Opening a bank account in Nepal

Hi all,

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

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

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,


its easy.
nabil n investment is gud.
c ya

Hi ayaka123!

Thanks for your help ;)


Opening a bank account for a local is easy Ayaka, for a foreigner it is not so straight forward...

First thing is that there is no common way of opening a bank account, every bank uses it's own set of rules and regulations. I have bank accounts with three banks now, and all asked for different information. Basically they all want to know
a) who you are, and
b) if you can be trusted.

All banks want to see your passport (and copy it), and not all will open an account for foreigners on 'just' a tourist visa.

I have been asked for a reference letter from a bank in my home country where I have been banking for years by one bank (NIBL bank), when opening a bank account in name of my Nepalese company. They would not open a personal bank account for me at that time.

I have been visited at my office by bank employees to check out if I really had an office by one bank (Nabil Bank), and after they verified my office, then quickly also issued personal bank accounts for me.

And at Standard Chartered Bank I have been able to open a personal bank account on reference (introduction) of a Nepalese person who had a bank account there also. He stated (on paper) that he knew me and thought I would be a good customer for them, and then I could open a bank account. 

All banks ask you to keep a minimum amount in you account, or start paying hefty fees over your account until it's depleted, after which they will cancel the account. Minimum balances are set by the employee opening your account, and can be played with / negotiated, and I am sure having a company backing me, will have made a difference in that. For Nabil the minimum balance was set rather low, for NIBL it was medium at an equivalent of about EUR 100 and Standard Chartered set the highest minimum balance at equivalent of EUR 500.

In my idea Standard Chartered is providing best services to foreigners, since most inbound foreign transfers are routed through Standard Chartered bank. Having an account at Standard Chartered makes for one less step where things can go wrong. Also Standard Chartered has arguably the best online banking facilities and offers a good western like service in the offices.

I have great trust in all three banks mentioned here, I do not expect any one of these to go belly-up any day soon. The policies of the Nepal's Central Bank (Nepal Rastra Bank - ) are quite sound and are really being enforced (for a change..!).

Nabil Bank -
Standard Chartered Bank -

Foreigners are allowed to have bank accounts both in Nepalese Rupees and in foreign currencies (EUR / US$ / others). Foreigners are allowed to transfer foreign currency out of the country again without special permissions. Nepalese people are not.

The Nepalese Rupee is not a freely convertible currency, and once you convert your foreign currency to Nepalese Rupees, then there is no straight forward way to convert it back to a foreign currency again. Officially it should be possible, but it will be a real hassle to get it done, and there are no assurances you will manage to exchange it back again eventually...

Please understand, these are just my personal experiences, and I am no expert on this. Just my 2 cents...


Thanks for your contribution Jorge!:top:


Hello all, this is my first post on the forum.  I arrived in Nepal 3 weeks ago and plan on being here for a while..

I recently opened a personal account at Standard Chartered in KTM.  The process was quick and painless.

A Nepali friend who also banks with SC accompanied me to the bank just to help with the language barrier (not really necessary, the employee I dealt with spoke fluent English), but I did not see me friend sign anything stating that he would vouch for me as a good customer. 

I am here currently under a tourist visa, and the only documents required were my passport and a passport photo.  The minimum deposit was 11,000NPR which I payed in cash.

I was told that once I deposit into my rupee account, I will not be able to wire money back to my US account.  In order to do that I will need to open a USD denominated account, which I was told we be equally as painless.  The big catch is that my accounts will only be accessible while I am staying here with a valid visa.  If I leave Nepal I will not be able to access my accounts until I return under a valid visa (sounds crazy for an international bank but that's what the banker told me).

Having an account here will save me a lot: the ATMs were charging me a flat 400NPR with every withdrawl from my US account!  I did find that the ATMs at Standard Charted did not charge me when I drew from my US account though..

