Latvian Bank Account

Latvia is an attractive financial and trading centre to facilitate business operations in this region, due to its location between CIS and Western countries and membership in European Union. The country has highly sophisticated banking system within Eastern Europe.

There are 30 banks in Latvia, 10 of them are branches of foreign banks. The number of Latvian commercial banks has grown significantly since the crisis of 1998, when there were 22 banks.

All Latvian banks working with non-resident customers offer full range of services including credit cards, online (Internet) banking and other remote account management tools.

Latvian offshore bank accounts once were quite popular and well-known vehicle for conducting international business. About twenty international banks offered the service of opening personal and corporate accounts to international clients.

Now, it is hardly possible to open offshore bank account in one of Latvian banks, because of changed legislation and more strict rules especially concerning due diligence and customer’s identity. Being member of the European Union, Latvia brought its legislation concerning foreign investments in accordance with EU standards. Latvia also strengthened the regulations governing the formation of Latvian companies by foreign investors, and this step has reduced the number of possible business entities that can be incorporated under the Latvian law.

Offshore Banking in Latvia

Latvian offshore bank accounts once were quite popular and well-known vehicle for conducting international business. About twenty international banks offered the service of opening personal and corporate accounts to international clients.

Now, it is hardly possible to open offshore bank account

in one of Latvian banks, because of changed legislation and more strict rules especially concerning due diligence and customer’s identity. Being member of the European Union, Latvia brought its legislation concerning foreign investments in accordance with EU standards. Latvia also strengthened the regulations governing the formation of Latvian companies by foreign investors, and this step has reduced the number of possible business entities that can be incorporated under the Latvian law.

This is information on the banks that offered offshore account opening services to non-residents, for very reasonable fees. All of these banks have preserved their good reputation until now, although some of them have changed their name and/or holders, and the services they are providing cannot be considered offshore because of changed legislation that was adjusted to international regulations.

Rietumu Banka is one of the banks that offered offshore banking services to its clients. The services of the bank include private banking, private bank accounts and a full range of payment cards, among them secured credit cards Visa and MasterCard. Opening/deposit fee taken by the bank for offshore bank account was just €100, as for most of the other banks.

Aizkraukles Banka offered offshore bank accounts for private international clients.

Multibanka, the oldest commercial bank in Latvia which in 2008 was officially registered under the name of SMP Bank, offered multi-currency payment accounts to non-residents, allowing the account holders to store and perform transactions with different currencies in one account.

Parex Banka, the bank which was bailed out by the Government of Latvia and after restructuring split into two divisions, Parex and Citadele, was popular as the bank providing current accounts to non-residents, both private individuals and corporate entities. The clients could apply online for offshore bank account in Parex banka.

Lateko Banka (now Norvik Banka) provided settlement accounts to non-resident individuals. Paritate Bank was also offering many offshore financial services. In most of the banks, due diligence requirements included passport copy and authorized Signature Card. These banks offered secure Visa/MasterCard credit cards and Maestro or VISA electron debit cards, and Cirrus ATM cards.