Diaspora Banking service is designed for Ethiopians and foreigners of Ethiopian origin living in Diaspora to open and use foreign currency account with a bank in their home country. Individuals and companies, that have head offices in foreign countries, can open this account. The account can be opened in one of the following currencies only:
- US Dollar
- Pound Sterling
Deposit made in other convertible currencies such as Canadian Dollar, Saudi Riyal, Japanese Yen Australian Dollar, and UAE Dirham shall be converted to any of the above stated three currencies at spot exchange rate based on the preference of the account holder.
Types of Accounts:
1) Fixed (time) Deposit Account
- Withdrawals in foreign currency shall not be made from such accounts
- It is an interest bearing account with agreed maturity date.
- The minimum maturity period is three months.
- It is opened with an initial deposit of US Dollar 5,000 or its equivalent in any of the above stated currencies.
- Interest on such accounts shall be payable only if the account is maintained at least for the minimum period of three months.
- Interest income on such accounts is tax-free.
- The Bank will give a certificate for its customer when the money is transferred following the opening of the account.
- The bank is allowed to set its own interest rate on non-resident fixed foreign currency account provided that the interest rate does not exceed the prevailing LIBOR rate.
2) Current Account
- It is operated by cheque book and/or pre-arranged procedure.
- Withdrawals can be made at any time by writing a cheque and/or a per-arranged procedure.
- It can be opened with an initial deposit of US Dollar 100 or its equivalent in any of the above stated currencies.
- Interest shall not be paid to a non-resident foreign currency current account.
3) Non-repairable Birr Account
- It is an account that may take the form of saving deposit that can be used for local payments only.
- The transferred balance will be exchanged to local currency and deposited to the account.
- Interest rate on such accounts shall be double of the minimum saving deposit rate set by the National Bank of Ethiopia.
- Withdrawals in foreign currency shall not be made from such accounts.
4) Eligibility Criteria
The following are eligible to use the Diaspora Account:
- Non-resident Ethiopian
- Non-resident foreign nationals of Ethiopian origin
- Companies owned by the above mentioned nonresidents and located outside the
- Ethiopian territory for more than one year
- Ethiopian nationals living and working abroad or in due process of living abroad for work for more than one year and who can produce authenticated documents.
5) Opening of the Account
- Ethiopian national/ foreigners of Ethiopian origin residing abroad can open the account in person & by post in his/her home.
- Applicants who could not physically appear to open the account in the domestic banks can use the Ethiopian Embassies, correspondent bank or remittance service providers nearby to prove their identity.
- Opening and crediting of a foreign currency account by power of Attorney Holders is – not allowed. However, power of Attorney Holders are allowed to withdraw from these accounts provide that the power of Attorney explicitly empowers them to operate the account.
- An individual may open current account in only one of the domestic authorized bank. Whereas he/she may open fixed deposit accounts in more than one bank.
6) Required Documents
- Application forms properly filled and signed by the applicant and specimen signature.
- For Ethiopians or foreign nationals of Ethiopian origin individuals, valid passport and/or identification card.
7) Closure of the Account
- The following conditions may lead to the closure of the Diaspora Account: –
- Upon the request of the account holder;
- When the account holder starts to live in Ethiopia after completion of his/her stay abroad.
8) Ways of crediting to account
- Direct crediting of the account from place of residence through the banking system (Swift code AWINETAA)
- Foreign currency cash notes exceeding USD 3,000 or equivalent in any other convertible currency provided that the holder presented signed and sealed foreign currency declaration form from Ethiopian Revenue and customs authority.
- Resident living in neighboring and Middle East countries are required to present signed and sealed foreign currency declaration form from Ethiopian revenue and customs authority for less than or equal to USD 3,000 foreign currency cash notes or equivalent in any other convertible foreign currency to deposit in the account.
- Check deposit that originates from abroad.
- A transfer from another type of non-resident foreign currency account owned by individuals and or enterprises.
- Receipt through international payment cards/credit cards/debit cards.
9) If there is a need to credit the account through swift, please provide the following details
- Full name of the account holder with Awash Bank
- Account number
- Name of the Branch where the account is maintained
- Swift code – AWINETAA
Special Credit facility
- Residential Home/Commercial Building Loan
- Investment Projects
- Car Loan (New & Used)
- Personal Loan
- The interest rates that are mentioned above are directly applicable if the loan repayment and equity contribution is in FCY. And if in case local cash involves, the bank shall make additional increment on the interest rate set above Interest Free Banking Loan Scheme
- For Residential Home/Commercial Building
- For Investment Project
Purpose of Foreign currency accounts (S.no 1&2)
- Local Payment
- Transferring of fund to other individuals/organization Diaspora account
- For Import transaction settlement
- Payments to the bank (if any)
- Collateral for loan & bid
- Withdraw for travel allowance of their requirements in cash note or and other instruments upon presentation of valid travel document from their account.
- The bank shall allow repatriation abroad of the deposit opened upon the request of the account holder.
- Repatriation of the deposit shall not exceed the initial balance plus any interest receipt on the deposit amount.