Opening a bank account in Bahrain

Your guide to setting yourself up with a bank

Opening a bank account in Bahrain

If you're moving to Bahrain, one of your top priorities will inevitably be opening a bank account.

The easiest way to open one in Bahrain is to head into your local branch and speak with a clerk.

A few banks will allow you to start the process online or over the phone, but you’ll almost always need to physically visit a branch before an account is opened.

The exception would be the newly-introduced ila Bank, which is mobile-only and requires you to upload two types of ID and a selfie.

But for every other bank, read on for our guide.

Documents you need
First off, only people with a valid residence visa can open an account. You’ll need to bring a copy of your work or residence permit, plus your passport.

You’ll also need a copy of your rental lease to prove where you live. Some banks may require extra documents, so it’s best to check online or call ahead to make sure you’re not caught short.

Choosing a bank
You’ll spot plenty of international banks dotted around Bahrain, including Citibank and HSBC, but you might want to check which one your employer recommends.

It will make things easier in the long run, but, of course, research all the different options carefully beforehand.

Cheques
A bounced cheque in Bahrain, and across much of the GCC, is considered a criminal offence, and could land you with a hefty fine. Always make sure you have the amount written on the cheque in your bank account on the date it’s meant to be cashed.

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