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Opening a bank account in Gambia

Hi all,

is it difficult for expats to open a bank account in Gambia ?

Which documents are required to open a bank account in Gambia ?

How long does it take to open it ?

Is there any restriction for expats regarding the services (loans for instance)  ?

Which bank would you recommend ?

Thanks in advance for your participation,

Julien

To open a bank account you need to go to the Tax Office for a TIN number Take a Gambian with you, or you will wait all day! Then go to your local  branch of Standard Chartered or Trust Bank with your TIN number, Passport and 2 photographs. Unfortunately there is no internet banking in Gambia. I don't know about loans,so can't help there

Thanks for helping p-sagnia-caine ;)

Armand

Why should you wait all day if you go to the tax office without a Gambian, don't they speak English? Or are you suggesting there is discrimination practised by the tax authorities in The Gambia? Is it not just as easy to ask politely but firmly why you are being kept waiting and if you are still kept waiting ask to see the minister, who you believe you may have met recently!

I never needed one to open an account.......I just needed a photograph or two. And an address, or just name of village I was in. I just took all my money out last week, lost a lot as the dalasi has declined, wouldn't matter exceot I had borrowed it from the bank in Australia anyway! But have heard some scary news regarding banks not being very safe at the moment, better to be safe than sorry. Is Standard Chartered safer because it is an overseas bank? Oh also you need to be careful of fees charged, some of the banks have a ridiculous charge if your balance gets below a certain amount and before you know it all your money is gone.

Why do you want a bank account? Most transactions are in cash or by internet transfer between £/Euro accounts in Europe.  Getting cash out of a bank means a queue of at least an hour and there are not many ATMs. Unless you are running a business I really wouldn't bother (I did and wish I hadn't - I had to withdraw 3 carrier bags of cash to buy a car because it was too difficult to process a cheque - a long story!). If you travel, bring some cash with you and/or use a money transfer service. Western Union are everywhere but expensive and there are cheaper options if you trawl the internet.

Standard Charter no longer accept Ex-Pats opening accounts in Gambia. 
GT Bank is one of the best banks for Ex-Pats in the Gambia.  You can have a sterling account with them and draw the money out in £s so that you have a choice at what rate of exchange you chose, rather than accepting a bank rate, which is usually lower than the FX bureau's.   

GT Bank also keep you up to date via email on your accrued interest and text you when transactions occur on the account.  You need a TIN number, Passport Photo's X 2, an Address , Email address and Mobile number.

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