The terms of working with non-residents adopted by European banks are getting more and more restrictive. But despite that, the situation in Madeira (Portugal) remains one of the most attractive in Europe. In order to open a bank account for a non-resident in Madeira, you will need to collect your documents and pass a verification procedure. Should your identification be successful and the legality of your funds proven, there will be no barriers to opening a corporate account in Madeira to a foreigner for doing business.
Banking System of Portugal
The autonomous Portuguese region of Madeira has both local and foreign banks. The latter are represented by their branches. In Portugal, the banking system is fully integrated into the European one. In recent decades, it has undergone major changes and has reached a new level of service in accordance with the European norms.
The central regulator is the Bank of Portugal, which together with the European Central Bank controls the monetary, currency and finance environment in the country. Madeira is home to a regional office of the national regulator.
Despite the positive development of the region for several years in a row, the Portuguese banking system is sometimes troubled by shocks. In order to protect depositors from losing money in case of bank failure, the national Deposit Guarantee System protects the deposits of up to 100,000 EUR.
Peculiarities of Banking Service in Madeira
This autonomous region has introduced special favorable conditions for business taxation, so the banking sector is thriving here. This is thanks to the increase of settlements and the receipt of significant amounts of cash investments.
A non-resident can open a corporate bank account in Madeira for their company not only when they visit the bank in person but also remotely which is very convenient. This opportunity is offered by a number of banks that are ready to provide the best terms and conditions for their clients.
Unlike the established European practice when banks refuse to work with foreigners, bankers of Portuguese Madeira are more friendly to their potential clients. Should you confirm the legality of the source of origin of your funds and pass the complete identification, there will be no delays in the opening of your account.
It is important: If you have decided on a banking institution with which you would like to open your account, please consult our experts about the bank’s policy regarding working with foreigners. We recommend you requesting assistance in order to fill in the forms provided by the bank in as much detail as possible. In addition, filling the forms out yourself might be quite a challenge if you do not speak Portuguese. English-speaking support is available at the large banks only.
Benefits of opening a corporate bank account in Madeira:
- Lower (compared to European) service rates;
- Internet banking;
- High-quality service;
- A wide choice of modern banking and financial services;
- Carrying out of transactions within a day in the SEPA zone;
- The possibility of opening multi-currency accounts;
- An extended ATM network, including access to the Multibanco zero-fee system;
- Access to low-interest-rate lending;
- Transparent terms of maintenance and lending to business.
Peculiarities of Opening an Account with the Bank in Madeira
Madeira banks are friendly to their non-resident clients. In order to start working with them successfully, you will need to collect and prepare all the necessary documents and pass a conventional verification procedure. You will not have any difficulties in preparing your papers with the assistance and support of our professional consultants. Please consider the following conditions and limitations of working with the clients.
You do not have to make a down payment to open a corporate bank account in Madeira. In addition, there are no mandatory conditions for keeping the minimum balance in the account.
Client support is available not only in Portuguese, but also in English. You can control your account remotely using multifunctional Internet banking, a specialized application that is installed on a mobile phone or other client’s device.
The bank has no restrictions on the number of transactions made during a month or a year. Depending on the destination of payment, transactions can take up to two banking days. Urgent payments can be processed for a fee.
Should you wish to find out if you can open a non-resident corporate bank account in Madeira, please feel free to contact our experts. Although banks are foreign clients-friendly, they most likely will not work with the citizens whose countries are on the OFAC Sanctions List.
Banks of Madeira, thanks to existing international agreements with other banking institutions, offer special conditions for cooperation to people from the following countries:
Restrictions on Business Activities
Banks work with companies established in any country (except for those under sanctions), or offshore companies (incorporated in the special economic zone of Madeira). At the same time, bankers will be paying special attention to the licenses required to carry out the following activities:
- Financial services;
- Real estate operations.
