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Roccco Apr 23rd, 2003 06:11 PM

How do I open a bank account in South Africa without being a resident???
Last year when I was attempting to purchase a property in South Africa I was refused when I tried to open a bank account in South Africa. I was told that I needed a "Business Passport."

Short of obtaining a new passport, does anybody know how a U.S. Citizen would go about opening a bank account in South Africa???

I really am serious about having intentions of one day buying a home in South Africa and I think opening a bank account would be a step in the right direction.

I do have six weeks before my visit in case there are forms that would need to be filled out and processed prior to my visit.


pattysuericia Apr 23rd, 2003 11:50 PM

Dear Roccco,

Why don't you call the SA Embassy(consulate)--that would be a good step in the right direction. They must get requests!

pattysuericia Apr 23rd, 2003 11:52 PM

Roccco-ask them at african travel-see what they say as well. But I would def. call the embassy.

katycee Apr 24th, 2003 01:50 AM

Hi there !
My suggestion would be to contact the banks directly. You could find them on the internet the names of South Africa's major banks are : Standard Bank of South Africa, Absa, Nedbank & First National Bank. I think that it is possible to do as my parents have one ( not sure how !? )

Selwyn_Davidowitz Apr 24th, 2003 07:11 AM


I happened to stop in at Standard Bank today and found out all the answers for you.

All that you will need is a letter from your American bankers showing your track record with them as well as your passport. This will allow you to open a savings account or a cashcard account. You will find that banks are very reluctant to open a current acount for a foreigner however that does not mean to say they wont and to do so they will once again only need the USA bank letter as well a passport. The bank letter is VERY VERY IMPORTANT so make sure that you have this in advance.

I asked about the possibility of a mortgage being opened for the purposes of purchasing a house and the answer to that was no mortgage would be granted unless you had a permanent form of income in SA (NOT the USA)

The above comes straight from the assistent head of the forex department in the Cape Town Standard Bank.

Anything else youneed to know?

Selwyn Davidowitz
[email protected]

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