Opening a Bank Account in Republic of Georgia

Although I have been living in Georgia already more than 3 years  - I didn't have my personal bank account in Georgia. Since there is new law- asking for foreigners to register for temporary residence in Georgia, there is a requirement from Government when submitting documents for temporary residence in Public Service Hall to show a bank statement that you have some 3000 GEL on it - (I will not discuss about the law and strange requirements, but instead I will focus on my topic -  how to open a bank account in Republic of Georgia)

So - here in Georgia are many banks to choose from - like Bank of Georgia, TBC Bank, Liberty Bank, ProCredit bank and others. Bank of Georgia (Sakartvelos banki) probably is the most popular here in Georgia and next popular choice is TBC Bank.

But don't get fooled by the name of Bank of Georgia - there is nothing common with government (well maybe there is some gov shares there) - it's privately held joint-stock company, proud of being listed in London Stock Exchange. TBC Bank also is proud of being listed in London Stock Exchange.

If honest - I don't see much use of it - but here in Georgia seems it sounds better, if you are listed somewhere. Well I would understand if the company would be listed in some National Stock Exchange. 

Anyway - Both Bank of Georgia and TBC bank are way to bureaucratic for me - and their service (as I have got served few times) - is pretty lame. They can scan your foreigners passport each and every time you visit a branch - so by default, I'm avoiding those two banks.

For opening my personal bank account in Republic of Georgia - I chose ProCredit bank - as far my understanding reaches it has some HQ in Germany and operates in so called developing countries - Eastern Europe, Africa and South America, they do offer some grants for agriculture. This bank offers pretty good service and pretty good terms. They do have Visa and Maestro cards and it doesn't cost much.

Here I have copy/pasted some of the Fees from their official webpage

Opening and Maintaining Account
Opening account with standard commission fee GEL 10 
Deposit transit account 2 Free
Account statement Free - 10 GEL
 
Checkbook GEL 10
Account maintanance fee GEL 1
Dormant Accounts Service Monthly Fee GEL 1 

1. An account opening commission fee is paid by a client upon opening first multicurrency account; in case of opening of several multicurrency accounts in the same currency, the commission fee will be accrued for every multicurrency account separately. Employees participating in a salary project are exempt from the commission fee payment.
2. Deposit transit account is opened for term deposits. Standard rates apply to this type of accounts, except for current account maintenance fee. 
3. Free if the client has: 
a. Any type of term deposits without current accounts
b. Only saving deposits and balance on any of such accounts during a calendar month is more/equal to Gel 200; USD/EUR 100 
4. An account is dormant (current, savings and/or card) if it shows no active transactions for the last 12 continual months. Service fee is deducted from every account with balance after the client"s all accounts go dormant.

 

ProCredit Bank Plastic Card
Type of service VISA Electron MasterCard Maestro MasterCard Standard VISA Classic
Term of validity 3 years
Price for card per year GEL 10 9 10 GEL 20 
GEL Withdrawal from a ProCredit Bank Georgia  ATM 0.2% min GEL 0.2
POS 0.3% min GEL 0.5 
USD withdrawal from a ProCredit Bank Georgia  ATM 0.3% min USD 0.3
POS 0.6% min USD 0.5
EUR withdrawal from a ProCredit Bank Georgia ATM 0.3% min EUR 0.3
Cash withdrawal from a non-ProCredit Bank ATM in Georgia 1% min. USD 2.5
Cash withdrawal from an ATM abroad 2% min. USD 3
Cash withdrawal from a non-ProCredit Bank POS in Georgia 2% min. 6 GEL, 3.5 USD 2% min. 6 GEL, 3.5 USD 2% min. USD 6 2% min. 6 GEL, 3.5 USD
Fee for cash withdrawal from a POS abroad 2% min. USD 3.5 2% min. USD 3.5 2% min. USD 6 2% min. USD 3.5
Card-based payment transaction fee Free
Minimum balance requirement NO NO
A daily quanitative limit for transactions executed through ATM/POS terminal/Internet  10 transactions per day
Cash withdrawal daily limit at an ATM GEL 1,500 equivalent GEL 2,500 equivalent
Card-based transaction daily limit GEL 10,000 equivalent GEL 15,000 equivalent
Increase of withdrawal/payment with a card limit  Maximum term 1 month:
up to GEL 10 000 - GEL 20
up to GEL 30 000 - GEL 40
up to GEL 50 000 - GEL 60
Daily penalty for unauthorized overdraft 0,15%
Card blockage (in local network) Free
Putting the card on an international stop-list  (MasterCard Standard and VISA Classic only) - - USD 50 USD 50
9. One Visa Electron card or one MasterCard Maestro card only is free of charge for persons participating in a salary project. This rule is applicable also in case of updating of expired cards (for salary project participants)if Visa Electron/MasterCard Maestro card is to be issued to replaced the previous card.
10. Client pays 2 years fee at the moment of ordering the card, the commission for third year will be taken at the beginning of third year. 
11. Cash withdrawal within the balance placed in cash by the account holder in every currency is free of charge. The commission fee is applicable to transfered money, to cash withdrawals of amounts of money placed in cash by third persons and groups of clients engaged in currency Trading operations. 
12. Transactions include: cash withdrawal, checking of the balance, printing out of account statement, purchase, purchase in internet.
13. Increase of a daily limit includes summary increase of encashment and payment limits. 
14. Putting a card on international stop-list will case full blockage of the card. A plastic card is put on the list according to a specific region (e.g. Europe, USA/Canada, Africa) for a two-week period.

ProCredit bank of course offers internet banking.

In total it cost me 30 GEL for opening this account, depositing money on it, and ordering a plastic card from it. I should now wait - my plastic card to be made (seems in Germany) before to be delivered to me - 10 days.

It was enough with my passport to open this account. In total it took some 40 minutes - well the girl who served me was kinda chatty person, and chatting with me - she made a misspelling in my surname, so I pointed her to fix this - if you don't have fancy surname - it should take you some 20 minutes for opening a bank account in ProCredit bank.

If you are a foreigner here in Georgia - I'm highly recommending ProCredit bank.