Despite its ongoing debt crisis and soaring rate of inflation, Argentina earlier this year secured a deal with the IMF to restructure its debt repayments and has taken other steps to stabilize its economy. There are other positive signs: GDP grew by 10.2 percent in 2021, and is projected to grow by close to 4 percent by the end of this year. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Argentina increased by $3.6 billion USD in March 2022 and that trend is expected to continue. Every foreign investor or company entering the jurisdiction must eventually open a corporate bank account in Argentina.
Table of Contents
List of commercial banks in Argentina
As is with most institutions in the country, Argentine banks are plagued by nonsensical rules, limits, and excessive bureaucracy. For this reason we recommend that foreign investors and companies open a corporate bank account with one of the foreign entities present in Argentina, including:
- American Express Bank Ltd
- Barclays Bank Plc
- Deutsche Bank
- Standard Chartered Bank
- Banque Nationale de Paris
What documents are needed to open a corporate bank account in Argentina?
What follows are some of the main kinds of documentation you will need to open a company bank account in Argentina:
- Bank account application form correctly filled out
- A copy of the company’s Memorandum of Association
- National ID or passport copy of the company representative
- Proof of a physical address is required to open a bank account
- Proof that the company has a unique tax identification code (CUIT)
How to open a corporate bank account in Argentina: A 7-step guide
What follows is a step-by-step guide of how to open a corporate bank account in Argentina:
- Complete the corporate bank account application form
- Draft a letter stating the name and general details of the company, the reason for doing business in Argentina, and the names and personal details of the person(s) who will be handling the account
- All account signatories must provide the Argentine national ID card (DNI), unique tax identification code, and powers of signatories (if any) notarized at a notary public
- Provide all the required ‘Know Your Customer’ KYC documents requested by the bank
- Submit all forms and supporting documentation for review/processing
- Attend a face-to-face interview with a bank representative, or send a local company representative or trusted partner to do so on the company’s behalf
- Some banks in Argentina require a minimum deposit of $100,000 Argentine pesos (about $673 USD) to be made in order to activate the account
It is important to note that the above is a general, non-exhaustive guide. The number of required documents and level of scrutiny that a bank applies to an account application will differ from one bank to the next.
Limitations/Restrictions of Argentina’s banking sector
There are a slew of restrictions, limits, and lengthy work times in Argentina’s banking sector – so much so that they may deter investors and companies from entering the market. These include, but are not limited to:
- Only citizens and permanent residents can open personal Argentine Peso (ARS) bank accounts
- The process of opening a corporate bank account with a foreign bank like the ones mentioned above can take 7 to 15 business days to complete
- Opening a corporate account with a local Argentine bank can take up to 8 weeks to process
- Not all banks in Argentina have made the digital transition, meaning they do not offer online/digital banking services
- Argentina recently relaxed the foreign currency controls it had imposed on the foreign exchange market in 2019, but the cap on peso ATM withdrawals persists. There is no telling if the government will reimpose such controls, which could negatively impact the financial operations of corporate bank account holders.
Common Questions when opening a corporate bank account in Argentina
Based on our extensive experience these are the common questions and doubts from our clients when looking to open a company bank account in Argentina.
Yes, it is possible for some banks to open an account online, for this the client must issue a broad general power of attorney, and they must always have an Argentine legal representative to be able to manage the duality of management of the bank account.
The customer with certain banks can access their account, carry out banking operations, and be the signatory of each of those bank movements.
The documents required to open a corporate bank account in Argentina are:
1. Articles of Association or Articles of Association and Corporate Planchette
2. Act of Appointment of Authorities
3. Minutes of meetings of partners and/or shareholders
4. Signatory’s ID
5. Affidavit of Beneficial Owner and Non-Politically Exposed Person
6. Broad general power of attorney of partners and/or shareholders who are not Argentine residents
7. Cell phone and/or token in Argentinian territory
Access is determined by the owners of the company, and can be anyone designated by the company and with the limitations that are designated as well.
The following banks are recommended in order of best rating in Argentina:
1. Bank of Galicia
2. HSBC Bank
3. Banco Santander Río
Companies open bank accounts in Argentina for a variety of reasons, such as fund management, payments and payroll, access to financing, security, international trade, financial registration, cash management, and banking services. Choosing the right bank and complying with tax regulations is important, as is keeping accurate records for tax compliance and efficient business operation.
Yes, in Argentina, entities covered by the Financial Institutions Law cannot disclose the passive transactions they carry out.
The staff of financial institutions must maintain absolute confidentiality regarding all information that comes to their attention.
Biz Latin Hub can help you open a corporate bank account in Argentina
At Biz Latin Hub, we provide integrated market entry and back-office services throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, with offices in Bogota and Cartagena, as well as over a dozen other major cities in the region. We also have trusted partners in many other markets.
Our unrivaled reach means we are ideally placed to support multi-jurisdiction market entries and cross-border operations.
As well as knowledge of how to open a corporate bank account in Argentina, our portfolio of services includes hiring & PEO, accounting & taxation, company formation, bank account opening, and corporate legal services.
Contact us today to find out more about how we can assist you in finding top talent, or otherwise do business in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The information provided here within should not be construed as formal guidance or advice. Please consult a professional for your specific situation. Information provided is for informative purposes only and may not capture all pertinent laws, standards, and best practices. The regulatory landscape is continually evolving; information mentioned may be outdated and/or could undergo changes. The interpretations presented are not official. Some sections are based on the interpretations or views of relevant authorities, but we cannot ensure that these perspectives will be supported in all professional settings.