Bahrain is home to a large number of banks. There are nearly 114 banks in Bahrain. Opening a bank account is an easy process and would majorly depend on the availability of the right document.
So, before you plan to visit the bank find out the documents required for opening a bank account. It is a very typical process in Bahrain and requires a considerable amount of paperwork, especially for expats. Owning a bank account is of utmost importance for any individual. Especially expats planning to work in Bahrain need an account so that their salary can be transferred to the account.
Bank accounts are necessary and form an essential part of your financial life. There are multiple banks present in Bahrain and can be categorized as Multinationals like Standard Chartered, HSBC, etc and Local Banks like Ahli United Bank, Bank of Bahrain and Kuwait, etc. Both of these options can be assessed neutrally and chosen on personal preference.
How to Open an Account?
In Bahrain, though it is a hub for financial technological advancements, it is necessary for a person to visit the branch and open an account. The Bank officials are usually very helpful and would assist you with the complete procedure. The most important task is getting the right documents to the bank as they have very stringent rules when opening an account.
Some banks might not ask you for all these documents and may just require a few of them.
Documents Required for Opening a Bank Account in Bahrain
- Copy of Passport
- Copy of Visa
- CPR is required for residents of Bahrain
- Copy of Work Permit
- Copy of residential address or any document that act as address proof – these can include rent/lease agreements,
- No Objection letter is required from your employer, such that your monthly salary can be transferred to the account. (This information may not be asked by all the Banks)
- Salary Certificate may be asked
- Bank statements from the previous banks. Expats can give statements from the bank in your country of origin (might not be asked by a few banks)
Some points to remember while opening a Bank Account in Bahrain
- Choose a bank that is close to either your home or your office location
- There are different bank accounts available such as current account, savings account, deposit account etc choose the one that best fits your needs
- Some bank accounts require you to maintain a minimum balance, ask about it before you open an account
- Know the exact terms and conditions of the bank before opening the account
- Cash withdrawal limit at ATM’s is an important aspect one must be aware of while opening an account
- Check what kind of benefits such as online banking, debit card, cheque book are provided by the bank.
- Look carefully for any hidden fees and charges that might get deducted from your balance.
- Expats who wish to send money to the country of origin should open accounts in banks that do not charge any fees to transfer money to another country.
Challenges faced by Expats for opening a Bank Account
- Finding the right bank that meets the requirements
- Cannot open an account before landing even if you have the documents
- It may take longer in a few cases to open an account
- A long list of Documents are required
- Cannot open a bank account online
Choosing a Bank and the type of account is a cumbersome process. When you want to open an account the first thing to decide is the bank in which you would open an account. Choosing the right bank is not an easy task as all banks would give you deals and offer and lure you to them, thus choosing adequately is vital to avoid falling in marketing traps.
The decision of what kind of account you choose to open is also crucial. In case you decide to open a savings account and are unable to maintain the monthly Balance, hefty fines may be levied on you. There are a variety of accounts available such as savings account, current account, term deposit etc. It is essential to choose the account that is right for you so that you don’t end up paying extra charges and money.
Little research and attention to detail would go a long way in saving you from any future banking hassles and extra charge.