FNB non-resident account is arguably one of the best non-resident accounts in South Africa. It is typically used by international business people who do not intend to stay in South Africa for too long.
It is, however, an account of choice for tourists and citizens from neighboring countries. Chief amongst them being Zimbabwean nationals who prefer to keep their monies in South Africa, avoiding the banking uncertainty in Zimbabwe.
A bank account tailor made for foreign nationals who do not intend to be resident in South Africa but want to keep their money in South Africa. FNB Non Resident Account charges about R200.00 in bank fees on a monthly basis. To qualify for the account you need to be a foreign national, resident in your home country or another country and be 18 years or older.
We say so because we did a physical test. We accompanied two foreign nationals to try and open bank accounts at ABSA, STANDARD BANK and FNB. One was from Zimbabwe and another from Germany, from customer services and speed FNB came out at the top.
It is quite easy. Go to your nearest FNB Branch with your valid Passport and tell the door assistant that you want to open a non-resident account. She will give you a ticket with a number. When your ticket number is called out, you will be instructed to which counter you will be served.
In our experiment the bank tellers were generally friendly to both the Zimbabwean and Germany national. We, therefore assume they will be friendly to you as well.
The Bank Teller will ask for your passport, which he will then photocopy the front page and the page with the entry stamp. He will proceed to ask you for your phone number, email address and home address in your home country.
Well, after that, he will make some small talk while typing, typing and typing for about 20 – 40 minutes. He will then stand up and go to the printer where he will come back with lots of papers. He will ask you to read and sign every page, we advise you to read but we don’t think you will because it’s really a lot of papers. The people we accompanied both read the first few lines but went on to sign every page.
After signing you will then be asked to make a deposit of atleast R100 to activate your account. As soon as you make the deposit, he will then proceed to help you register for internet banking.
In conclusion, he will tell you that your card will be ready within a week for collection.
Ta-da thats it.
Not every branch knows about the non resident account. We first went to Kempton Park, the West street branch and they looked at the guys like they had fallen out of the sky.
Outrightly refusing that FNB has a non resident account. We tried to explain to them and we even went as far as asking them to open the FNB website to check, but they were just too stuck on the belief that only foreign nationals with a Permit can open an account with FNB.
We also went to the Germiston branch, they also told us it was impossible. The branch manager at Germiston was very caring, he offered us water before taking us to his office. He explained in detail how impossible it is for a foreign national to get a bank account without a permit.
For the record; we expected this. Someone had already warned us about ignorance to this FNB facility in many branches.
We finally went to Sandton City branch, where the two gentlemen were served with speed and great efficiency. If you are in Gauteng and you want to open the FNB non resident account it is in your best interest to go to the Sandton Branch. The staff there is awesome and they seem used to handling foreign nationals.
N.B: These are official requirements listed on the FNB Website but both the Zimbabwean and Germany nationals we accompanied only submitted their passports. To verify this, we accompanied a Zambian national to FNB Sandton City Branch to open a Non Resident Account. All they requested was his valid passport with an entry visa stamp.
N.B: You can not make an ATM deposit to your FNB Non Resident Account. You can, however, receive money from other South African bank accounts. However, at the branch they told both the Zimbabwean and Germany friends of ours that they can not receive a payment from a local South African bank account.