March 27, 2024


 min read

Open Bank Account in Argentina: Guide 2024








Open Bank Account in Argentina: Guide 2024


Opening a bank account in Argentina is a practical step for those looking to streamline their financial transactions within the country. While the options for opening a bank account may be somewhat limited, having a local account eliminates the need for currency transfers from outside the United States or other countries. This becomes particularly advantageous for digital nomads, freelancers, retirees, or individuals with stable jobs, allowing for more convenient money transfers and the utilization of the local home banking system. Additionally, owning an Argentine bank account can help avoid the high fees associated with ATM transactions in U.S. dollars due to the instability and low value of the Argentine peso. 

While banking in Argentina provides benefits for expats, the country does not offer the same level of asset protection as some other international financial centers. Despite this, having a local bank account remains practical for everyday transactions, and the Association of Argentine Banks (Asociación de Bancos Argentinos, or ADEBA) oversees the activities of Argentine-capital banks, facilitating the integration of expatriates into the country's banking system.

Banking in Argentina

Banking in Argentina operates under Law No. 21,526, which governs banking activities. The country's Central Bank, known as Banco Central de la República Argentina (BCRA), acts as the implementing authority and regulatory body. BCRA issues standards, controls financial institutions, and defines authorized banking activities, permitted transactions, monetary controls, and other relevant aspects.

Foreign banks wishing to operate in Argentina must register with the BCRA and obtain proper authorization before providing banking and financial services. There are also minimum capital requirements of at least ARS 14 million for foreign entities to conduct business in the country.

The Argentine financial system exhibits various features and classifications, including:

  1. Commercial Banks:
  1. Investment Banks:
  • Government-owned provincial banks (e.g. Banco de Inversión y Comercio Exterior (BICE). 
  1. Other Financial Institutions:

Financial transactions in Argentina are commonly conducted in Argentine Pesos, U.S. dollars, and government securities. The financial system consists of three segments: Argentine pesos, foreign currency, and liquid assets managed by all banks.

Key transactions within the Argentine financial system include overdrafts, promissory notes, bill discounting, mortgage loans, collateral loans, consumer loans, credit cards, demand deposits, certificates of deposit, common savings deposits, deposits in Argentine government securities, interbank transactions, swaps, bankers' acceptances, and spot and forward exchange transactions.

As of the late 1990s, there were 120 banks operating in Argentina, but this number has reduced to approximately 60 due to the fallout from the 2002-2003 Argentine Peso devaluation crisis. Despite the challenges, the current financial system is considered healthier, with most institutions planning to expand operations for greater financial margins.

Banks in Argentina today boast higher-quality client portfolios compared to the pre-2002 scenario. This improvement leads to lower credit risk, and as the perception of risk decreases, credit accessibility is expected to increase in the foreseeable future. 

Top Banks in Argentina for Foreigners

In Argentina, many banks are known for offering a variety of services and ensuring satisfaction for international customers. They cater to different financial needs, providing services for both individuals and businesses. Here are some well-known banks in the region:

Banco Santander Río

Banco Santander Río, a subsidiary of the Santander Group in Spain, stands as the third-largest commercial bank in Argentina. With its headquarters in Buenos Aires, it holds a significant position among privately held banks in the country.

Financials (as of June 30, 2020):

  • Total assets: USD 12.6 billion. 
  • Loans: USD 5.6 billion.
  • Employees: Approximately 9,000. 
  • Key player in the public securities and exchange market.
  • Recognized as Argentina's best consumer digital bank by Global Finance magazine.

Services and fees:

  • Banking activities covering payment methods, international commerce, transactional services, and cash management.
  • Banco Santander Río Argentina offers various fixed-term deposit options to meet diverse financial needs. The "Súper Plazo Fijo Tradicional" allows customers to deposit a minimum of USD 500 or USD 5,000 for a flexible period ranging from 30 to 913 days for pesos and 30 to 365 days for dollars. For added flexibility, the "Súper Plazo Fijo Precancelable" allows early cancellation after a specific number of days, providing options for investors. 
  • You may check the bank’s service fees on this website and contact the bank manager directly to get clarity on specific services and fees. 

Banco Macro

Banco Macro, established in 1976, has evolved into a key player in the Argentine banking sector. Known for its diverse financial services, it holds a prominent position in the market.

