Luxembourg banking federation the ABBL has published a list of startup-friendly bank contacts to help ease the process of opening a bank account in the grand duchy.
The initiative is part of an effort to make it easier for small and medium-sized businesses, startups and alternative investment funds to establish bank accounts in the grand duchy.
A major barrier for businesses
Fast-tracking the process for startups to open bank accounts was cited as the fifth biggest priority for startup founders who took part in Silicon Luxembourg’s recent elections survey. Startups are not prevented from opening accounts in other EU countries, however, when they register their company with a Luxembourg notary, they are required to have an Iban with the LU prefix.
Luxembourg MP Laurent Mosar raised the matter in a parliamentary question in January 2023, the same month that a public petition was submitted to parliament, seeking to impose a minimum banking service similar to that offered in Belgium.
“The creation of new businesses is essential to the dynamism of Luxembourg’s economy and the prosperity of its inhabitants. Some 3,500 businesses are set up each year in our country, and ABBL members, through the services they offer, are important allies for entrepreneurs,” ABBL CEO Jerry Grbic said, adding: “However, we have recently been approached by politicians and economic players about the difficulties encountered in opening accounts for legal entities.”
The ABBL identified three main constraints on the side of banks: anti-money laundering and financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) regulation; the complexity of certain structures like investment funds; and the lack of awareness regarding support available to startups and international investors.
“Together with our stakeholders, we have decided to act on all three fronts by acting as a facilitator between supply and demand, launching educational initiatives and stepping up our training efforts,” says Grbic.
The ABBL stresses that the list of specialised contacts within banks and other banking service providers in Luxembourg shows banks taking a proactive approach, however, “this does not mean that others are not open to discussions with project developers.”Readers can view the list here.