Bank Accounts

money

Offshore bank accounts are commonly sought after to enable funds to be received or remitted pursuant to the establishment of offshore companies or offshore trusts. In addition confidentiality and easy access to fund by way of online access, debit card or credit card contribute to the popularity of offshore bank accounts. Nevertheless it should be remembered that at least the following factors must be considered before opening an offshore accounts, corporate or individual.

Confidentiality: It should be remembered that full disclosure of beneficial ownership is mandatory in almost all centres. The use of anonymous account is the thing of the past. Whilst in general customer’s confidentiality will always be protected, such protection is only afforded to customers with genuine business. In most cases, where there is a court order requiring disclosure or where there is suspicion that a transaction involves proceed of criminal activity, a bank may be compelled to make disclosure. Recent OECD’s initiative on compelling exchange of information between member states and between offshore centres and member states will make “confidentiality” advantage questionable. In the near future, many offshore centres will demand for financial information to be made available by offshore service providers. It is however not clear how and to what extent the available financial information will be made use by regulators in each centre.

Due diligent requirement: Most offshore centres have now legislated laws on anti-money laundering and anti-terrorists financing measure with the effect that banks are required to apply more stringent customer due diligent procedures. In most cases documents required are more numerous and time taken to approve an application is longer than before.

Documentation: No two banks have identical requirement to meet their due diligent prior to opening accounts. Nevertheless common theme appears. It must be remembered that bank reference, detailed explanation of business and source of fund are commonly required.

Cost: Opening and maintaining offshore bank account may be a costly affair. Our clients are advised that at least one-time introduction fee must be paid and bank charges for transactions carried out may be more expensive with some offshore banks.

We have assisted hundreds of clients in opening offshore bank accounts in various centres and are able equipped to advise on the confidentiality, due diligent, documentation requirement and cost aspects of opening and maintaining offshore bank accounts. The fact that we are qualified intermediaries with a few banks also ensure that our clients’ application enjoy high rate of success.

Requirements

Common Due diligent requirements

  1. Bank account opening form.
  2. Specimen cards verified.
  3. Passport copies of director, signatory and beneficial owner verified.
  4. Proof of residential address; normally in the form of bank or credit card statement and utility bills.
  5. Bank reference; usually reference from an international bank is preferred although not a must for some banks. The bank reference should state at least number of years of banking relation, type of account and whether the conduct of account is satisfactory.
  6. CV or resume; what the bank wants to see here is what the customer has been and is doing now.
  7. Detailed nature of business, i.e. The bank needs to understand the client’s business. Most banks will require business cash flow projection.
  8. Company / business profile; Most of these companies are new so there is no profile. Profile of a related company or company which is owned by the beneficial owner will do.
  9. Source of fund; i.e. What is the economic origin of the money that will pass through the account. For example consultancy fees, trading commission, etc.
  10. List of counter parties; i.e. If your client claimed to be in pharmaceutical business he should be able to list out a few of his suppliers and customers. It is not likely that people in who claim to be in this business do not know his counter parties.
  11. Reason/s why account is needed; whatever is the reason so long as legitimate.
  12. Face to face meeting; Not strictly necessary but from our opinion this is very important. This is just a one-time trip that is worth taking. Meet the bank and its officers and this would help so much in future dealing with the bank.

Recommended

Some of the banks we commonly recommend;

 

Malaysia

  • CIMB
  • CIMB Offshore
  • Maybank
  • Maybank Offshore
  • KFH Offshore
  • BIMB Offshore

Singapore

  • ANZ Bank
  • OCBC
  • DBS
  • Citigold
  • EFG Bank

Hong Kong

  • HSBC
  • Hang Seng
  • DBS
  • China Construction Bank

Mauritius

  • ABC bank
  • Afrasia Bank
  • Mauritius Commercial Bank
  • State bank of Mauritius
  • Bank one
  • Banque des Mascareignes

Seychelles

  • Barclays
  • Standard Chartered

Cyprus

  • FBME
  • Eurobank EFG
  • USB Bank

UAE

  • Emirated NBD
  • Mashreq
  • Barclays
  • Standard Chartered
  • Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank
  • United Arab Bank
  • Noor Bank
  • Habib Bank Limited
  • Emirates Islamic
  • First Gulff Bank
  • ADIB
  • CBI

Isle Of Man

  • Standard Bank

Latvia

  • Baltikums Bank
  • ABLV
  • Latvijas Pasta Banka

Panama

  • HSBC
  • Creditcorp Bank
  • Banco Panameno
  • Multibank
  • Credit Andorra

Belize

  • Atlantic Int. Bank
  • British Caribbean Int. Bank
  • Heritage International Bank
  • Choice Bank Ltd

Lichtenstein

  • Valartis Bank

Switzerland

  • Banque Heritage SA
  • Saxo bank
  • Swiss quote Bank
  • Cimbanque

St Vincent & the Grenadines

  • Loyal Bank
  • Euro Pacific Bank

St Lucia

  • BOSLIL

France

  • Blom Bank

Georgia

  • Bank of Georgia

Antigua

  • Global Bank
  • PKB Privatbank Ltd
  • Trium Bank & Trust Ltd
  • Meinl Bank Antigua
  • Davos Internationl