How to open a Nigerian UBA domiciliary account without the two referees

One of the main obstacles to opening a domiciliary account in Nigeria is the fact that you will be required to provide two people with current accounts that will stand as references for you.

This requirement has meant that several bloggers and freelancers who receive their payments in dollars and other foreign currencies now use their Naira accounts to receive such remittances. This means loss of much needed revenue for such online freelancers who dont earn much to begin with.

Here is how receiving foreign currency in your Naira account works, your bank will receive the funds in your name and pay the equivalent in Naira into your local account. sounds easy and straight forward right? until you realize how much money you will be losing this way.

Say for example you receive a remittance of $200 from AdSense, your bank will exchange that amount at the official CBN rate which as of the time of writing this article  is 413/$. This means your bank will pay 82,600 into your Naira account. Compare that to the 560/$ you will get when you withdraw your money and exchange it at your local Bureau De Change, your $200 will amount to over 112,000 Naira, you just lost almost 30,000 Naira!

If that is not enough reason to convince you to open a domiciliary account then consider this, the bank buys your dollars at 413/$ and will sell same back to you if you need it at 480/$. If you want to pay for anything in dollars, you are also losing money not just when you receive it!

What is a domiciliary account?

A domiciliary account is an account domiciled with a Nigerian bank but that can receive and transact in major international currencies including the US dollar, British pounds and the Euro. It also allows you to withdraw physical cash in any of these currencies. And of course, you can also deposit if you have hard currencies.

How to open a UBA domiciliary account without references

United Bank for Africa, UBA bank is one of the few banks in Nigeria that allows customers to open a domiciliary account without the mandatory two referees required by the CBN.

The name of the account type is called the UBA Freedom Domiciliary account, this domiciliary savings account is built to receive foreign remittances, with no limits, directly into your account. You can continue to receive payments until you withdraw $2000 when you will be required to upgrade your account by providing some basic KYC document, two referees and a minimum balance of $100.

To open an account, go to any branch of UBA bank and request an account opening form. fill out your details as honestly as possible and you will be given your account number on the spot.

Features and requirements to open a UBA freedom domiciliary account.

  • Easy documentation requirements, you only need your BVN and one passport photograph to get started.
  • Zero balance account opening
  • Free access to check account balances via our Mobile App and the Internet banking platform
  • Receive foreign currency and Telex inflows directly into your account
  • You can withdraw your foreign currency at any UBA bank branch.
  • Q: What is the minimum operating balance for FSDOM account?
  • A: The minimum operating balance for FSDOM account is zero (0) USD
  • Q: What is the minimum opening balance for Freedom Savings Domiciliary accounts?
  • A: The minimum opening balance for Freedom Savings Domiciliary account is Zero.
  • Q: What documentation is required for FSDOM?
  • A: The only documentation required for FSDOM is your BVN and one passport photo
  •  Q: What documentation is required for FSDOM?
  • A: There is no maximum cumulative balance for the FSDOM. However, customers will upgrade their accounts as soon as they exceed a debit turnover limit of $2,000.
  • Q: Does the Account Allow Use of Debit and Credit Card?
  • A: No, please. The account does not allow the use of cards.
  • Q: What is the interest rate for this account type?
  • A: This is a zero interest paying account.
  • Q: Can customers carry out transfers on this account?
  • A: No, please. Customers can only access their cash through in-branch cash withdrawals.


The domiciliary account is important for bloggers, freelancers and anyone earning in dollars, up until now one of the major obstacles to opening one is the two referees requirement and the minimum $100 deposit to run it. but of this requirements has been stripped away buy UBA bank with their Freedom domiciliary account. With just your BVN and a passport photo you can open a dollar account that can be used to receive your AdSense payments and any other sort of international wire transfer.


A writer! Columnist and an academic researcher
Back to top button