The one irritation in this experience was trying to wire money from my US bank.  Standard Charted Nepal gave me wire instructions with SWIFT codes only.  My US bank asked for a routing number for the corresponding bank in the US, which the Nepali bank could not provide.  Rather than search for the routing number, I just sent a Western Union to myself from my US bank and will deposit the cash here in Nepal. 

Had to wait three days for my ATM card and checkbook, but all his been pretty smooth. 


Welcome to elektromantra and thanks for your help.;)


[Moderated: please post in classifieds]

Hey everyone, I know the thread is kind of old but I have a few questions. I spent some time in Nepal this past year at an Orphanage and plan to return for a longer period of time. I want to help some of the older kids at the orphanage since they will soon have to leave the orphanage and be on their own. I want to continue to support them monetarily but am not sure how I would go about setting them up with a bank account. How does it work in Nepal for the Nepalese? Do I need to first get them ID cards, and are there certain age requirements, or will they need a guardian? Can I deposit money in the account if I am in a different city or country? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Sincerely, Nick

Hi Nick,

For opening a bank account Nepali people need to show their Government issued Identity Card (their Citizenship Card).
Children aged 16 and up can request a Citizenship Card, but the process of receiving one can be hairy...

The normal process for receiving a Citizenship Card would be
a) go to the VDC office (Village Development Committee, kind of like town hall)  with your birth certificate and have them write a letter which identifies/certifies you as a person, and recommend the government to give you a C.Card.
b) with this letter you go to the CDO (Chief District Office) and request for your C.Card.

Since you're talking about an orphanage, you can expect difficulties regarding unavailable birth certificates, and all other kind of odd situations. Not all orphans living in Nepalese orphanages have no parents or no family, but might be kicked out of the orphanage on saying so.

But... if they DO have their birth certificates, the process to obtain a C.Card is not too hard and opening a bank account is a rather simple act after that.

Not all banks have the exact same rules and regulations, so from bank to bank the process might differ somewhat, but basically the banks just want to know who the person requesting the bank account is, and if he/she can be trusted. The first is established by showing the Citizenship Card (and having it copied, give thumb prints, photo's, autograph, etc. etc. etc.) The trust part is sometimes ignored or sometimes the requester needs to bring some other Nepali person who has a bank account with the same bank to vouch for him/her. This is where different banks have different rules.

Another thing to think of, is which bank to choose.
If you want to transfer money by online banking then you should realize that online banking usually only works within a bank and its branches, not from one bank to the next bank. This would mean that all your orphans should take their bank accounts from the same bank where you have your account. That way you can transfer money from abroad in a lump-sum to your own Nepalese bank account, and then distribute it to the various bank accounts from your own account. This way you would limit the high bank charges on international bank transfers.

Which touches the next point;
How often are you visiting Nepal?
For as a foreigner you can have a Nepali bank account while you are in Nepal, but usually a bank account will be frozen if you go abroad and don't return for some time. Again different banks have different ways of dealing with these rules and regulations, but many freeze your account on the day your visa expires, assuming you have left the country by then. Others freeze it after 6 months of no activity on the account.

I hope this helps some, and I wish you all the best!


Many banks here in Nepal do not open accounts for those on a tourist visa. If you have a student or business visa you will need one. It would help if expats would provide some names of tourist friendly banks on this topic here. I tried to open an account at Siddhartha Bank and I was told 'no.' Thinking back, I don't think the person wanted to work to open it for me.

I got a savings account at the Tourism Bank and it was very easy, but I went with a Nepali friend.

I actually wrote a book to help tourists with their money here in Nepal, but this is subject is not covered in as much detail as I would have liked simply because of all the research going to all the banks. It also depends on who you talk with. While you are in Nepal never accept the first 'No' you get; confirm everything. There are some great tips on ATM machines and saving money, and many other money issues-over 200 pages.

