Opening a bank account in Cape Verde

Hi all,

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

Which documents are required to open a bank account in Cape Verde  ?

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

Hi!

I have opened an account in Banco Atlantico in just half of an hour with only passport required. I waited then for about 2 weeks for card and PIN.

Take care!

Emilia

Hi Emilia!

Thanks for your help ;)

Armand

There are four main banks in CV. All have high street banks throughout CV, with ATM machines & online banking... (in Portuguese, so non Portuguese speakers will need Google Translate). All CV banks are reported to have deep reserves and to be stable and as 'safe' as any international bank.

Caixa Económica Cabo Verde (http://www.caixa.cv/)
International bank, also in Portugal, Brazil & Spain.

BCA (Banco Comercial do Atlântico) http://www.bca.cv/
Largest CV bank. Also the most popular with locals so can be extended time waiting in-line.

BI (Banco Interatlântico) http://www.bi.cv/
BCN (Banco Caboverdiano de Negócios) http://www.bcncv.com/
Both these are smaller banks, but personal service tends to be better.

An African based bank has more recently entered the market.

I bank with BCA (personal) and BI (business) – I personally prefer BI, due to superior personal service – better than UK.

Account set-up – I concur with Emilia – you just need your passport & an account can be opened within minutes, (personal & company). Then 2wks to get ATM card and a tad longer to get PIN number & online codes. This may be different now as I have not opened a new account for some 2yrs.

You MUST have a CV bank account if you invest in CV, (real estate, or business). And the bank account is linked to incorporation of a company.

Regards John Vollands

Hi Cape Verde!

Thanks for your help!

Armand

If you are opening a personal account, you need a passport and it will be immediately opened. However, you need to have a local address and a phone number in order to facilitate the process. You also need a minimum of about 2.000$00 (approx €20) to start the account. Once you've deposited that money you can immediately withdraw it if you'd like.

If you are opening a business bank account, you can also open it immediately assuming the business is already registered. In the typical situation, though, you are starting a brand new business and you are opening an associated account for the business. This process may take several weeks to complete. They account will be immediately opened and you can deposit and withdraw money, however, there is a minimum amount that you will need to have deposited in the account before the business registration is approved. That minimum depends on the type of business. Once you deposit that money, you can immediately remove it (assuming that the business has been authorized). If the business authorization is still in progress, you will have to wait till the process is complete before you can access the required deposit.

The largest bank in Cape Verde is Caixa Economica. It is partly owned by the government. I find this bank to be the most reliable. The other large bank is the BCA Group which owns BCA (Banco Comercial do Atlantico, Banco Interatlantico and Garantia - which is one of the two local insurance companies). The BCA Group is larger than Caixa Economica when taken together, but Caixa is larger than each of the companies in the BCA Group. Then there are a couple foreign banks: Banco Africano de Investimento - this is a branch of a large Angolan bank; BCN or Banco Caboverdiano de Negocios(which used to be a small under-capitalized local bank but was subsequently bought by a large Portuguese bank); and Banco Espirito Santo - the large Spanish bank - but they only have a few branches in Santiago (they are going after the business market).

Most of the banks are relatively safe. You can obtain loans under similar terms as you would in any foreign country ... in other words, banks everywhere are run by bean-counters who hate taking risk. Don't expect to walk in a get a loan just because you're coming to Cape Verde from a first-world country. You'll need to demonstrate that you have the capacity - income and assets/collateral to cover a loan.

There are a few micro-loan companies where you can get small business loans of €2,500 or less, but the interest rates are 3-4% PER MONTH. Otherwise, consider Afrosondagem, a business consulting agency, which will facilitate loans of up to €250,000.

:top:

Guys, do you know is it possible, in principle, to open a current account for non-resident company, that is not registered in CV?

Thanks in advance! :)

sergejsu wrote:

Guys, do you know is it possible, in principle, to open a current account for non-resident company, that is not registered in CV?

