Different banks in Ethiopia with progressive benefits are attracting the diaspora community with a special diaspora account in Ethiopia. Some banks offer ultimate prizes turning the diaspora community to invest in Ethiopia.
The Ethiopian Banks and government encourage Ethiopian Diasporas to save foreign currency accounts at home to support domestic investment, foreign exchange reserve, and encourage foreign direct investment.
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Banking and Services for micro finance institutions
A Diaspora bank account is a bank account designed for Ethiopian origins living and working in different parts of the world. Different banks offer different types of diaspora account in Ethiopia while some banks do not have a specially designated account for the diaspora community.
People use these accounts whenever they intend to invest in some kind of business, property or have the intentions to return to their home country eventually. Most banks require living and working abroad for more than one year before opening this account.
Benefits You Get by Opening a Diaspora Account in Ethiopia
Even if most of the banks offer some sort of Diaspora Account services, they differ in saving interest rates, services, and other benefits. Some banks might even offer special offers when opening one of these accounts. Carefully comparing and choosing the right bank is an important step before opening your Diaspora Account.
The account may be used as collateral to receive local currency credit from the domestic market.
Diaspora Consumer Loans
Diaspora Vehicle Loan
Diaspora Business Loan
Different Types of Diaspora Accounts
There are three main types of diaspora accounts in Ethiopia as listed in the National Bank of Ethiopia. This account can be personal or business accounts.
Your savings are stored in foreign currencies, giving you easy access to Dollar and Euro.
Depositing to this account is done mainly using, US Dollar($), Pound Sterling(£), and Euro(€).
These are the three common types of Diaspora Accounts
1. Fixed (Time) Deposit Account
It is an interest-bearing account with an agreed maturity date. The minimum maturity period is three months.
It is opened with an initial deposit of US Dollar 5,000 or its equivalent in any of the above-stated currencies.
Interest on such accounts shall be payable only if they are maintained at least for the minimum period.
Interest income on such accounts is tax-free.
2. Current Account
It is opened by the checkbook.
Withdrawals can be made at any time by writing a check.
It can be opened with an initial deposit of US Dollar 100 or its equivalent in any of the above-stated currencies.
The maximum amount to be deposited shall not exceed US Dollar 50,000 or its equivalent in any of the above-stated currencies.
Interest shall not be paid to a non-resident foreign currency current account.
3. Non-Repatriable Birr Account
It may take the form of a saving deposit account that can be used for local payments only.
Such an account will pay double interest to the minimum saving deposit rate set by the National Bank of Ethiopia.
Money can neither be transferred from this account to abroad nor converted from the local currency to any foreign currency.
How to Open a New Diaspora Account in Ethiopia
Different banks have their own way of connecting with the diaspora community. Some banks have online forms that you can download and fill out, while others use the conventional face-to-face way of communication. If you are opening the account from aboard then you need to visit your local Ethiopian embassy to validate your document to be sent out to the banks.
Some of the common methods of opening a diaspora account in Ethiopia are the following:
Persons residing abroad can open the account in person or by post in his/her name.
Applicants who could not be physically presented to open the account in the domestic banks can use the Ethiopian Embassies, Correspondent Banks or nearby remittance service providers to prove their identities.
An individual may open a current account in only one of the domestic banks whereas he/she may open fixed deposit accounts in more than one bank.
Opening of a foreign currency account by Power of Attorney is not allowed. However, Power of Attorneys is allowed to withdraw from these accounts provided that the Power of Attorney explicitly empowers them to operate these accounts.
Who Can Open a Diaspora Account?
Eligibility Criteria to open Diaspora Account are :
Non-resident foreign nationals of Ethiopian origin;
Companies owned by non residents and located outside the Ethiopian territory
Ethiopian nationals living and working abroad or in due process of living abroad for work for more than one year and who can produce authenticated documents.
Most banks that offer the diaspora account have a list of the requirement that needs to be meet before opening a diaspora account. You need to attach a copy of the document together with the required form that needs to be filled. You can download the more detailed description here.
Required Documents to Open the Account
Resident ID and Passport (for Ethiopian national living abroad)
Passport and Ethiopian Origin ID (For Foreign Nationals of Ethiopian Origin)
Work permit and authenticated employment contract
How to Transfer Funds to a Diaspora Account?
How you transfer funds to an Ethiopian diaspora account depends on many variables such as currency, total amount and location. Read below to find out what applies in your case:
Directly crediting to the account from place of residence through the bank’s SWIFT Address by:
The account holder
The spouse of the account holder up on presentation of marriage certificate.
The employer upon presentation of valid employment agreement.
The business entity owned by the account holder or share company up on presentation of documents ascertaining the shareholding
Other institution as per the valid agreement presented.
Foreign currency cash notes exceeding USD 3,000 or equivalent in any other convertible currency provided that the holder presented signed and sealed foreign currency declaration form from Ethiopian Revenue and Customs Authority.
Resident living in neighboring and Middle East countries are required to present signed and sealed foreign currency declaration form from Ethiopian Revenue and Customs Authority for less than or equal to USD 3,000 foreign currency cash notes or equivalent in any other convertible foreign currency to deposit in the account.
Check deposit that originates from abroad.
A transfer from another type of non-resident foreign currency account owned by individuals and or enterprises.
Receipt through international payment cards/credit cards/debit cards.
How to Close A Diaspora Account?
There are certain circumstances you want to close a Diaspora account:
Upon the request of the account holder.
When the account holder starts to live in Ethiopia after completion of his/her stay abroad.
Frequently Asked Questions About A Diaspora Banking Ethiopia
Can Diaspora corporate accounts be opened for Ethiopians residing outside Ethiopia?
Yes, Business entities owned by non-resident Ethiopians and located outside the Ethiopian territory for more than now year can open this account.
What is the minimum opening balance for a diaspora account?
A Diaspora Account can be opened with a minimum of 100 USD if it is a current account or it can be opened with a minimum of 5000 USD if it is a fixed time account.
What are the products and services available to diaspora banking customers?
Through Diaspora Banking, Ethiopian Diaspora can be benefited in Saving Deposit and Interest, Investment, Loan, and low-interest rate mortgage loan.
Can I give someone Authority to open my account?
No, Opening of a foreign currency account by Power of Attorney is not allowed. However, If can not be present in person you can use the Ethiopian Embassies, Correspondent Banks, or nearby Remittance service providers to prove your identity.