If you’re an expat in Malta looking for a suitable bank, you have several options to choose from ranging from local banks to global/international banks. In case you want to focus on the best banks for your specific situation, we recommend four options: Bank of Valletta (BOV), HSBC Malta, APS Bank, and Lombard Bank.
Bank Of Valletta (BOV)
Bank of Valletta (BOV) is one of the oldest and most established banks in Malta, and is the largest local bank on the island. They are featuring over 100 branches and cash machines spread through Malta. They offer a range of services for expats, including saving accounts, credit cards, and personal loans. If you get a checking account at this bank you will be able to make deposits and withdrawals, check your account balance online, use a cash link card (BOV), and create direct debits/credits as well as standing orders.
HSBC is a global bank with a strong presence in Malta. With this bank you have the largest diversity of account types to choose from depending on how much money you want to deposit as well as the specific services you require. Highlights of this bank include: no monthly fees or minimum balance, home banking services, quick cash card, international debit card, travel insurance (free), and global transfers.
APS Bank is another locally-owned bank in Malta that offers a range of banking services to expats. They have a number of branches across the island and offer services such as current and saving accounts, credit cards, personal loans, and business loans. APS is also licensed as an investment services firm, registered as a Tied Insurance Intermediary.
Lombard Bank is together with the above three banks, one of Malta’s major banks. Since 2018 49.1% of the bank is owned by the Maltese government through the National Development and Social Fund (NDSF). Services cover the whole range of conventional commercial banking activities, such as personal banking services, home loans, personal loans, internet banking, business loans and finance and international banking. At Lombard Bank a lot of emphasis is placed on giving a personalised service.
Alternatively, and in addition to these local and global banks, online banks or digital banks have gained more and more popularity over the past few years, especially among expats and digital nomads. Digital banks are full-service banks that offer all of their services online, rather than through physical branches. Digital banks might offer a more limited selection of services compared to traditional banks, but against lower costs and through an easy-to-use mobile app and/or website. As an expat, it might be interesting to evaluate these alternatives. The most popular ones are:
Revolut Bank: one of the most well-known online banks in the world is accessible in Malta, where it holds a specialised banking licence. One of the big advantages of Revolut is that it offers an extensive range of multi-currency options (150+), which makes it easy to use funds in different currencies, without having to rely on local currency exchange rates. In addition, the Revolut Bank offers investment options in cryptocurrency and stocks via the mobile app. The Standard Revolut Account and Card are free of charge (although there will be charged a delivery fee) and opening an account doesn’t require a Maltese proof of residence.
Wise (formerly TransferWise): is similarly to Revolut and can also be used to send and receive money all over the world in a variety of currencies, and is offering cheaper currency exchange rates and money transfers than traditional banks. The main difference between Revolut and Wise is that Revolut charges zero fees on transfers to Europe, whereas Wise charges a variable fee on such transactions. On the other hand, Revolut charges extra fees on weekends, which Wise doesn’t.
These are in our opinion some of the best banks in Malta for expats, but it is important to note that each expat’s individual needs will vary, and it is important to compare different banks to find the best fit for your personal situation. Consider your options carefully and you’ll quickly find the best bank available for your specific needs.