Are you a Nigerian living abroad and want to open a domiciliary account but don’t know the procedure? Do you try to send money to your family from the diaspora to no avail?
Do you need information on how much the Nigerian banks charge on a domiciliary transaction? Are you trying to send Naira from other parts of the world to no avail?
Whatever it is you need to know about the domiciliary bank account, this article will unravel everything for you.
Having a Domiciliary account for yourself is actually not to use it to save money but rather, to ease your activities as well as business transactions using foreign currency like Dollars, Pound Sterling, Euros, etc.
That is to say, sending money down to Nigeria from anywhere around the world without a domiciliary account will be impossible. Thus, both Nigerians abroad and business owners that are living within Nigeria but dealing with international clients need one to be able to send or receive money.
Such is one of the latest development from the Central Bank of Nigeria.
What is Domiciliary Account?
A domiciliary account can be simply defined as a kind of bank account that specifically allows bank users to make and receive payments from foreign countries in their local currencies.
Hence, all money in such an account will be valued at the present naira exchange rate.
Also, a domiciliary bank account is can be owned by an individual or a corporate body that makes or receives payments from foreign countries involving foreign currency like dollar, euros, pounds,.etc.
The various Nigerian banks are, however, offering varying features, the central functionality, without doubt, is having storage for money denominated in Euros, dollars, and pounds.
More specifically, the domiciliary bank account registration can be opened here in Nigeria, and it can equally be conveniently operated from any part of the world and even within the Nigeria jurisdiction.
Domicile Account Charges
According to the press statement released by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in January 2020 on domiciliary account charges, it was made known that domiciliary bank account can be current or savings accounts and either mode is fit and eligible to receive interests (that is charges) but there are precise or fixed rates.
More importantly, the CBN places bank charges of $10 or 0.05% whichever is lower as the benchmark for banks on any kind of withdrawals from the domiciliary users.
However, further research revealed that banks differ in the charges and commissions they impose on their domiciliary customers. Take First Bank, for example, this bank domiciliary bank account brands are differentiated by the minimum starting balance required and the withdrawal charges for each.
On this note, it’s very vital to state that most of the Nigerian banks offering the domiciliary brand of the bank account are issuing denominated debit cards to their customers in foreign currencies.
All in all, there are no fixed or precise domiciliary bank account charges but the Central Bank, however, sets a commission rate of 0.05% or $10 charges as the bank annual maintenance fee. It is left over to the banks either to charge the exact amount or even less.
Who can open the dom account?
Most Nigerian banks allow both business corporations and individuals to safely open and operate a diaspora or domiciliary bank account. That is to say, any interested Nigerian citizen is qualified.
So it doesn’t matter who you are or what you are doing, so long you are a Nigerian, have all the necessary paperwork, valid ID, residence permit, a document that can verify your address, address verification, and the bank domiciliary banking forms, you will be allowed to apply.
Best Bank For Domiciliary Account In Nigeria
Almost every bank now opens a domiciliary account for their interested customers in Nigeria. Although there are big guns in the banking and financial sector that are making the operation of the domiciliary account, even more, worthwhile for the domiciliary users.
So without prejudice and particular order to hierarchy, below are the leading and top banks for a domiciliary account in Nigeria that you can bank with. This doesn’t mean others are not reliable or trustworthy, we are only concern with the top 5 banks in the country.
The United Bank for Africa is the main pan-African bank with its headquarters situated in Nigeria. This bank is, without doubt, one of the best banks in Nigeria you can trust with domiciliary banking.
Being one of the best financial institution in Nigeria and Africa at large, UBA gives it prospective domiciliary bank account users a wide and varieties of options to choose from in the course of opening the dom account with them.
What, however, makes everything about domiciliary bank account more easier and convenient for UBA and its customers is the availability of business places in major foreign countries and its operation in international currencies such as Pounds, US Dollar, Pound Sterling, Euro, and the likes.
2. Zenith Bank
For the past few years now, the Zenith bank has been ranked and proclaimed one of the top 5 banks in Nigeria, and so is its domiciliary account operation and services. Zenith Bank of Nigeria operates two different kinds of domiciliary bank account.
The first one is the ordinary domiciliary account while the other one is the cash domiciliary account. The distinction between these two dom accounts is that; while you can easily make transfers with the Ordinary domiciliary account, it is practically impossible to do the same on the Cash domiciliary account.
And again, with the Zenith bank Cash domiciliary account, all its prospective users have free and quick access to the bank “EazyMoney” product as such is part of the channels available on the account.
3. Guaranty Trust Bank
Obviously, the Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) is the most used bank by Nigerian students and it is one of the financial institutions remains that give its customers value for their money when it comes to opening domiciliary accounts.
