Saudi Arabia multi-currency corporate bank account in 2023
Since 2003, Healy Consultants Group assists multi-national Clients with multi-currency corporate bank account opening in Saudi Arabia.
- During company registration, Saudi companies must open a capital account to deposit paid up share capital. This capital account does not need a bank signatory and cannot be used for business operations. Capital account opening takes five weeks on average;
- Within 2 months of the company being registered, Healy Consultants Group will i) convert the capital account into an operating business account and ii) appoint our Client as sole bank signatory;
- Foreigners wanting to be appointed as bank signatories must secure a Saudi residence and employment visa (also called Iqama) beforehand. It takes two months on average to secure the same;
- Saudi banks are usually slow and inefficient. To reduce the account opening turnaround time, we recommend our Client keep the corporate structure simple;
- Healy Consultants Group’s preferred banks in Saudi Arabia are Alinma Bank and Bank Saudi Fransi. International banks such as HSBC (in Saudi Arabia called Saudi British Bank (SABB)) take double the time to issue bank numbers;
- The above banks’ e-banking and telephone help lines are in both Arabic and English;
- Currency corporate bank accounts offered by Saudi banks include US$, GB£ and Saudi Riyal. Not all banks offer internet banking for foreign currency accounts.
Saudi Arabia banking sector security
- Saudi banks enjoy a good long-term credit rating of A-. Consequently, the probability of bank default is low during a global recession;
- Saudi Arabia has signed CRS global information exchange agreements with 67 countries;
- Saudi Arabia does not implement exchange controls to international transfers in any currency;
- Both residents and non-residents in Saudi Arabia are allowed to open bank accounts in foreign currencies, including EUR and US$.
- Because of the inefficiency and numerous (official and unofficial) public holidays in Saudi Arabia, the corporate account opening process for non-resident companies is long. It takes a minimum of five weeks to open a capital account, and eight more weeks to convert it to a fully operational account;
- Unfortunately, personal travel to Saudi Arabia is required before bank account numbers are issued;
- After our Client receives Saudi bank account numbers, the bank will directly and independently provide our Client the online banking kit required to initiate international funds transfers;
- The one-time e-banking login password can usually only be sent to a local Saudi telephone number. For our multinational Clients living outside Saudi Arabia, Healy Consultants Group has a work around solution for this challenge;
- Prior to submitting the bank account application, Healy Consultants Group requires detailed information on i) the company’s activities (including proof of business e g contracts and invoices etc.) ii) company customers and suppliers iii) details of the management team and iv) the company’s financial projections;
- Upon receipt of the information above, our experts will prepare a detailed business plan highlighting the company’s activities, financial projections and reasons for opening a Saudi bank account. We then send the business plan to our Client for review and approval before sharing with banks;
- Healy Consultants Group approaches local banks to obtain preliminary approvals for our Client’s company;
- The banks will complete their Know Your Client (KYC) procedures to confirm that the capital inflows are legitimate. Healy Consultants Group staff will assist our Client to fulfil all of the bank’s requests with minimal inconvenience;
- Within six weeks of submitting the multi-currency corporate bank account opening application, Healy Consultants Group will receive approval from the bank;
- Within four weeks of approval, Healy Consultants Group will receive the Internet banking activation documents and we will activate online banking on our Client’s behalf;
- Following successful activation, we will dispatch a courier to our Client’s preferred mailing address containing ATM card and internet banking details.
Frequently asked questions
Is Saudi Arabia company formation right for my business?Healy Consultants will be pleased to guide our Clients regarding the optimum corporate structure to conduct business in Saudi Arabia. Because formation of a Saudi company is a challenging task, some Clients might benefit more from appointing a commercial agent instead.
During Saudi Arabia company formation, will I have to travel to open a corporate bank account?Healy Consultants will try its best to negotiate travel exemption for our Clients. However, most banks do require bank signatories to travel to Saudi Arabia for an in-person interview.