Requirements for creating a diaspora bank account - Cameroonians

If you are a Cameroonian national who lives out of Cameroon but want to open a bank account with a bank of your choice in Cameroon, here is what you need to know. It is important to note that at the time of writing this article, I had valid information for 3 financial institutions in Cameroon namely BICEC, UBA, Express Union.
Lets proceed in the order above in discussing the requirements needed for a Cameroonian to open a diaspora bank account.

BICEC diaspora account requirements

Starting with BICEC, its rather unfortunate that you can not open a diaspora bank account at BICEC, not as yet. You need to be physically present in order to do so.

UBA diaspora account requirements

As for UBA, Africa's Global Bank, here is what you need to know. You can open 2 types of accounts; a current account and a savings account.

Opening Balance

For a current account the minimum opening balance is 100,000 frs CFA while for a savings account you need a minimum opening balance of 150,000 frs CFA.

Minimum Balance

After having opened the account and while using your account, you need to always have a minimum balance of 25,000frs CFA for a current account and a minimum balance of 100,000 frs CFA for a savings account. Visibly it is more expensive to own a savings account than a current account. This could be due to the interest rate of upto 3.25% for UBA savings accounts.

Identification Credentials

  • 2 Passport size photos
  • Copy of valid national identity card or passport with Visa (Mandatory)

Proof of residence

To show proof that you are actually not in Cameroon and that you are where you claim to be you need to provide your resident permit or work permit. Without one of these documents your account can not be opened.

Source of income 

Depending on your profession or the activity you do to generate income, and in addition to a letter of good standing from your actual bank, you would be asked different documents to verify your source of income. If you are an employee earning salary at the end of a specified period of time, you would need to provide your pay slip + employee status form. If you are a self emplyed individual or a sole proprietor, you would be asked to provide your business registration documnets. If you are a professional in the liberal field, you would be required to provide a bank statement of your banking transactions of the last 3 months.

With UBA, if your source of income documentation is incomplete, you can still proceed by getting a recommendation form signed by a friend or relative who has an account in good standing with UBA.

Diaspora Pack:

These are the value added services that you obtain from opening your account with UBA. You can opt for E-Alerts that will permit you get instant alerts of any transaction (debit or credit) carried out on your account. You can opt for Visa Debit to use in effecting your withdrawals and online purchases together with supemarket checkouts that accept Visa cards. This value added service comes at a cost of 3,000 frs CFA per month while your fax indemnity and + standing instruction are free. That is it for UBA diapora bank account.

Express Union diaspora bank account

Just like BICEC above, at the time of this post, Express Union required that you be physically present to open an account with them. You may need to do so before travelling since anyone can always save into your account on your behalf. This applies best for Cameroonian nationals in the United Arab Emirates who may want to save some of the money they hussle out there.Eventhough there is an Express union branch there in the UAE, as a Cameroonian you can not as yet open a diaspora bank account that you could have access to while in Cameroon.

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