Financials (latest available):

  • Market value was reported as USD 1.1 billion as of March 31, 2022.
  • Continues operations with approximately 8,500 employees.
  • Listed on NYSE and Buenos Aires Stock Exchange.

Services and fees:

  • Nationwide network of 460 branches and 1,570 ATMs.
  • Prospective clients are advised to visit this website and contact the bank for the most up-to-date information on services and associated fees.

Banco de la Nación Argentina (BNA)

Banco de la Nación Argentina (BNA) maintains its status as the largest bank in Argentina, offering comprehensive financial services to a diverse clientele.


  • Over 17,700 staff, 640 locations, and 2,750 ATMs.
  • Total assets of ARS 2.9 trillion and deposits of ARS 2.3 trillion.
  • Historically a key player in providing domestic loans in a credit-restricted economy, the bank, under the leadership of Gabriela Ciganotto, aimed to rejuvenate the local credit market, with a primary focus on supporting production, especially small and medium-sized businesses. 
  • As part of its commitment to the public, the bank offers diverse credit options, including UVA credit for house mortgages. 
  • For a comprehensive understanding of the fee structure, it is advisable to consult the bank directly. 

HSBC Bank Argentina

HSBC Bank Argentina, founded in 1997, remains a significant financial services provider in the country, catering to a wide range of customers.


  • Operating with 140 locations and 4,000 employees.
  • Part of the HSBC Group, the world's largest financial organization.
  • For individuals, the bank offers personal banking services, including savings and current accounts, debit and credit cards, personal and mortgage loans, and various investment products. 
  • Corporate clients benefit from business accounts, commercial loans, trade finance, treasury and cash management solutions, and corporate credit cards. 
  • HSBC also excels in international banking, providing foreign exchange services, international trade solutions, and access to global banking and markets. The bank's wealth management services encompass private banking, investment advisory, wealth planning, portfolio management, and insurance products. 
  • With a commitment to technological innovation, HSBC Bank Argentina offers online and mobile banking services for convenient account access. In addition, specialized offerings such as HSBC Premier and HSBC Advance cater to high-net-worth individuals and those seeking priority banking services. 

Banco Patagonia

Banco Patagonia, founded in 1976, has become a prominent and secure bank in Argentina, receiving accolades for its services.


  • Serving small and medium-sized businesses and individuals.These may encompass savings and current accounts, credit and debit cards, loans, mortgages, investment products, and online banking options. 
  • Around 790,000 clients, 200 branches, 600 ATMs, and 3,360 employees.
  • Received the Best Bank honor at the 15th Annual Fortuna Awards in July 2019.
  • For the most current details on Banco Patagonia Argentina's services and fees, please refer to their official communication channels.

Requirements for Opening a Bank Account in Argentina

Individual Bank Accounts

To facilitate a smooth and compliant banking process when opening an account with the leading banks in Argentina, individuals are required to submit specific documents. The following list outlines the necessary documentation:

1. Proof of Address:

  • A recent utility bill (electricity, water, gas).
  • Rental agreement or property title.
  • In some cases, a notarized letter from your landlord may be accepted.

2. Proof of Income:

  • Recent payslip or salary certificate.
  • Bank statements reflecting your income.

3. Identification:

  • National Identity Document (Documento Nacional de Identidad - DNI) for Argentine citizens.
  • Passport for foreign nationals.

4. Tax Identification Number (CUIL or CUIT):

  • CUIL (Código Único de Identificación Laboral) is the tax identification number for employees.
  • CUIT (Clave Única de Identificación Tributaria) is for business and self-employed individuals.

5. Additional Supporting Documents:

  • Completed bank account application form.
  • Letter expressing your intention to open a bank account.
  • Letter of recommendation from a reputable bank or professional might be optional but could strengthen your application.

Corporate Banks Accounts

If you are looking to establish a business presence in Argentina, it is crucial to understand the comprehensive set of business documentation required for opening a business bank account. Here are the necessary documents:

1. Corporate Documents:

  • Certificate of Incorporation.
  • Articles of Incorporation.
  • Notice of Registered Address.
  • By-laws of the Company.

2. Ownership Information:

  • Details of shareholders. 

3. Banking Resolution:

  • Director’s Resolution to Open Account, signed by the required number of directors to make up a quorum.