One tip from the book: Always use the 'Tourist Friendly' ATM machines. These are the ones that you never have to let go of the card. A Nepali police officer told me he lost his card when the electricity went out and the machine ate it. Always go during banking hours, with a guard outside and use the tourist friendly design. Also, if you are in Thamel you can go to the Everest Bank (on the street with Pilgrims Guest House) and you can find no fees at that tourist friendly machine. Or you can go up to New Road or to any of the ATM lounges. There you will find the better machines and if one wants to charge you just try another machine. These lounges usually have generators so load shed won't be as much of an issue.

You can read my blog on expat here or at

FrugalTravels wrote:

Also, if you are in Thamel you can go to the Everest Bank (on the street with Pilgrims Guest House) and you can find no fees at that tourist friendly machine. Or you can go up to New Road or to any of the ATM lounges. There you will find the better machines and if one wants to charge you just try another machine. These lounges usually have generators so load shed won't be as much of an issue.

The Standard Chartered ATM in Kathmandu Guesthouse also charges no fees in regards to foreign bank cards. I try to always use that one with my standard chartered account as well as my Australian bank card (if I am desperate to use it).

I have an account with Standard Chartered and the only problem I have ever come across was when I was in Nepalgunj. The branch there just happened to be closed the day I was there and I was desperate for money. The security guards wouldn't let me access the ATM either. So I was forced to try to withdraw cash from the other banks ATMs, but they wouldn't accept my card. I guess that it because it is just a debit card. In the end, I had to withdraw money from my Australian account.

Other than this, I have never had a problem with Standard Chartered and would recommend them to a foreigner re-locating here. Although, I have only had my account with them for 3 months.

i want to open new bank account in nepal

Hello sureshlama1111 -> Did you read the thread completely? There are some informations that could help you. If you have questions, do not hesitate to ask them. :)

Thank you,

They changed a lot of the banking ATM machines in Kathmandu and Bhaktapur-I guess for all of Nepal. There are a lot more banks that charge 400 NRs. per transaction than last year. You can avoid it sometimes; when it says there will be a charge and asks if you want to continue just press 'no' and go elsewhere. There are banks that do not charge an international fee.

There are a lot of helpful suggestions on banking and saving money on bank charges in Nepal: On a Budget eBook. I also wrote some good tips in the blog post on 'Getting your vacation of to a good start.' Check it out at

Thank you so much for your information! I still need to read your book!!

I have a friend and he only uses Nabil Bank when he his foreign ATM card. They charge 400 rs per transaction, however, he can withdraw up to 35000 rs at once. Most other ATMS will only let you withdraw 10000 rs or 15000 rs including the ones that don't charge 400 rs. Plus, he has to pay his American bank US$7 each time he uses a foreign ATM.
So to take out roughly $400 he gets charged $12 in fees ($7 from his American bank and $5 from Nabil Bank in Nepal).
If he goes to a Nepali ATM that doesn't charge the 400 rs, the maximum withdrawal limit is 10000rs. So to get 30000 rs, he would have to pay $21 in transaction fees ($7 to his American bank three times).
If he went to a Nepali ATM that charges the 400 rs fee and has a 15000 rs withdrawal limit, to get 30000 rs, he would have to pay a total of $24 in ATM fees ($7 to his American bank twice, $5 to the nepal bank twice).
So if you are planning on using a foreign card in Nepal, I suggest using Nabil Bank ATMs and withdrawing a large amount of money at once, unless you have something like a tavelex card that doesn't charge international ATM fees.

I hope this all makes sense :o

Another option, which takes some planning ahead, could cost you even less:

Open a foreign currency account with Nabil bank (perferably the same currency as your creditcard bills - personally I have a Nepali Rupee account, a US$ account and a Euro account with Nabil bank, so don't let them tell you it's not possible).

Put your creditcard on the counter and tell them you want them to manually charge your creditcard for a large sum of money (however large you plan to spend in Nepal) and have them deposit it in your foreign currency account. This should be a single transaction, and only incur costs once.

Then take a chequebook for your foreign currency account, and an ATM card for your Nepali Rupee account. Transfer limited foreign currency from your foreign currency account to your Nepali Rupee account, and withdraw for free from all Nabil ATM's your Nepali Rupees from your Nepali Rupee account.

