Banking in Russia


If you have decided to settle in Russia, you will probably want to open a bank account, particularly if you are working there. Opening a bank account will not only allow you to receive your salary but also to settle your monthly bills by direct debit. The formalities for opening a bank account in Russia are not too strict and the whole process should not take more than thirty minutes. However, you can give the bank of your choice a ring to find out how long an appointment will take.

Russia hosts many national and international banks, such as:

  • Alfa Bank
  • Citibank
  • Delta Credit
  • Raiffeisenbank
  • Rosbank
  • Sberbank (Savings Bank of Russia)
  • VTB Bank.


In order to open a bank account in Russia you will need the following documents:

  • an official notarized translation of your passport (this should cost some RR 400 for legal fees RR 400 for the translation)
  • your original passport with your visa stamp
  • your immigration card
  • your foreigner's registration number.

Note that some banks have English-speaking agents which will allow you to open an account even if you do not speak, understand or read Russian. After opening your account you can register for internet banking where you can access the online banking platform in English. You will also be able to make bank transfers without having to go to the bank.

Debit cards

Once you have opened your bank account, you can request a debit card. It should be noted that many banks charge you a service fee for account maintenance. However, with savings accounts offering interest payments of up to 8%, the small fee for the account servicing will not break the bank.

 Useful links:

VTB Bank
Alfa Bank

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