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Georgia: The best banking destination that you didn't know about.
Right in the border between Eastern Europe and West Asia lies a small land of brave men that have fought for its independence since the times of the Roman Republic. It's the crossroads of the Caucasus, the Black Sea, Russia, Turkey, and Armenia.
We're talking about the land of the wolves, Georgia.
The home of the Kingdom of Queen Tamar, one of the most beautiful and strong women of her day, who grew it to one of its largest extensions, and took it to its most enormous wealth and culture.
After centuries of the Russian Empire's domination and a dark communist period, the land of wolves is rising again.
With the 12th freest economy in the world, and is the 7th easiest country to do business on the planet, investors are looking again at Georgia as a wonderful place for asset protection and FDI.
And what if we told you that you could open a multi-currency bank account in Georgia to protect your assets right from your home?
However, as its Krubera cave (the second deepest known cave in the world), its wonders remain somewhat hidden.
The country is, along with Estonia, the freest economy of post-Soviet states, and the most stable democracy in the Caucasus.
Nevertheless, in the past few years, the Baltic economies have imposed further restrictions on offshore banking and added requirements for foreigners who wish to open an account in their countries. Thus, more and more high net worth individuals and investors are looking at Georgia as an ideal place for protecting their assets.
The world economy seems to be going down the rabbit hole, with the recession accelerated by the coronavirus crisis. This will probably lead to a new slew of regulations, taxes, and tariffs that will asphyxiate businesspeople, investors, and high net worth individuals around the world.
That doesn't mean there aren't safe havens anymore. However, many of them suffer from poor infrastructure, extensive corruption, and political instability, which also prevents many investors from opening bank accounts and keeping their money safe in those places.
But there still are a few places that respect people's freedom to do business and to protect their money and assets. And one of those places is, indeed, Georgia.
Despite its communist background and its territorial wars with Russia, Georgia has overcome its demons and got on the road leading to prosperity and economic freedom.
The beginnings were tough. The GDP decreased every year from 1990 to 1994, and the 2002 census showed a 20 % population decline since 1989 because of a combination of a reduction of birth rate and massive emigration.
However, when Mikhail Saakashvili was elected president in 2004, things started to change. He removed tariffs and non-tariff regulations, decreased red tape, invested in the country's infrastructure, and was able to significantly reduce corruption.
All this radically changed Georgia's face and economy.
Broad political agreements to get the country to reform its economy have been achieved. However, that's not it. People in Georgia know that that's not enough. Thus, they've also improved the country's infrastructure, have created a favorable tax and regulatory regime that facilitates investment, exports, and doing business in the country.
And one of the most benefited sectors of this significant growth and openness is banking.
Likewise, in the last two years, the Baltic countries, which are generally considered free economies, have put more regulations to open banks and offer services to known foreigners. Thus, many have migrated -in an economic sense, not in a physical way- from those countries to Georgia, especially when considering the country is close, has a stable and modern bank system with low commissions, and an attractive tax system. The fact that most of the banking personnel speak Russian doesn't hurt.
However, we haven't even mentioned the best benefit: they have an almost unparalleled level of confidentiality as they don't belong to the system that entails the automatic exchange of financial data of bank accounts opened by foreigners, or what is commonly known as CRS.
15 commercial banks operate in Georgia, of which all are entirely privately-owned. Yes, there are no public commercial banks in Georgia.
This factor, joined by the favorable tax system, the robust banking infrastructure, and high degrees of confidentiality, has led the banking sector to a sustained growth that has helped its stability.
The two largest banks in Georgia together surpass the 60 % of the total assets in Georgia's banking industry. Both banks are listed on the London Stock Exchange and generally have stable financials. Georgia's banking system is, by far, the strongest and more benefits of the region.
What services can non-residents obtain from Georgian banks?
Open a personal account
Place money on deposits
Issue payment cards on Visa and MasterCard
Use internet banking, mobile banking, SMS banking, or phone banking
And in Mundo, we can help you with that.
Georgian banks generally issue a debit card and a password so the client can access his/her account from the bank's website. Thus, a non-resident foreigner can handle his operations online and withdraw cash from ATMs across the world.
The local currency is called lari, but almost all banks open accounts in dollars and euros, and some work with rubles, Swiss francs, yens, and yuans.
Moreover, opening a bank account in Georgia is incredibly simple, especially when you compare it to the Kafkian requirements of most European banks.
All you need is to present your passport and fill a questionnaire. In half an hour, you're good to go.
The two largest banks specialize in non-resident services and have banking services mainly designed for them.
However, there's a big if for the process to be this simple. You must be physically present to open an account… Generally.
