Turkey has people from around the globe visiting and residing here. Several ex-pats have settled in Turkey to work, study, or retire in a lively and culturally-rich environment. If you're a foreigner planning to start a business or relocate to Turkey, you need to open a local bank account to carry out your financial processes and have a mobile phone number and internet connection.
Why do you need to open a bank account in Turkey?
Today, having a bank account has become one of the necessities to meet the demands of modern life. Whether you are a student, an employee, or a tourist, opening a bank account in Turkey will give you the following benefits:
Paying the fees due (study installments, purchase-rent)
Paying all the utility bills (water, gas, electricity, internet)
Ease of online shopping through credit cards.
Banks have their smartphone applications for conducting all the processes so you don't have to personally visit the bank.
Opening a Turkish bank account as a non-resident
It is undoubtedly going to be very difficult but it's possible. Banks are generally helpful but will be more willing to assist you if you have a significant sum of money to deposit. Proof of residence is optional to open a foreign currency account. If you don't have the necessary papers, be prepared to answer a lot of questions. The main task is getting a Republic of Turkey Tax Identification Number, which most banks need to establish an account. A non-resident may obtain it but your bank will guide you with the best way to proceed and assist you with your application.
Which bank is the best for foreigners in Turkey?
Turkey has a large number of excellently organized banks that provides customer assistance in English and other foreign languages. Banking is one of the everyday necessities regardless of where you live or what you do because of the facilities and benefits it provides. The Turkish banking system has progressed enough to meet the needs of foreigners and ex-pats in the country. Various foreigners have opened bank accounts in different government and private banks in the country. Here we have a list of banks in Turkey with English helplines for foreigners. They also have customized products and services for international clients. In this blog, we have listed the best banks in Turkey where foreigners can open a bank account. Let's check them:
It's the oldest bank in the country established in 1863. Because it operates under German laws it also has overseas branches, especially in Germany. It provides western union service on top of the standard bank services for regular use as well. They have a multi-lingual customer service team helping with banking and insurance services. With headquarters in Ankara, it has 1,770+ branches throughout Turkey. Ziraat bank also offers great flexibility in financial transactions and easy account opening for employees, investors, students, and foreigners.
With more than 900+ branches and plenty of ATMs, it's the fourth-largest private bank in turkey. This bank has a separate banking section in English for all foreigners. Yapi Kredi is a great bank for investment since they have all kinds of solutions related to Buying or Selling Mutual Funds, BStock Transactions, and others. They can also assist you with insurance and loans, savings and current accounts, debit and credit cards, and special accounts tailored for international clients and foreign residents.
Headquartered in Istanbul, It is Turkey's second-largest bank and has English-speaking service specialists in its branches, English-speaking executives on the phone, and a website in English. Their products and services are tailored for ex-pats including multi-currency accounts and international cards. The bank has 49.85% of its share held by the Spanish bank Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (known as BBVA). Garanti BBVA has 872 in Turkey, 18636+ employees, and a Western Union association. The overseas banking division of GarantiBBVA focuses on providing all its services in English, including internet, telephone banking, ATM, and English-speaker staff.
Founded in Adana in 1948, its headquarters is in Istanbul. The bank has a strategic partnership with Citigroup in which Citigroup acquires 20% of the equity’s stake. Akbank has more than 716 branches throughout Turkey and 2000+ employees, a full set of products, accounts, and card offers with some specially designed for foreigners and international clients. This large and well-established bank has a good phone app, phone banking, and SMS services. Apart from the usual offerings, the company also offers tax consultancy services and a foreign traveler card that allows cardholders to accumulate miles when they travel.
Founded in 1938 in Istanbul, it was initially owned by the financial service institution “Dexia”, then from 2012 to 2019 by a Russian bank “Sberbank” and afterward an Emirati group “Emirates NBD” is fully in charge of the financial services that DenizBank provides. DenizBank has 740 branches throughout Turkey. It’s extremely popular with foreigners who want to deposit money in an interest-giving saving account, as it offers one of the best rates in the market. Its popularity is greatly supported by the English-speaker personnel in all the branches and an English website.
Also known as "the Turkish bank for foreigners", it has a separate foreign banking section on the English websites. Its branches provide banking services for foreigners and offer one-on-one communication with English-Speaker representatives. İsbank was founded in 1924 by Mustafa Kemal Atatürkand is the largest private bank by the size of its assets and equity. Headquartered in Istanbul, it has a total of more than 24,053 employees and 1,271 branches throughout Europe, the Middle East, and some Asian countries (Germany, France, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Netherlands, Bulgaria, Northern Cyprus, Russia, Georgia, Iraq, Bahrain, Egypt, Shanghai etc).
Which bank will be the best in Turkey for foreigners and non-residents will depend on your needs and preferences, whether or not you speak Turkish or and whether or not you have proof of residence in the country. All the mentioned banks will have their processes for opening accounts so kindly check the details on their websites once. We also suggest you set up an appointment with an English-speaking relationship manager.
How to open a bank account in Turkey
Anyone can open a Turkish bank account as long as they have the required documents. Although the process of opening a bank account may differ from one Turkish bank to another, standard procedures must be followed.
Documents you need to open a Turkish bank account
The documents required for foreigners to open a bank account in Turkey vary in three forms: foreigners who reside in Turkey, non-resident foreigners, and business owners requiring a bank account for their company.
Documents needed for foreigners residing in Turkey:
Residence, work permit, or temporary protection ID
Address document (utility bill, rental contract, or ID register copy).
Documents needed for non-resident foreigners:
The tax number is taken from the tax office
A valid passport
Translated copy of official address proof (utility bill or rent contract).
Companies must receive a tax identification number to open a bank account in Turkey. For the tax ID number, the company’s Articles of Association, a filled application form, and proof of the registered address are needed. Corporate bank accounts can be opened only by a director with signing authority. The following documents are also required to be submitted to the local bank:
Tax ID number,
The company’s Articles of Association,
Proof of the registered address of the company.
What are the steps to open a Turkish bank account by an individual?
A foreigner with a work or residence permit in Turkey and a valid foreign national identity number can open a bank account without any restrictions by going to a bank of their choice or online via the official websites of the banks. There is no restriction on which bank to choose or how many bank accounts to open.
Prepare your valid passport (not older than ten years),
Get a copy of your address proof such as a copy of your electric, water, or phone bill with your name on it
Get your tax ID number from the tax office or your valid foreign national identity number
Go to a Turkish bank of your choice to open an account.
Steps to open a bank account in Turkey for a foreign company:
All companies whether national or foreign, are obliged to open a bank account in Turkey to set up their business and execute financial operations such as money transactions, depositing share capital, etc. Business owners must open corporate bank accounts before registering their companies in Turkey.
Prepare the company’s Articles of Association
Fill out the application form
Have the proof of the registered address of the company
Get your company’s tax ID number from the tax office
A director with signing authority has to go to a Turkish bank to open an account.
We hope this information was useful and you've learned about the biggest banks in Turkey. In case you are also interested in purchasing property for residence or future gains, please contact Prime Property Turkey immediately. Our team of experts will be more than happy to help you. We are a professional Turkish real estate agency that focuses majorly on global investors
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