Thanks in advance! :)


No. Of course not! Are you not aware of money laundering regulations that are in place globally. It is absolutely NOT possible to open a current account in the name of an unregistered company. Only Cape Verdean companies registered in Cape Verde can open a current corporate account and you will be required to present all of the registration documents from the CV business registry. It only takes 48 hours to register a local business, so this won't be a problem.

However, any foreigner can open a current account on their own name. You do not have to be a resident or a citizen. You will be required to present a current passport. If you are an American citizen, your individual account will be reported to the American tax authorities (but not your business account...but the IRS still requires that you declare your foreign business income).

Angelo

Thank you very much, CVAngelo, for the respond and comprehensive explanation!

I am aware in general about AML laws, but until recent it was a common practice in many countries  to allow companies, that are established in other countries,  to open current accounts, even if they don't do any business in that country, don't have tax registration there etc. Obviously, and, yes, reasonably, requirements becoming tougher about that.

I am curios, whether CV banks for non-resident natural persons' checking accounts issue regular VISA/Mastercard debit/cards linked to that current account, so that one could use them for shopping/cash advances/internet shopping worldwide?

Cape Verde wrote:

There are four main banks in CV. All have high street banks throughout CV, with ATM machines & online banking... (in Portuguese, so non Portuguese speakers will need Google Translate). All CV banks are reported to have deep reserves and to be stable and as 'safe' as any international bank.

Caixa Económica Cabo Verde (http://www.caixa.cv/)
International bank, also in Portugal, Brazil & Spain.

BCA (Banco Comercial do Atlântico) http://www.bca.cv/
Largest CV bank. Also the most popular with locals so can be extended time waiting in-line.

BI (Banco Interatlântico) http://www.bi.cv/
BCN (Banco Caboverdiano de Negócios) http://www.bcncv.com/
Both these are smaller banks, but personal service tends to be better.

An African based bank has more recently entered the market.

I bank with BCA (personal) and BI (business)  I personally prefer BI, due to superior personal service  better than UK.

Account set-up  I concur with Emilia  you just need your passport & an account can be opened within minutes, (personal & company). Then 2wks to get ATM card and a tad longer to get PIN number & online codes. This may be different now as I have not opened a new account for some 2yrs.

You MUST have a CV bank account if you invest in CV, (real estate, or business). And the bank account is linked to incorporation of a company.

Regards John Vollands


Hey John,

I have bweb in contact with agents and juridical people in kap Verde about a business plan. They say it's so easy to take a bank loan to open something that it's for the tourists. Is it that easy, and what can the amount be?

Best regards,
Emelie

Chiming in here...

Is it (still) possible to open a personal bank account as a non-resident (tourist) in CV?
The idea is to transfer money to CV prior to moving there, in order to have some funds available upon arrival.
Will the bank send any debit card to my overseas home address once I've opened the account and left again?

Many thanks in advance for your help.

Hi Julian,

Is it (still) possible to open a personal bank account as a non-resident (tourist) in CV?  Yes. This has not changed. You need a passport, and a NIF (local tax ID number which anyone can obtain for free with just a passport). You have to give a local address and a local phone number. Since there no addresses used here and since no mail will ever be sent to you by the bank, you can just state the area where you are staying (don't give a hotel name, just the town). And local SIM cards can be obtained at the airport or phone company for €1. Also, you should provide your email address as this is the preferred method of communication by the local banks.

Will the bank send any debit card to my overseas home address once I've opened the account and left again?
Local banks don't send mail anywhere! You must go into the bank in person to pick up your debit card and your PIN. Or you can give someone the authorization to pick it up for you (but I do not advise this due to the risk that the money in your account may be at risk of being stolen by anyone who has access to your card and your PIN).

Regards,

Angelo

julianangel wrote:

Chiming in here...