4. Financial Documentation:

  • Proof of the legitimacy of the source of funds (e.g., banker’s reference and bank statement from the previous banker).
  • Most recent Annual Return filed with the registrar, including identification documents of individuals named in the Annual Return, unless a company is named as a shareholder.
  • Annual Reports/Audited Financial Statements for the last three years, providing a description and location of the principal line(s) of business, a list of major business units, potential suppliers, and customers.

On top of that, banks may request additional documentation, certifications, notarization, and translations as necessary. 

How to Open a Bank Account in Argentina 

Opening a bank account in Argentina involves several steps as outlined below: 

Step 1. Choose a Bank

You need to start by researching and selecting a bank in Argentina that suits your financial needs. Consider factors such as branch accessibility, services offered, and any specific requirements they may have.

Step 2. Gather Required Documents

It is recommended to ensure you have all necessary documents ready. Typically, these include your passport, Argentinian visa or residence permit, proof of address (utility bills or rental agreement), proof of income or employment (payslips or employment contract), and a local reference if required.

Step 3. Visit the Bank in Person or Schedule an Online Appointment 

You have to schedule an online appointment or visit the chosen bank branch in person. Be prepared for a brief interview with a bank representative. Submit all required documents for identity verification.

Step 4. Select an Account Type and Sign Documents

You are advised to discuss your financial needs and goals with the bank representative to determine the most suitable account type for you. Options may include savings accounts, checking accounts, or currency accounts. Carefully review all documents provided by the bank, including the account agreement, terms, and conditions. If everything is acceptable, sign the necessary paperwork.

Step 5. Receive Your Account Details and Set Up Online Banking 

Once the account is opened, you will receive account details, such as your account number and any associated cards (debit or credit). If the bank offers online banking services, consider setting up online access for convenient account management.

Step 6. Understand Account Fees and Policies

You have to familiarize yourself with any fees associated with the account, such as monthly maintenance fees, transaction fees, and minimum balance requirements. Be aware of the bank's policies regarding these fees.

Step 7. Make Initial Deposit and Maintain Your Account

If the bank requires an initial deposit, provide the necessary funds to activate the account. Keep track of your account activity, and adhere to any requirements or policies to maintain your account in good standing. Regularly monitor for any fees and ensure compliance with the bank's rules.

Open Bank Account in Argentina for US citizens

Opening a bank account in Argentina for US citizens can be a straightforward process. The Central Bank of Argentina (BCRA) actively encourages the accessibility of savings accounts in pesos for US citizens. These accounts are entirely free of charge, provided that monthly cash transactions remain below ARS50,000, and the account balance does not exceed ARS312,500.

Similar to Argentine citizens, US immigrants need only present their identification document to open a savings account in pesos. To establish identity, individuals can submit an ID issued by the Office of Vital Statistics (RENAPER in Spanish) or a passport from their country of origin.

Numerous benefits accompany access to a savings account, such as obtaining a debit card, conducting transactions through online banking and ATMs, making both non-remote and online purchases, executing free and instantaneous domestic transfers, facilitating service payments, loading Unique Electronic Ticket System (SUBE) cards, engaging in time deposits, and participating in the Immediate Debit (DEBIN) system.

Furthermore, individuals holding an Argentine Rentista Visa can leverage their legal residency status to open a bank account with greater ease, providing an additional avenue for US citizens seeking financial stability in Argentina.

Additionally, US citizens may face the implications of international banking regulations and tax laws. The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) requires foreign financial institutions to report account information of US citizens to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Therefore, it is important to comply with FATCA regulations and disclose relevant information to both the Argentinian bank and the IRS to avoid any potential legal complications.

Open Bank Account in Argentina for UK citizens

Opening a bank account in Argentina for UK citizens is a relatively simple process, thanks to the presence of major UK and US banks like Citibank, HSBC Argentina, and JPMorgan Chase. Expatriates can choose a bank that suits their needs, with some institutions offering services tailored specifically for expats, such as international banking services and multilingual support. On top of that, UK citizens exploring banking options under an Active Investor Visa and investing in an Argentine business can benefit from specialized financial services geared towards investors, potentially enhancing their investment endeavors in the country.

To initiate account opening, UK citizens should contact the chosen bank, schedule an appointment, and prepare necessary documents, including a passport, proof of an address, and proof of income or employment. During the appointment, a bank representative will guide applicants through the process, and once the account is open, they will receive essential details like the account number and IBAN, enabling immediate use of the account.

