Bank accounts in South Africa can be set up as a resident or non-resident. Applicants need to be over 18 years of age in order to open a bank account in South Africa. South African nationals must provide some form of official identification to open an account. Major banks have branches in most cities and towns throughout the country.
To open a resident bank account as a foreign national, it is necessary to:
Bank accounts may be opened from abroad; however the application form and any accompanying declarations must be accompanied by a certified signature (from either a lawyer or solicitor).
It is possible to open a bank account without current employment and without depositing any money, however quarterly maintenance fees may apply. Details are available from individual banks.
It is easy to open a savings bank account as a non-resident in South Africa. Some exchange control rules and regulations may apply, however. For example:
To open a non-resident account it is necessary to:
For more information about exchange control rules and regulations; refer to the South Africa Reserve Bank (SARB). For details: Click here.
It is normal when opening a bank account in South Africa to consent to a credit check. Private credit checks are also available for a small fee at one of South Africa's two major credit bureaus - Experian and Trans Union. The Credit Information Ombud, which is an independent association reporting to an industry council, can assist with any credit problems.
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