This is already third time I have opened a bank account in Georgia as an individual. This time at Bank of Georgia.
Let me explain - I'm already using two local banks - Procredit bank and Bank Republic. Unfortunately my default bank for check operations, Bank Republic, has been sold to another large Georgian bank - TBC bank. I opened an account at Bank Republic about two years ago with one single aim - to redeem checks sent from US. This September I read the news and learned that Bank Republic is merging with TBC bank, and my first thought was - OMG - no more check redemption in Georgia. I was true. When visited central branch of Bank Republic in mid November, 2016 - they didn't accepted my check in US dollars (I was told they are still working with EUR currency although).
Let us assure you, that the comfort of being with us that you are enjoying now, will be fully maintained: we will be working hard for the transition period to go as smoothly as possible. We believe to achieve even more together in the future. Meanwhile, be sure that the quality of services rendered to you will improve further.
I spent whole day searching for a new bank which could redeem checks, I tried following banks - Basis Bank, VTB bank, TBC bank, Terra Bank and lastly I ended up with Bank of Georgia.
I believe it's still possible to redeem checks at VTB bank and TBC bank. Anyhow, Bank of Georgia is one of the largest banks in Georgia (if not the largest), what I really don't like about it - it's always about waiting in lines, the waiting can take an hour or two hours (Never at Procredit bank or Bank Republic)
So, I took my passport, bank check and went for opening a bank account here. I was told it will take only 15 minutes to open a bank account, but in fact it took about an hour and half (Well, they were processing my check also meantime).
I was surprised to learn, that I will have a 4 currency account (Georgian lari, US dollars, EUR and British Pounds). I have no clue why should I need Sterling in Georgia, but as it doesn't cost anything additional - cool.
Cost for opening an account, VISA Classic card and internet banking - 42 lari (you can actually open bank account here for 10 lari, if you don't opt for VISA CARD).
I was asked to pay a deposit of $150 to my dollar account (as I'm waiting redeeming check). The waiting time for check redemption here - 45 working days. Cost - it depends, I guess, but minimum 1% or 35 USD.