Currency for Account Opening and Transfers
Clients are free to carry out currency transactions at a Madeira bank in the following foreign currencies:
|· US dollar||USD|
|· Swiss franc||CHF|
|· Pound sterling||GBP|
|· Canadian dollar||CAD|
|· South African rand||ZAR|
|· Hong Kong dollar||HKD|
|· New Zealand dollar||NZD|
|· Singapore dollar||SGD|
|· Japanese yen||JPY|
|· Australian dollar||AUD|
|· Norwegian krone||NOK|
|· Danish krone||DKK|
|· Swedish krone||SEK|
|· Macau pataca||MOP|
|· Polish zloty||PLN|
Regular transactions with non-currency accounts are carried out in euro (EUR). The client must specify the IBAN (International Bank Account Number) and the SWIFT of the bank to which the payment is made, in their payment document.
Types of Accounts
Non-residents can open a bank account in Madeira in any of the available formats. For corporate purposes, you can open:
- A current account in foreign currency;
- An account with quick access to your deposit;
- A baseline terms account;
- A minimum services account.
In addition, 4 types of savings accounts and more than 20 investment product options are available to non-residents. It is also possible to get a mortgage loan, a bank guarantee, a vehicle leasing.
Types of Bank Cards
Non-residents can take advantage of Madeira payment bank cards, in particular:
- Credit cards (classic, gold, championship, port);
- Debit cards (universal and electronic);
- Prepaid cards (cash bracelet).
Service Rates of the Bank in Madeira
Foreign companies are encouraged to use a standard set of banking services at a perfectly reasonable price. In addition to that, we should also outline the advantages which make opening of a non-resident bank account in Madeira especially attractive:
- Transactions in any of the 16 recognized world currencies;
- Products with no minimum deposit and balance requirements;
- Fast international payment transactions;
- The possibility of receiving payments from anywhere in the world;
- Full-fledged and convenient internet banking.
Current Account Service Terms
Choosing this product will provide the client with many advantages, including the following:
- Access to convenient mobile banking apps for making fast transactions;
- Debit cards (Electron, VISA);
- Access to the international credit cards;
- Free order for regular payments;
- Bank transfers.
To open a classic corporate bank account in Madeira, you will need to pay the bank an additional fee of EUR 50.
Account Maintenance Terms with a Minimum Set of Services
Clients are provided with access to a minimum set of banking services. There are certain restrictions regarding opening such an account based on the existing relations with the bank, i.e. whether other accounts are opened. In addition, there are age restrictions for those in charge of opening and managing the account. Though there are no restrictions for people aged 18 to 65.
Here is the list of services available:
- Opening and maintaining of a current account;
- Debit card for account transactions;
- Account transactions via ATMs, residential banking and bank branches;
- Cash withdrawals, deposits, payments for goods and services, direct debit and national intra-bank transfers.
Baseline Account Maintenance Terms
To take advantage of a number of banking products, we would advise you to open a baseline bank account in Madeira. A fixed monthly payment is charged for the maintenance of this account. Usually it is 6.25 to 15 EUR (and a stamp duty of 4%).
This service will give you the following benefits:
- The opportunity to receive a debit card per holder with an exemption from the annual fee;
- Free national intra-bank transfers via any channel of the bank;
- The possibility of paying your bills for goods and services;
- Cash service including the possibility of depositing money directly to the account.
Clients can also take advantage of these additional features (to be paid for extra):
- Ordering additional payment cards issued by a Madeira bank.
This account assumes certain restrictions. Businessmen can open this type of account for private purposes only. Opening of a classic settlement account in any currency of your choice is recommended for the professional activities.
Multibank Channel Service
This service allows the client to have a direct and the most reliable connection with the bank. The service is based on the Multibank Channel communication platform. The use of this service will help your company improve its security and automate the reconciliation procedures for accounts, payments and direct debit. It will also provide a greater control of financial transactions.
Have a look at its main advantages:
- Connection to the bank via an Internet Protocol (IP) using the Electronic Banking Internet Communication Standard (EBICS);
- High level of automation of sending and receiving transactions to and from various banks without the need for manual intervention;
- The transfer of files relating to payments, debt collection in Portugal and the SEPA area;
- The possibility of automated inclusion of information received from different banks;
- High level of security of information flows sent and/or received from other banks;
- Greater efficiency in transferring significant volumes of operations;
- The possibility of introducing automated bank reconciliations.