While Argentina's banking sector provides a range of products and services, expats should also consider factors like minimum deposit requirements and ongoing maintenance fees that some banks may impose. Banking hours in Argentina typically run from 10 am to 3 pm, Monday to Friday, but may vary among different banks and branches. 

Moreover, staying informed about economic conditions affecting the local currency's value and practicing vigilance in online transactions will contribute to a smooth banking experience for UK citizens in Argentina.

FAQ about Opening a Bank Account in Argentina

Can a Foreigner Open a Bank Account in Argentina?

Yes, a foreigner can open a bank account in Argentina, but specific requirements vary among banks. Typically, you will need a valid passport, proof of address, income information, and a tax identification number (CUIT or CUIL). Some banks may also request reference letters.

Can You Open a Bank Account in Argentina Online? 

Yes, you can open a bank account in Argentina online. Some Argentine banks offer online account opening services, while others may require a physical presence at a branch. In order to open a bank account online in Argentina, individuals are required to have a local phone number and a DNI (Documento Nacional de Identidad). Banks often provide information on their websites regarding the account opening process, including whether it can be done online, the required documentation, and any additional steps involved.

How Reliable are Argentinian Banks?

Argentine banks are generally considered reliable, and the country has a well-established banking system. However, Argentina has experienced economic challenges, including periods of inflation and currency fluctuations, which can impact the financial sector. The country has also gone through debt crises and economic reforms in the past. Before choosing a bank, it is advisable to research and consider factors such as the bank's financial health, customer reviews, and the range of services offered. Additionally, depositors should be aware of the deposit insurance coverage provided by the regulatory authorities.

Do Banks in Argentina Accept Crypto?

The acceptance of cryptocurrencies by banks in Argentina varies. Argentina has seen growing interest in cryptocurrencies due to economic instability and inflation concerns. Some individuals and businesses in Argentina have turned to cryptocurrencies as an alternative or supplementary financial tool.

The Central Bank is one of the regulatory agencies in charge of crypto limitations. Their crypto-restrictive initiative commenced in mid-2022, with one of Argentina's largest private banks facilitating transactions involving specific cryptocurrencies via online banking.

Golden Harbors team can play a pivotal role in easing the bank account opening process in Argentina by leveraging our expertise in navigating the complex regulatory landscape. We assist clients in comprehending the intricate documentation and eligibility criteria mandated by banks, ensuring a smooth application process. This involves clarifying the requirements for identification, proof of address, and tax identification numbers, helping clients compile the necessary paperwork accurately.

Acting as intermediaries, our team facilitates effective communication between clients and banks and provides ongoing support, including follow-up with the bank and assistance with any post-application requirements. Overall, our multifaceted support helps individuals and businesses handle the complexities of the bank account opening process with confidence and efficiency.


Residence Benefits

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Fast application processing

1-3 months


Global mobility and freedom

international business expansion and entry into the South American market


Full rights of a resident

a residence permit is issued with the rights to work, do business and study in Argentina


Global mobility and freedom

No residence restrictions. Living in Argentina offers a unique and enriching experience, combining vibrant culture, diverse landscapes, and a welcoming atmosphere


A clear path to citizenship

residents are eligible to apply for Argentine citizenship after two years of living in Argentina


Global mobility and freedom

there is no need to renounce your previous citizenship when obtaining an Argentine passport


Residence for the whole family

family members (spouse, financially dependent parents, and children) can apply for a residence permit together with the main applicant


Global mobility and freedom

Argentina has a favorable tax regime, with low taxes and generous incentives for foreign investors


Residence Permit

Processing Time and Terms

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Sign a service agreement with Golden Harbors, pay the initial service and due diligence fees, and fill out application forms


We help you prepare the necessary documentation for your chosen residency option


You travel to Argentina, and we assist you in applying for a residence card. Together, we submit all the documents to the Argentine Immigration Department (Dirección Nacional de Migraciones)


Government due diligence check, application review, and approval


At this step you pay the required government fees, complete your biometrics appointment, and obtain a residence permit in Argentina

There are Always Options to EXPAND YOUR BOUNDARIES! Let's Discuss Yours

Every client is unique

Every case requires an individual approach and solution. Our years of experience in the industry allow us to provide both.

We will answer all your questions and provide detailed information about the available second passport and residency programs to help you make the right choice.


Lead Attorney at Golden Harbors

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Lead Attorney at Golden Harbors