turkish banks to open a bank account. You can get this as a non-resident, but seek guidance from your bank, this is the best way to go. Your preferred bank might be able to assist you with your application.
Open a bank account in Turkey as a foreign or domestic company
In order to fully function on the market, make money transactions, and deposit the share capital, a foreign or national corporation in Turkey must have a bank account. This is a fundamental step before establishing the business.
The bank will require the “potential tax number” issued by the Turkish tax authorities in addition to the comprehensive documentation of the new company in the country. The opening of the bank account in Turkey could be delegated to a company representative.
You can also open a bank account in Turkey as an ex-pat
Any foreign resident residing in Turkey and with a valid foreign identity number may open a bank account without any restrictions. When opening a bank account in Turkey, you’ll need a copy of your passport, your Turkish tax number, bank papers, and a utility bill. The entire process takes around an hour or less, and it may be completed online at official bank websites.
In Turkey, consumers can pick from national banks such as; Is Bankasi, AkBank, Garanti, Yapi Kredi, DenizBank, or multinational banks with branches in the country such as ING, Citibank, HSBC, or Eurobank Tekfen.
As a reminder, all Turkish citizens and foreign residents who are lawfully employed in the nation are permitted to open as many bank accounts as they require. In the case of Turkish businesses, a corporate bank account is required to begin operations and conduct various transactions.
What are the benefits of opening a bank account in Turkey?
Money and revenue in dollars can be deposited into your account from outside Turkey. You can perform financial transactions with international banks that are Swift-connected using these accounts. All of these accounts will be issued with an International Bank Account Number (IBAN), as well as an international Visa and MasterCard. You may buy from worldwide websites with this Visa and MasterCard, and you can withdraw money from ATMs all around the world that accept Visa or MasterCard.
Which bank should I choose in Turkey?
The ‘big four’ Turkish retail banks, which are mentioned below, provide foreign clientele with specialized assistance and services. This includes customer assistance in English and other international languages, as well as solutions designed specifically for expats’ requirements.
Alternatively, Turkey is home to a large number of foreign banks. If it’s easier, you might be able to move your existing account to your home bank’s Turkish branch.
- Is Bank: Is Bank, Turkey’s largest bank, is guaranteed to have a branch near you. Outside of Turkey, they have branches throughout the Middle East, China, and the United Kingdom. Some offices in Turkey specialize in banking for foreign clientele, making the process of opening an account in Turkey go more smoothly.
- Garanti Bank: Garanti Bank is Turkey’s second-biggest private bank, and its branches are noted for having English-speaking employees. Some branches have customer relations managers who specialize in dealing with ex-pat clients, as well as customer support phone lines that operate in both English and German.
- AkBank: Ak Bank is a big Turkish bank that has been around for a long time. They have a large network of branches and ATMs and that provide a comprehensive choice of accounts and payment cards. Ak Bank also offers ex-pat and international banking products, as well as telephone customer support in English.
- Yapi Kredi Bank: Yapi Kredi, the fourth largest Turkish bank by volume, is well-established and offers a comprehensive variety of banking services. They provide overseas consumers with a variety of specialty accounts and bank cards.
Check the specifics available for each bank’s procedures for opening a new account. If you wish to work with an English-speaking member of staff, you need to make an appointment with the bank. Some banks, on the other hand, can assist you with questions and document requests over the phone.
Final Words and Conclusions on; “Open a Bank Account in Turkey as Foreigner”
All the options for opening a bank account in Turkey for foreigners are listed in detail in this article. Hopefully, it will help you to navigate your way to opening a bank account in Turkey as a foreigner. However, if you still have questions or are unsure of the documents required to open a bank account in Turkey or still have the question as to; “What do I need to open a bank account in Turkey?” Just walk into any local bank branches if you are in the country, or call the bank if you are outside. The ever-friendly and ever helpful Turkish people will surely guide thoroughly you on opening a bank account in Turkey as a foreigner.