This service can be enjoyed by the companies that use ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) together with the cash flow management software or a special communication module that uses the EBICS (Electronic Banking Internet Communication Standard) transmission protocol.
You can subscribe to any of the above mentioned services at once when you open your account or afterwards by signing a relevant contract with a Madeira bank.
It is important: Please consult our experts to find out what type of account is available for opening and what documents you would need to prepare for ordering one of the additional services.
Bank Transfers to/from Portugal
Madeira banks cooperate with a number of international banks on special terms. For example, those clients who plan to make transfers to Angola, Mozambique or Spain can expect shorter transaction times and more competitive rates, regardless of the transaction amounts.
In order to take advantage of these preferential conditions, you should pay attention to the terms offered by the bank you plan to open your account with. You can make payments to Angola in euro or U.S. dollars for as little as 7.5 EUR (regardless of the transaction amount). The payment will be made within 1 to 3 business days. Transfers to Mozambique are effected in euro or U.S. dollars for as little as 10 to 12.5 EUR.
Transfers to the SEPA area are fully processed by the bank without any participation of intermediaries. To make the payment, you must provide the recipient’s details, i.e. name, full address and IBAN. The fee for such a payment is the same as for transfers inside Portugal.
The deposit service can be used by both individuals and companies (residents and non-residents). The minimum initial deposit is 250 EUR and the minimum balance is 25 EUR. The deposit period is 1 to 367 days, and fixed-term deposits (up to 7 days) cannot be extended. Interest is paid on the payment date or at the time of early withdrawal of the deposit.
How Do I Open a Bank Account in Madeira?
To open a corporate account for a non-resident, you will have to provide all the documents requested by the bank on the company you already opened in Portugal or plan to open, and fill out the bank forms. A Madeira bank will carry out a verification procedure and present the decision on opening your account or rejection. If you wish to ensure your successful passing of the verification and not getting rejected for the reasons of poor preparation of the documents package, please do not hesitate to ask for the assistance of our specialists.
Corporate Account Opening Procedure:
Opening of a corporate account with a Madeira bank cannot do without the help of professional consultants. All the documents must be translated into Portuguese. In addition, you will need to get them notarized.
Corporate Account Opening Procedure:
- We will offer you signing a consulting services contract to open a corporate account with a Madeira bank. Please send us your request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Afterwards we will ask you to pay for our services, from 1500 EUR in this case. We accept the following payments: WebMoney, payment card, bank transfer, PayPal, or Western Union.
- Having done that, you will need to fill out the bank forms and prepare your documents. At this Pre-Approval Stage, we will carefully study your papers and provide our professional advice.
Useful tip: Please note that the bank may request additional documents that will need to be provided in the shortest possible time.
Documents Required for Opening a Corporate Bank Account in Madeira
To open a bank account in Madeira, a foreign company will need to prepare the following documents:
- Passport copies for the beneficiary, the company director and the person who will control the account.
- Company’s Articles of Association.
- NIPC tax number.
- Confirmation of tax residency.
- Lists of shareholders, directors, investors (upon demand).
- List of counterparties (upon demand).
You can file these documents remotely. A visit to the bank is only possible upon a separate request.
Timelines for Opening a Corporate Bank Account in Madeira
If the bank does not have more questions or does not require any additional documents when carrying out the verification procedure, the period of opening an account is usually up to 15 days (excluding the documentation forwarding). It should be taken into account that the banks in Madeira are branches of the parent organizations located in Lisbon. Therefore, foreigners can come across a delay due to the additional documentation request made by the head office.
To understand if your verification could be delayed, please do contact us in advance. We can pre-assess the risks of your business and predict the time the bank would take to carry out your verification.
Please do not hesitate to ask our experts and find out all the details on how to open a corporate bank account in Madeira. Please feel free to write to us to email@example.com.