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EdwardBentley
27-07-2010, 13:11
Hi everyone,

I'm looking for people who've set up bank accounts in Russia for an article for The Moscow News.

We'd like to know if you've had any difficulties, requests for documents or translations of them?

We'd also like to look at the positive side. Examples of great service or things you would get in your native country. Any advice you can offer for people new to Moscow would also be much appreciated as well as what banks you tried.

Please send me a private message or post here with any comments you have about banking in this country.. Thanks in advance.

Gypsy
27-07-2010, 13:23
Hi everyone,

I'm looking for people who've set up bank accounts in Russia for an article for The Moscow News.

We'd like to know if you've had any difficulties, requests for documents or translations of them?

We'd also like to look at the positive side. Examples of great service or things you would get in your native country. Any advice you can offer for people new to Moscow would also be much appreciated as well as what banks you tried.

Please send me a private message or post here with any comments you have about banking in this country.. Thanks in advance.
Set up two accounts at Raiffeisen. Each took between 5 and 10 minutes, new bank card took 5 minutes. No translations needed, it was all pain free and very efficient.

Ongoing banking has been the same, polite, friendly staff who do everything they can to help.

Compared to the hassle I have had, and still have, from Nat West in the Uk they are a dream.

Apologies, forgot your last point, advice: bring ALL your official documents with you to the bank when setting up the account. Passport, Visa, Registration etc. they might not ask for all of them but it will save time. And the fact that a particular doc is not needed in your home country is irrelevant, it probably is here so just bring it- they ain't changing their system just for you.

ReallyGreatConcerts
27-07-2010, 14:00
Set up corporate banking with AlfaBank. It's been a nightmare from the word go. The only word to describe their staff is "hostile".

The bulk of the problems arose because they failed to lay out their requirements at the outset. "Just bring your passport" they said.

But this turned into "oh, but we need a notarised translation of your passport" - so I went and got one.

Then it became "but it isn't apostilled". "But you never said it had to be apostilled!" "Ah, but I'm asking NOW, aren't I?"

(a month later and a trip to London, apostille in hand)

"The visa number mentioned in this translation has expired". "Yes, because while you've been giving me jobs to do, time has marched on and I now have a fresh visa". "Well, go and get a fresh translation of the new visa!" "With an apostille, I suppose?" "Yes, with an apostille. From the British Foreign Office. This apostille isn't sufficient."

I could not recommend Alfa-Bank to anyone.

Ian G
27-07-2010, 14:20
I have two bank accounts- one of my choice- Raiffeisen, which I can't fault. And one chosen by my employer- Citibank, who have very bad customer service. Citibank are fine for basic things like recieving my salary from my employer, and cash dispenser operations. But I tried asking them to transfer money to my Raifeissen bank a/c by interbank transfer. A big mistake. For more than a week the money was lost between the two banks (a distance of about 200 meters). In the end Raifeissen had to cancel the transfer as Citibank had not filled in the form correctly. Fortunately all I lost was Citibank's transfer fee- they refused to accept that the failure of the transfer was their fault.

Setting up a bank account with Citibank is also very bureaucratic- as in addition to Russian law they have to comply with the strict US requirements intended to combat money laundering.


The best site for comparing different banks in Russia is banki.ru - they have a "popular rating" section where customers rant about poor service.

http://www.banki.ru/services/responses/

tasel
27-07-2010, 15:46
I've accounts at Raiffeisen, ICICI and VTB24. It was very fast and good service, specially Raiffeisen. But when i opened account at VTB24, i was surprised that i was not asked for the passport translation.

I will be back
28-07-2010, 13:11
Set up two accounts at Raiffeisen, one at VTB, one at Sberbank, one at Russky Standart.
1. Raiffeisen: polite personal, friendly staff at all offices, almost no lines.
2. Sberbank - you know, no comments.
3. VTB plenty lines at Pavelezkaya st. and when I got a card they taught staff while service, I spent 1,5 our. But at Lavochkina office - very fast and good service.
4.Russky Standart bank - I decided set up card to pay on-line eg utility fees, etc without commission and they offer 10% in RUR on account balance.

EdwardBentley
29-07-2010, 15:34
Thanks everyone.

Baron
02-08-2010, 16:27
I found HSBC to be very efficient and quite good terms - especially if you plan to have a large cash balance (US$50k) HSBC premiere is excellent.

I visited the office right near Patriarschy Prudy:

Malaya Nikitskaya OOO HSBC BANK (RR) LTD Nikitskie Vorota Branch 2/1 bld.1, Malaya Nikitskaya st. Moscow, 121069 Russia

Spoke to Ilya, Maria and Alexander all of whome were very helpful.

nbogaard
02-08-2010, 16:42
I have used Raiffeisen Bank for, I think, 10 or 11 years and have never had a problem. They are polite and helpful; the lines aren't bad. If you call there cardholder help line and ask if they speak English, they either say yes or ask you to hold while they get someone on the line who does.

sweetfart
03-08-2010, 08:01
Well I can at least tell you the OTP Bank on Belarusskaya had pretty rude bankers who didn't know what they were doing. Other than that, I would just suggest the big banks like Citibank or the others that have the most branches all over the city.

trancophile
05-08-2010, 20:01
Ok, raffhisan (**** the spelling) is decent from your comments. Did you use english to open your accounts/get a credit card?

sweetfart
09-08-2010, 04:39
Or he could just learn Russian. Since he is in Russia.


Just a thought.

STFW1971
24-08-2010, 13:57
I can only confirm what's stated on here.

I went to Raiffeisen Bank in Lublino (spelling?) today to open account. Very friendly staff, took about 40min to get all things through, but that was mainly due to me being slow at writing russian.

Account open / including online banking. Visa Card takes about 5 days to arrive.

Make sure you bring notarized translation of passport.

Probably the most pleasant surprise of good service I've experienced in Russia

davidhuckin
25-08-2010, 12:49
Can you please tell me how much registration raifissen require?? i have 3 month as waiting to recieve my 1 year reg with work permit.... VTB asked for 6 months at least

Thanks

David

Gypsy
25-08-2010, 12:59
Can you please tell me how much registration raifissen require?? i have 3 month as waiting to recieve my 1 year reg with work permit.... VTB asked for 6 months at least

Thanks

David

I don't know - I'd been here a year before I opened an account: sorry.

Tranco - I did it all in English.

elliotts
26-08-2010, 10:58
Same here I recently set up two (actually it is 5 in total = different currnencies) with Raiffeisen and the whole thing took 15min. Very polite, no nonsense approach. However, I was introduced to the bank via my employer and as such was treated slightly quicker than others in the bank at that time (ie no standing in line)