Top 4 Savings Accounts in Nepal (2020)
Nepal has a relatively healthy banking system that focuses on the basics — checking and savings accounts, rather than complex loan schemes like foreign banks, making Nepali banks much safer in our opinion than banks in most countries.
We’ll only be covering accounts I would personally consider using and that I believe to be trustworthy and safe to use. I say this as personally I do not trust all banks and their solvency, and I wouldn’t want anyone to lose their savings because of the incompetence of a badly ran bank even if it means a slightly higher interest rate or more convenient locations around Nepal.
My Favorite Account: Nabil Bank's Shareholder Savings Account
This is by far my favorite non-government bank in Nepal, as they’re the oldest and best-ran bank in Nepal with the safest financials. They don’t offer the best interest rates, although they’re competitive and relatively good still, but I know they aren’t going to go bankrupt or run off with the money deposited with them.
They have tons of ATM’s and branches/locations throughout all the big cities in Nepal, including tons in Thamel and other tourist areas which make them plenty of money from tourists — which make them not have to charge locals much in terms of fees on their accounts. They offer a moderately high 5% -> 6% interest rate currently, and generally offer right-at the inflation rate in Nepal.
The only downside to this account is you must own stock shares of the company, which will require you to go to a brokerage in Nepal, some money to buy the shares, and you requesting an account statement/certificate to prove you own Nabil bank’s shares. I’d say the shares are likely not a bad place to keep some money anyhow, so this isn’t an issue to me — but just keep in mind this account requires a little more work to open due to that limitation.
You can print out the form to open this account, or find locations near you who may have it on Nabil’s website.
Best High-rate Interest Account: Rastriya Banijya's Savings Account
If you’re comfortable using a government-ran bank, then this one offers good interest rates and is much better ran the other government-banks in Nepal in my opinion, as well as are generally more knowledgeable about banking in my experience.
They aren’t quite as “up-to-date” as the other banks we mention here and lack good online banking facilities and transparency, so it’s best to go into a physical location to discuss your options and which specific account you would be eligible for. You can check an overview of their accounts and interest rates offered on this page of their website, however it’s not always up-to-date and it’s only in Nepali — but this shouldn’t be an issue for most of you.
An Overall Decent Convenient Bank: Mega's Lokapriya Bachat Khata Account
While I don’t trust this bank as much, I do still trust them enough to feel comfortable storing money in their bank — although I’d prefer to bank with Nabil personally. This account generally offers slightly less interest than Nabil’s savings account, although not enough to really make a big difference.
I’d say if you already bank with Mega or they’re more convenient for you bank with them, but otherwise there’s no real benefit to going with them over Nabil or one of the others on this list. They do offer a Visa debit card and Checks, as well as no minimum deposit to open a savings account, so they aren’t a bad choice by any means. You can check the current interest rate they offer for this account on their website by clicking here.
Best for Long-term Deposits: Nepal Investment Bank's Term Deposits
If you have significant capital and are comfortable not having access to it for 3-6mo or longer (depending on the return you desire), then these are hands-down the best option for your savings. You can easily get between 9% and 11% on your money per year depending on the deposit-length term, which is great.
If you choose to do this make sure you have cash savings or another account above for a smaller amount of your money in case you need the money before your term-deposit is finished, as you won’t have access to deposits into this account for multiple months.
If you do use this account I’d personally avoid their highest interest rate terms such as the 10 year options and stick to the lower-return 3 to 6 month term deposits, as they are much safer. When they expire simply do another 3 to 6 month term deposit. This way if inflation increases you don’t lose your purchasing power, and you can have access to the money relatively quickly if your life circumstances change, such as getting married or moving abroad, and you wanting the money soon.
You can check the current term deposit rates on this page of Nepal Investment Bank’s website.