The Andorran banking system was known for many years for its banking secrecy, private banking and opacity.
However, this model has changed a lot in the last decade with the fall of the aforementioned banking secrecy, the implementation of FATCA-CRS and the commitments against money laundering and terrorist financing.
This has meant that reputable rating agencies such as Fitch or Moody’s have rated the Andorran financial system as stable, valuing the three main banks with a BBB.
This rating reflects the resilience of the Andorran banking system and confirms that it is a great alternative to that of the European Union.
The Principality is also part of SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area) which allows various companies and organizations to make payments in euros from different parts of the European Union, under the conditions of a domestic transaction.
Andorra now aspires to once again become a major financial center by attracting international capital.
What are the best banks in Andorra?
Andorra is characterized by a solid banking system, but with little variety: today there are only five banks in the country, and over the next few months two of them will be absorbed by two others, resulting in a supply of only three major banks.
As of today, the existing banks in the country are as follows:
- Morabanc: has country banking (commercial) and international private banking.
- Crèdit Andorrà: has country (commercial) banking and international private banking.
- Andbank: international private banking.
- Banco Sabadell d’Andorra (absorbed by Morabanc): commercial banking for workers or small businessmen.
- Vallbanc (absorbed by Crédit Andorrà): private, commercial and crypto-friendly banking.
All in all, it is difficult to give a short answer to those who ask us which is the best bank in Andorra: depending on your needs, you or your company will fit better in one or the other.
If you want advice on which bank suits you, you can contact us without obligation using the form at the bottom of this page.
How to open an account in Andorra?
Any person or company can open an account in Andorra, as long as they comply with the internal regulations of each bank.
Generally, the main steps to open a bank account in Andorra are as follows:
- Choose the most suitable bank according to your characteristics (if you don’t know it, we will help you).
- Identify yourself in front of the bank with documentation such as passport or ID card.
- Pass the bank compliance procedure to prove the origin of your funds and the nature of your activity.
- Hold a face-to-face meeting in Andorra to open the account if requested to do so.
- Wait for the compliance process.
- Sign the opening.
As you can see, unlike other countries, opening a bank account in Andorra is not simple. Not in vain is a procedure that is usually done with guidance from a professional.
If you need assistance do not hesitate to tell us and our experienced professionals will help you to solve the procedure quickly and satisfactorily.
Requirements to open an account in Andorra
The minimum necessary documentation that banks usually request to open an account in Andorra is as follows:
- Identity document, ID card or passport.
- Proof of address.
- Demonstration of solvency. A recent payslip or profit balances can be submitted as proof of the solvency required to cover the high bank commissions.
- Social security number, in the case of being a resident.
- Documentation and source of funds.
- Other fiscal or banking documents, depending on the case.
Obviously, depending on the client’s profile, the amounts or assets to be handled, among other factors, the bank may request further documentation.
What is compliance in Andorran banking?
The compliance department of the banks makes sure that the person or company that intends to open an account in an Andorran bank complies with the international regulations on the prevention and fight against money laundering and financing of terrorism.
In fact, contrary to what many people believe, opening an account in Andorra is a complex procedure and involves more scrutiny than, for example, in banks in other countries.
However, although the procedure can be nerve-wracking, you can count on a successful resolution. As long as your business and the source of your money are legal, of course.
Advantages of opening an account in Andorra
Although it is possible to pay day to day expenses from foreign banks (Wise, Revolut…), new residents in Andorra will need at least a local bank account for obtaining residency, paying taxes and fees in the country among many other formalities (telephony, internet, etc).
So if you are a resident in Andorra, having a bank account is an unavoidable procedure.
You might also wonder what are the advantages of opening an account in Andorra as a non-resident. Some of them are:
- Alternative to the European banking system and country risk. If you only have bank accounts in Europe they rely on the same EBA guarantee system. A bank account in Andorra would cover you from a possible European “default”
- Andorran banks insure your deposit up to €100,000, the same as most European banks.
- It has private banking managers with decades of international experience, who are also much cheaper than their Swiss or Luxembourg competitors.
- Possibility of opening an account in view of a future change of residence or retirement in Andorra.
- Access to international private banking funds, Unit Linked, multi-currency accounts, omnibus accounts, etc.
- Alternative for Latin American or Eastern European clients in a country independent of political pressures and far from their spheres of power or dominance.
What is Andorran private banking and how much do I need to open an account?
Andorran private banking involves highly professionalized and comprehensive management of a client’s wealth.
It seeks to meet the investment, estate planning, financial and tax needs of high net worth individuals or family groups.
To be accepted into the Andorran banking elite, the client must invest at least €500,000, although in some cases a minimum of €350,000 is accepted.
Entering Andorra through private banking is usually a good idea: your manager can help you in many aspects, and may even end up being your trusted person in the country.
What products does the Andorran private banking offer?
Andorran private banking offers very diverse products that can be very attractive for large entrepreneurs, HNWI, large entrepreneurs or digital entrepreneurs. Among them we find to be:
- Access to international investment funds, equities and derivative or structured products.
- Access to Goldman Sachs international private banking through one of the leading banks in Andorra.
- Unit Linked, or international life insurance perfect for tax planning to reduce exit tax.
- Non-resident alternative bank accounts to reduce country or seizure risk.
- International omnibus accounts through multi-national banking providers.
- SICAVs (ICOs) real estate investment trusts.
Which bank to choose in Andorra?
As we have told you, some banks offer greater facilities than others for certain business activities or profiles, so if you want to open a bank account in Andorra and do not know which is the best option, contact us telling us your case and we will assist you in the choice and in the bank account opening process.
Also, in case you are interested in private banking products, do not hesitate to contact us since AndorraInc has the best contacts in International Private Banking in the country who would be happy to assist you and see if Andorra is a good fit for you.