Whatever you have left in your foreign currency account, you can withdraw as foreign currency cash (can take a few days since the bank office probably will not have enough foreign currency notes in their safe and need to pre-order this themselves first). Or you can have it transfered back to your home bank account by international wire transfer.

Once you transfer / exchange your foreign currency to your Nepali Rupee account, you cannot (easily) exchange it back. Officially it is possible, but it's so much hassle that it's usually not worth the trouble.


can i open the online nabil bank account

plz advice

i want to open my  account in this bank fpr saving money

hi.. I would like to say thanks

I want to create my personal bank account.

i need to open bank account in nepal

Hi abhijeet.bhatta and puran222,

Welcome to Expat-Blog :)

Can you please introduce yourself ?

Thank you

Expat-blog Team

I think Standard Chartered would go well. I see it on the map of Katmandu on a major street. Good luck.

hello and nmaste

@ rahul kumar keyal --> Some useful informations to share in relation with the topic 'Opening a bank account in Nepal' :rolleyes:

I need to update this because I heard Everest bank, although doesn't say there is a charge you may see it on your bank statement. You actually need a business visa to bank in Nepal.

Hi all , I am from India and my wife is a Nepalese citizen. We had no problems opening an account for her from Everest Bank Ltd while I was there on vacation.However , I would like to know if I can open an account for myself in USD and not NPR. Suggestions welcome . Thanks in advance.

[Moderated: Off Topic.]

[Moderated: Off topic.]

From reading thread, I get a sense of how to open a bank account in Nepal, but what is the best way to transfer funds to that Nepal bank from your home country bank?  (Any banks that handle this easier than others, etc.)?

Do an online check of the Nepali bank to see if it has a SWIFT code which allows international transfers.
If so, then you should be able to do internet bank transfer.

Actually, when I wrote that response above I did not know that the fees from Standard Chartered came out anyway, but were not disclosed. Others have confirmed the same thing. There is only one bank that I can find nowadays that doesn't charge the 400 NRs. international fees, which is included in my eBook. But that is only for the Visa card. If you have a Mastercard you should use Nabil bank as is mentioned in one of the responses here.

My bank in the U.S. (and this may be common with all banks) does not do Internet transfers to Nepal banks (even with the code). They only do easy Internet transfers in Asia with banks in China, India, the Philippines, or Vietnam.

Could the money be transferred to you by another method such as western union and then you can deposit it into your Nepali account.

I was told that bank transfers and the time to clear a check are both 30 days in Nepal. Paypal seems to be a good option. Western Union is very expensive. Moneygram is much less expensive.

Can Paypal be used to deposit money in Nepal banks?

So glad you are going to try to make the leap. It was the best decision I ever made and everyday I wake up with a grateful heart to be able to live in this beautiful place. Please feel free to contact me on any question (offer also open to anyone thinking about coming to Nepal).

A couple of suggestions from my eBook and blog:

You can get an international drivers' license from AAA or another auto club. It will cost you $200 if you get it here and I'm not sure it is even possible, but you should have it just in case. If you drive without one and get into an accident you would have to go to prison, mandatory.

Explore banks and get your transfers going into the right account. Chase has a checking account that will take the international charges off. If you can get an account with Standard Chartered Bank it would make banking very easy since they have banks here and they are international. Almost all the local ATM's charge 400 NRs. ($4) per transaction. There is only one, listed in my book, that has no international charge for Visa cardholders. If your bank card is Mastercard there is another one that allows you to take $300 per transaction, which will save you $8 because most only allow 10,000 NRs. per pull.

My latest blog post has an abbreviated list of things to do prior to coming to Nepal. You aren't likely to use all the advice, like buy a travel friendly bra, but it will give you some things to get you started.

Thanks for the information.  I will be sure to read Your e - book.  Last time we were in Nepal was five years ago and my Wife was carrying my Youngest Son. I'm sure things have changed, but we'll still love it.