Is it (still) possible to open a personal bank account as a non-resident (tourist) in CV?
The idea is to transfer money to CV prior to moving there, in order to have some funds available upon arrival.
Will the bank send any debit card to my overseas home address once I've opened the account and left again?

Many thanks in advance for your help.

Obrigado, Angelo!

Does the NIF come with any future obligations even if you do not become a resident? And where do I obtain that?

Is both (obtaining the NIF and opening a bank account) something one can do during a regular holiday visit (in other words: how long does it take)? 

Many thanks again...

Olá Julian,

Does the NIF come with any future obligations even if you do not become a resident? The NIF is just a national identification number that is assigned to you for life. You must present it whenever it is requested of you. You use it whenever you file tax returns for example to report income from work (whether or not you are a resident). It does not come with any obligations!

And where do I obtain that? You obtain the NIF at the Casa do Cidadão.

Is both (obtaining the NIF and opening a bank account) something one can do during a regular holiday visit (in other words: how long does it take)? It takes 10 minutes to obtain a NIF. It takes about 1 hour to open a bank account (and I highly recommend that you do so at BCN. I send all my expat clients there. It's the best bank in terms of services, ease of use, and for the absence of the multitudes that are waiting in line at all the other banks).

Cheers,

Angelo

julianangel wrote:

Obrigado, Angelo!

Does the NIF come with any future obligations even if you do not become a resident? And where do I obtain that?

Is both (obtaining the NIF and opening a bank account) something one can do during a regular holiday visit (in other words: how long does it take)? 

Many thanks again...

Do banks offer IBAN account numbers like in Europe ?

Can I wire money out from my personal account outside Cabo Verde ?

Can I take out money from my personal account in Europe ?

Can I get a VISA or MC debit with my personal account straight away ?
Do banks offer IBAN account numbers like in Europe ?

Can I wire money out from my personal account outside Cabo Verde ?

Can I take out money from my personal account in Europe ?

Can I get a VISA or MC debit with my personal account straight away ?
- @Saxio
The banks in Cape Verde are all international Portuguese banks except the local banks, Caixa Economica and BCN. Then there are BAI which is the largest banks in Angola, and Ecobank which is Africa's largest bank.

ALL of them offer the services you would expect of European banks.

Do banks offer IBAN account numbers like in Europe?
Yes, all banks in CV provide you with an international IBAN so that your account is recognized for international incoming and outgoing wire transfers.

Can I wire money out from my personal account outside Cabo Verde?
Of course!

Can I take out money from my personal account in Europe?
Not sure what this has to do with Cape Verdean banks. But certainly you can wire money from your personal account in Europe to an bank account in Cape Verde. All that you need is the IBAN and SWIFT code of the local bank.

Can I get a VISA or MC debit with my personal account straight away?
Yes. You may have to wait a week for the card to be produced, and then for the PIN to be provided in a seperate sealed envelope for pickup at the bank.

Angelo
@CVAngelo

As always a pro response …thanks ,Angelo 🤙😎

Taking out money from my personal cape verdian account through an ATM  in Europe ….

What are the typical costs associated with a personal account ? Any interest paid ?
@CVAngelo

As always a pro response …thanks ,Angelo 🤙😎

Taking out money from my personal cape verdian account through an ATM  in Europe ….

What are the typical costs associated with a personal account ? Any interest paid ?
- @Saxio
Yes. You can take out money from your CV account via an ATM in Europe using your CV VISA or MC debit card. Check with your specific bank for the conditions.

There are no costs associated with a personal account for everyday transactions with your account. Most local banks assess an administrative charge €5 per year. There are charges for transfering your money to another bank account that is not with the same bank. You will pay for wire transfers to/from your account. You will pay a small fee (€2.50) for currency exchange- You will pay fees for bank loans.

Local banks do not pay interest on your regular bank account. You'll need to put money on a fixed deposit account. Interest varies depending on the length of the time deposit. Don't ask me how much interest because I do not know, but it is not much as interest rates are low globally.

Cheers,

Angelo