Some banks allow opening a remote bank account. However, the process can be a bit more complicated.
What can we do for you?
In Mundo, we are committed to protecting your legacy. We are part of NTL, one of the leading providers in CBI and RBI, and financial services for family offices and high net worth individuals.
We have 25 years offering these services across the world, so our clients can protect their families and assets and do business freely.
We know that Georgia is one of the best lesser-known jurisdictions to keep your money safe. That's why we offer our clients the opportunity to open a multi-currency personal bank account in Georgia, which is a jurisdiction that hasn't signed the CRS (Common Reporting Standard). The account gives you the opportunity to receive and send RUB, USD, EUR, GBP, and GEL. Among our banking services, this is the account we can open the fastest and with lesser requisites.
The best of all? You'll be opening an account in a trustworthy jurisdiction, widely recognized by financial institutions around the world, and not one that lives from shell companies and shady businesses.
As you've seen, if you go to Georgia is pretty easy to open an account. However, that's if you go to Georgia. If you want to open an account remotely, you need an authorized representative. And guess what? We are authorized service providers.
Now, what do you need to open an account in Georgia? Well, aside from our professional fees, we'll only need a 1) Full and signed pre-approval questionnaire, 2) KYC form, 3) passport copy, and 4) a signed power of attorney with your personal data.
It is vital to note that the power of attorney is limited to opening the bank account, so you're completely safe.
And that's it. The opening process takes around a week, and the full process takes approximately two weeks, which is impressively quick, considering that you need to send some documents from one country to another and receive a debit card and security token for online transactions.
Also, we work with a pre-approval system where we send your data and documents to different banks that adjust to your needs. That means the banks can look at your profile before applying and give us a better idea whether they may approve your application or not. That will provide you with a better chance of success when applying.
Why Georgia? Seven reasons why you should open a personal bank account in Georgia.
Georgia isn't a CRS signee
Georgia doesn't share information about your fiscal domicile. That means that if your home country asks for information regarding your transactions in Georgia's banks to claim tax payments, Georgian banks won't provide them with that information. Georgia has one of the highest levels of confidentiality across Europe.
The most stable democracy in the region
The Caucasus has historically been a conflictive region. For the past few years, the situation has improved. However, most of the countries in the region are open autocracies or flawed democracies ravaged with corruption. That's not the case in Georgia. That isn't to say there's no corruption, but in comparison to the rest of the region, Georgia is a paradise.
Open to foreigners
Georgia is incredibly most welcoming to foreigners. More than 90 nationalities have visa-free access to Georgia. In most countries, tourist visas allow you to be in the country for a period between two and six months. That's not the case with Georgia: with a tourist visa, you can stay for 365 days in the country. You read that correctly. Likewise, residence requirements are simple.
Solid online banking
With your account, you'll receive a debit card and a token that'll give you access to internet, mobile, and SMS banking. That means you can handle your account, make payments, transfers, and withdraw cash freely, without the need to step a foot in Georgia.
No problems with sanctions
Cuban and Venezuelan individuals usually have big issues with international banking, especially if they still live in those countries. Even if they don't have relations with their government, banks are overly cautious with them. That closes many doors for legit high net worth individuals and investors from those countries that want to keep their money safe.
But you won't have that problem in Georgia. There are no sanctions against those governments, and the country hasn't signed the CRS.
Growing banking business
The net gains of commercial banks in the last year were $320 million, which is a 28 % growth over the previous three years. The total banking income was $1300 million. Almost all banks report yearly gains, and the largest banks are responsible for 75 % of the gains.
The banking system in Georgia is continuously growing and offering more specialized services, and the government supports it. It's one of the backbones of the country's economy and will continue to provide unparalleled services in a friendly environment.
Since 2005 the government took a deep pro-business turn to reduce corruption, the size of the state, trade regulations, and red tape. That led to an improvement in financial services and a friendly investment environment. Likewise, the government has signed free trade agreements with the EU and Turkey and has one in progress with China. The country has a fabulous geostrategic location for trade, as it has easy access to the Middle East, Central Asia, and Western Europe.
Processes to open companies are quick, meaning the country is the 7th easiest country to do business. As if all this weren't enough, the country has a flat 15 % corporate tax rate, a flat 20 % income tax rate, a meager 5 % dividend tax, a 1 % property tax, and there is no capital gains tax. All these numbers are significantly lower than in most European countries.
Georgia is one of our favorite underestimated jurisdictions in the whole world. It offers modern banking services in a non-CRS jurisdiction. Do you want a bank account in Georgia to protect your assets? Contact us right now!Georgia bank account
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