Just like all other top banks in the country, GTBank domiciliary bank account is available in US Dollars, Euros, and British Pounds and they can be funded using cash deposits and cash inflows.
4. Fidelity Bank
Opening a domiciliary bank account with Fidelity bank means you will be provided with a foreign country and foreign currency account all in a bid to enhance your international transactions.
This bank also operates in Dollars, Pounds, and Euro. Being a highly-rated bank, Fidelity allows inflows to hit their designated account and they wouldn’t subject it to variation in the domestic exchange rate, although this depends greatly on the country currency involved.
5. First Bank
The First bank dom accounts allow its prospective users to facilitate their international transactions and it can be used and accessed through cash deposits, traveler’s cheques, foreign currency deposit slips or cheques, etc.
Opening your domiciliary bank account with the First bank doesn’t require any special requests from the bank. The bank also adopts the same account opening policy laid down by the Central Bank of Nigeria and such is what all other banks adopted too.
CBN New Domiciliary Account Policy
Sometimes around 2020, the Central Bank (CBN) announced her new domiciliary banking system policy measures in Nigeria’s remittance program, and such policy affected all the kinds of money and currency sent home by the Nigerians living in the Diaspora.
This disclosure was contained in a circular that was signed and released by Dr. O.S Nnaji, the CBN Director of Trade and Exchange Department on November 30, 2020, to all legal and authorized dealers as well as the entire public.
Thus, these new rules and remittance programme policies on how to make or receive money from the United Kingdom or any other part of the world to Nigeria came into the limelight with immediate effect.
In the statement released by this CBN Trade Director, the domiciliary accounts used in depositing export proceeds i.e inflow from goods and services exported from Nigeria — can be used only for business operations.
In addition, on export users, the new CBN directive also gives room for any extra funds that are left in the domiciliary accounts to be disposed of in the Investors and Exporters (I and E) Window.
This could only mean one thing, and that is the fact that the CBN is warning all exporters not to panic sell — in the black market — their foreign proceeds.
The reason being that their old accounts will not be seized to be in operation based on the existing regulations that allow domiciliary bank account holders to use their funds only for business operations.
On other domiciliary users, it was maintained in their new policy that where the accounts are funded through electronic or wire transfer, such account holders will be given unfettered, unrestricted, and full access to use the funds for any eligible transactions of their choices.
However, in any situation where the accounts are being funded through cash lodgments, then the existing domiciliary banking regulations will be involved and applied, where necessary.
How To Open A Domiciliary Account
Having explained what the domiciliary banking system is together with the best banks to open a domiciliary — savings or current — account in Nigeria, now is the right time to explain the necessary steps to open the account without issue.
Note that Nigerians living at home and in the diaspora can comfortably register for the dom account with any bank in Nigeria. All they have to do is simply submit all the necessary documents for the account opening without any hassle.
And most often, the necessary forms that you will be required to fill are all available online for you to download. However, most of the banks encourage and prefer that you apply physically and in person at their nearest branch.
Without mincing words, opening a diaspora account is free of charge at most banks, the following are, therefore, the required steps to follow on how to open a domiciliary account in Nigeria:
- Firstly, before the interested bank user can be qualified to register for the dom account, he must be a certified Nigerian citizen who is residing abroad legally.
- Then, go to any bank of your choice for the registration;
- Enquire, collect and fill in all your details in the diaspora account registration form;
- The bank will also provide you with an option of joint nominee signatory. This means you can choose any of your relatives or a friend of yours to run or be a signatory to the dom account.
Once you are proved to be a certified citizen of Nigeria and also ready to share your account with a friend or relative as a co-signatories, then you will need all the following items to complete your domiciliary bank account registration in Nigeria.
Requirements To Open A Domiciliary Bank Account In Nigeria
- A digital passport or a printed passport size photograph;
- Proof of Identity: any valid document that can show your face or photo, confirm your name as well prove your nationality to be Nigerian. Any of the following items are allowed:
- Voter’s card;
- Birth certificate;
- Expired or valid Nigerian passport; and
- Drivers license.
- Proof of Address: a certified true copy of any of the below items will be accepted;
- Credit card statement or bank statement received not less than 3 months ago;
- Utility bills received not less than 3 months ago;
- Stamped banker’s confirmation; and
- Tenancy agreement or rent receipt.
- Two (2) references from any Nigerian banks indicating that you have an active account with them currently. The account could be a corporate account and it could be a diaspora account too.
Once you have visited your desired bank and have all the proper and necessary paperwork done, you can submit them to apply for the domiciliary or diaspora account.
Setting up a domiciliary account that sends and receive Dollars, Euros, and Pounds in Nigeria can be confusing and seems impossible at first, but with the above discussed and self-explanatory tutorial, opening and setting up an active account for yourself wouldn’t be a problem.