Reasons Why You Should Consider Opening A Foreign Bank Account In Serbia
There are several compelling reasons why you should consider the opportunity to bank in Serbia if you are looking to set up an account in a foreign bank. A European country, Serbia is not an EU member nor a WTO member. The lack of membership in these international organizations certainly has some downsides but it also brings several important advantages. The quality of banking services in Serbia comes up to the highest standards, yet banking in the country is more affordable than banking in Western Europe.
When Yugoslavia disintegrated in the early 1990s, its former constituent republics faced considerable economic hardships at the beginning. All of them, however, have been able to overcome the most pressing challenges and Serbia in particular has been especially successful over the recent years in terms of its economic development. The country has been able to attract a lot of foreign investments from Germany, China, Russia, and other national states. The banking sector in Serbia plays a central role in building the country’s economy. Around thirty banks can be found there and many of them specialize in working with certain regions of the world. Some banks service local clients while others cooperate with Russia, the EU, North and South America, China, Turkey, or the UAE. If you come from one of these regions, you will be able to find a bank in Serbia that can take you onboard.
Why exactly should you consider banking in Serbia? First, the country has duty-free trade agreements with a number of national states and international organizations. These include the Russian Federation, EU, USA, EFTA (European Free Trade Association), and EAEU (Eurasian Economic Union). In addition to that, an agreement on preferential duties has been signed with Japan. Serbia is located at the very heart of Europe and engaging in international trade from this country is a fantastic opportunity indeed given Serbia’s free trade agreements and a wonderful overall business environment. Serbia will fit especially well the needs of those international entrepreneurs who are engaged in trade between Eastern and Western countries.
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Another factor that can make Serbia attractive for some people is its lack of membership in the CRS group. As things stand for now, Serbia does not automatically exchange its residents’ financial information with fiscal authorities of other countries. At the same time, it has signed some agreements concerning tax matters with the EU authorities, which lets it avoid being blacklisted by national governments and international regulators. Serbia is a ‘clean’ jurisdiction and its banks enjoy a good reputation in the financial world. Thus, if you would like to set up a foreign bank account but you feel that an offshore bank might bring some ‘image’ problems, opening a bank account in Serbia can be a nice alternative to consider.
Foreign nationals are welcome to apply for banking services in Serbia. As far as a personal bank account is concerned, the procedure is going to be rather simple. Normally, a personal visit to the bank is required but if you issue a Power of Attorney to a Serbian lawyer, he or she will be able to open an account on your behalf saving you the trouble of going to Serbia.
As far as a corporate bank account is concerned, things are more complicated. Theoretically, a non-resident company can set up a bank account in Serbia. In practice, it can be done only in some extraordinary circumstances. However, Serbian banks will be happy to provide services to you if you incorporate a company in the country. With professional assistance, the procedure is not overly complicated. There is an even more affordable alternative: you can establish presence in Serbia by opening a Serbian branch of your foreign company. It is possible to do so even if your mother company is domiciled in an offshore jurisdiction. You will have to have some economic substance in the country but the requirements are not too tough. If you are an offshore company owner, please stop for a minute and think about this opportunity: you can establish a European branch of your offshore-registered company and set up a corporate bank account in a European country. Would it extend your business horizons? It would without doubt.
Finally, the high-quality banking services come at affordable prices in Serbia. The account opening fee is going to be 3,000 euros and no security deposit is required. The transaction fees are normally between 0.25% and 0.4%. You can open a bank account in all the most popular world currencies including the dollar, the euro, the British pound, the Serbian dinar, and so on. If everything goes well, it can take you not more than a week to set up a bank account in Serbia.
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