Every now and then foreign expats and investors often enquire about a single query, and that is, whether they can open a bank account in Sri Lanka or not.
The answer is yes, they can open a bank account, but there is a catch for foreign individuals when it comes to the bank account opening. This article explains those catches and limitations along with eligibility and requirements an overseas individual must handle in this particular subject.
As mentioned earlier, opening a bank account is possible but it is unlike the current or savings account that an individual citizen of Sri Lanka can operate on their name or business. A foreign individual can open a Personal Foreign Currency Account or (PFC account). This is a special type of account that can be opened in foreign currencies carried by the overseas client. Just like an ordinary bank account, this type of account gives attractive interests against the deposits. This also comes up facilities such as remittance transfer to the individual’s country of origin for any investments.
This type of bank account in Sri Lanka can be opened with following currencies:
Offers a foreigner can enjoy
Types of Non-Resident Foreign Currency Accounts (NRFC)
This special type of account comes in two categories, this can either be a savings accounts or fixed deposit Accounts
In case of savings accounts, minimum balance supposed to be USD 500, which although may slightly vary from one bank to other or for current exchange rate of the currency. Here the interest rates are calculated on regular and monthly basis of the deposited capital.
In case of fixed deposits accounts, balance supposed to be at least USD 1000, which may vary from one bank to other, and also depends on latest exchange rate of the foreign currency. Here the interest rates are payable on maturity basis of the original deposited capital. The maturity typically takes a period of 1,2,3,6, or 12 months of duration according to the scheme chosen.
Who deals with this account processing?
Generally, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka take the charge of supervising any bank correspondences in Sri Lanka. In typical scenario, Sri Lankan central bank gave authorization to three financial bodies listed below, to deal with bank account processing including NRFC account.
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