These accounts are held with correspondent banks or financial institutions in the respective foreign countries where the currencies are used. Therefore, for your business, you must choose an AD-1 category bank that provides a NOSTRO account service. The accounts benefit clients with global banking needs and allow them, through their own bank, to open accounts in other countries as they need. Most Vostro accounts will have the same preferred services as a regular bank account, including foreign exchange transactions, deposits and withdrawals, and money or wire transfers. Anyone familiar with banking might be wondering how a nostro account differs from a correspondent bank account. Unlike a correspondent bank account, which facilitates transactions on behalf of the account holder’s customers, these accounts are used to facilitate the account holder’s own transactions.

The account is held on behalf of a domestic bank that manages and supervises the funds. The domestic bank will approach the international correspondent bank to open an account on behalf of their client. The correspondent will hold the funds, and the domestic bank will act as the custodian or manager of the funds. An example of a nostro account would be a bank account that is opened in India by a US bank in order to facilitate foreign exchange and international trade transactions.

For both nostro and vostro accounts, the domestic bank (i.e., the bank that is holding the account) acts as the caretaker for the account and is sometimes referred to as the “facilitator” bank. “Nostro” and “vostro” are two different terms used to describe the same bank account. The terms are used when one bank has another bank’s money on deposit, typically in relation to international trading or other financial transactions. These developments are not only reshaping the way we conduct international business but also have far-reaching implications for the stability of the global financial system and the growth of economies worldwide. An Indian dealer Mr. A want to pay amount in US dollars to the dealer in US for import of goods.

  1. Nostro accounts are mostly commonly used for currency settlement, where a bank or other financial institution needs to hold balances in a currency other than its home accounting unit.
  2. A NOSTRO account refers to an account held by a bank in a foreign country, denominated in the currency of that particular country.
  3. These accounts are an essential aspect of correspondent banking in which the bank holding the funds acts as custodian for or manages the account of a foreign counterpart.
  4. However, with such extensive interconnected transactional systems, it is a hassle for a bank to execute transactions quickly.

The facilitator bank uses its clearing network with the central bank to carry out the transaction. When a bank needs to make a payment in a country where it doesn’t hold a nostro account, it can use a bank with which it has a correspondent relationship to make the payment on its behalf. If a country were to leave the eurozone, either voluntarily or involuntarily, banks would need to re-establish nostros in that country in its new currency in order to continue making payments.

So, if an Indian bank like the SBI wants to open an account in the United States, it will get in touch with a bank in the US, which will open a Nostro account and accept payments for SBI in dollars. Here are some key future trends likely to expedite foreign currency processing further. The technology infrastructure of a bank, including its hardware, software, and network capabilities, plays a critical role in processing speed. Modern, well-maintained systems are more likely to handle transactions quickly and efficiently. It is always denominated in foreign currency, whereas a Vostro account is in domestic currency. If you’re interested in offshore banking, your financial advisor can walk you through the rules and regulations that apply when setting up these accounts.

NOSTRO Account: What it is and How it Works for International Transactions

It is simply a record that Bank A’s money is held in Bank B to facilitate foreign exchange transactions and settlement of international trade. The opposite term, vostro account, is the way in which a bank refers to the accounts that foreign banks have on their books that are denominated in the holding bank’s home currency. Nostro accounts differ from standard demand deposit accounts because they are denominated in foreign currencies. Also, only businesses or governments have nostro or vostro accounts, they aren’t offered in the same way to individual account holders. Banks are categorised into AD-1 (Authorised Dealer Category 1) and AD-2 by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). AD-1 banks are a significant presence in the international financial market and are authorised by the RBI to deal in foreign exchange transactions.

Limitations on Nostro Accounts

To fulfil the payment request, Bank A can redirect the payment transaction to the correspondent bank’s NOSTRO account and instruct the bank to debit the NOSTRO account with the funds and credit them into the recipient’s account. Say domestic bank approached by Mr. A is state bank of India which opens account with Bank of America in New York then the account opened by SBI is referred as NOSTRO Account. It alludes to the foreign bank account laid out through the homegrown bank in the particular nation of the currency wanted.

Nostro Account vs. Vostro Account: What’s the Difference?

These are required for boosting business growth by smoothening financial transactions. When comparing nostro accounts, it’s important to check the list of countries and currencies the bank facilitates transactions in. If a country’s currency is not convertible, meaning it cannot be easily bought and sold on the foreign exchange market, then you may not be able to open a nostro account there. Banks that offer nostro accounts act as intermediaries for an entity that wants to do business in a particular country but lacks a physical presence or banking access there. Money can move in and out of a nostro account, smoothing the completion of deposit and withdrawal transactions. Nostro accounts make it easier to document the movement of funds since they require strict recordkeeping.

Difference Between Nostro Account and Vostro Account

Vostro is a reference to “yours” and refers to “your money that is on deposit at our bank.” A Vostro account is like any other account held by a bank. Because it is an additional feature, banks with nostro facilities usually charge maintenance fees that may be expensive. These accounts are used to facilitate international transactions and to settle transactions that hedge exchange-rate risk.

When individuals send money abroad, their banks facilitate the transaction through NOSTRO accounts, incurring these fees. These charges contribute to the cost of conducting cross-border financial activities, reflecting the complexity of international transactions. Every bank in India processes foreign currencies at different speeds as they rely on complex systems and operations to manage transactions, customer interactions, and regulatory compliance. Some key factors that can impact the processing speed of banks include the following. Now, imagine the same when you execute foreign currency transactions with the receiver in a foreign country, expecting you to pay immediately. A slow transaction processing speed can present you or your business in an unprofessional light and result in losing suppliers or vendors.

Banks in the United States and the eurozone often hold Vostro accounts on behalf of other foreign banks, and the funds are held in the currency of the home currency of the country where they are on deposit. When opening a Nostro account, the client bank elects to open an account with another bank that it has a banking relationship with in a foreign country. Once the bank has secured an account with the facilitator bank, the latter will assist the former in making payments for transactions using its home currency. Nostro accounts differ from demand deposit accounts, which are held in the currency of the bank where they are located. Nostro accounts hold their balances in a foreign currency, that of the other country where the bank’s nostro account is based.

In this article, we’re explaining the meaning, purpose, and use of the nostro account. CFI is the official provider of the Commercial Banking & Credit Analyst (CBCA)™ certification program, designed to transform anyone into a world-class vostro and nostro account financial analyst. Over 1.8 million professionals use CFI to learn accounting, financial analysis, modeling and more. Start with a free account to explore 20+ always-free courses and hundreds of finance templates and cheat sheets.

understanding the Nostro Account

A Nostro account is a bank account that holds funds in the foreign country’s currency of which that correspondent firm presides. “Nostro” is Latin and translates to “ours” and is used to facilitate international trade transactions involving different currencies and foreign exchange. A Nostro account is used for the customer to keep track of their funds held internationally in the country’s respective currency. This way, NOSTRO accounts enable banks to facilitate cross-border transactions by maintaining balances in various currencies in foreign banks. It sends payment instructions through SWIFT messages to its correspondent bank, which holds the NOSTRO account in the beneficiary’s currency. Corporations can also set up nostro accounts in countries where they do business and have a high volume of foreign exchange transactions.