Diaspora banking: How to open a bank account from outside Nigeria

Only CBN can direct us on old Naira notes — Banks

Diaspora banking or non-resident banking refers to banking services for Nigerians in the diaspora being able to enjoy banking services by Nigerian banks while within and outside of Nigeria.

Nigerians in the diaspora often travel home and need banking services while within and outside the country to take care of their financial obligations for their investments, projects, family commitments and leisure etc.

With online banking, there is no longer any need to walk into a banking hall to carry out banking transactions. Also, many Nigerian banks have offshore branches, hence the local banking needs of Nigerians in the diaspora can easily be met through branch operations and online banking.

A customer on the Diaspora banking or non-resident banking has access to full banking services including savings, current and domiciliary accounts, as well as assigned relationship managers as well as access to the bank’s customer service channels. Communication can be via phone, email, WhatsApp and other social media channels.

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A typical account has the following features, which may vary slightly from bank to bank:

  • The account can be operated in Naira, Dollars, Pounds, Euro and CFA.
  • Cash withdrawal from anywhere in the world with your debit cards.
  • Internet and Mobile Banking access
  • Dedicated Relationship Manager
  • BVN not required at time of opening account

How to open a Diaspora banking or non-resident banking account

You need the following documentation to open a Diaspora banking or non-resident banking account. These can be transmitted electronically to the bank via email.

  • Duly filled account opening form (downloadable from the bank website).
  • Duly filled Email indemnity form (same as above). This is to enable the use of email as an official channel of communication in sending instructions to the bank. If your email account is hacked, the bank is protected from the loss thereof, from instructions emanating from your compromised email account.
  • A digital passport photographs showing full face forward with a bright background.
  • Valid Proof of Identification of the signatory. This can be any of the following:
  1. Nigerian International Passport
  2. Nigeria Driver’s license
  3. Nigeria Voter’s ID
  4. Foreign passport (if the place of birth/ Nationality is Nigeria)
  5. Residence or Work permit (if nationality is Nigeria)
  • Proof of Foreign Address as stated in the forms. This can be in the form of any of the under-listed documents:
  1. Current utility bill not exceeding 3 months
  2. Foreign Bank or credit card statement
  3. Foreign driver’s license
  4. Purchase invoice or receipt
  5. Tenancy agreement /rent receipt
  6. Letter from employer
  • Two Nigerian bank references from current/ corporate account holders in any Nigerian bank (for current, domiciliary and corporate accounts only)
  • BVN (Bank Verification Number) – A unique bank identification number stipulated by CBN should be provided. Account can be opened without it initially. You are to make arrangements to enrol as soon as possible (during a visit to Nigeria or at designated centres abroad), in order to have your account functions fully activated.
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Attestation of the supporting documents may be required by some banks. This can be done by any of the following:

  • Notary Public/court/ lawyer
  • Nigerian Embassy in your country.
  • Your Bankers.
  • Police Station.
  • Government Security Agencies.
  • Director of Students Affairs (for students).
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Many Nigerian banks offer Diaspora banking or non resident banking services to none residents. Among them are First Bank, GTBank, Zenith Bank, FCMB, UBA, Ecobank etc.

Links to banks diaspora banking pages:

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