Bank Account Introduction

Depending on the business profile, financial standing and personal background of the client, we can offer bank account introductions with reputable banks in several popular offshore banking jurisdictions across the world.

Not all banks are suitable to all clients. Some offshore banks require substantial minimum account balances, ranging from $5000 to $100'000. Some banks are more suitable for actively trading and startup-business customers, while other banks cater to the specific needs of high-net-worth clients, with an array of wealth management, investment and private banking services.

Some banks require a personal meeting with the underlying client (beneficial owner) of the IBC, either before the account is opened, or within a certain timeframe after the account is made operative.

An offshore bank account opening is not automatic, and is not guaranteed. Banks have different client-acceptance policies, and may reject clients from certain countries or with certain types of businesses.

Upon getting to know the business background and financial standing of the client, we can usually introduce a bank which is the most suitable to the circumstances.

General guidelines concerning offshore bank accounts.

Due Diligence.

To open a corporate account for an offshore company, all banks will require detailed personal and business information from the owners and controllers of the offshore account.

In particular, the bank will need to know and identify the actual beneficial owner(s) of the offshore company. All owners and controllers of the IBC, as well as everyone who will be granted account signatory rights, need to be properly identified and have to provide a number of documents - such as a certified passport copy, a copy of a second photo-ID, a bankers and/or professional reference, a detailed business description and a cash flow forecast. These documentary requirements may vary in details, but their general scope remain fairly similar in all banks in the world.

Utilizing appointed directors and nominee shareholders is certainly helpful in respect of avoiding unnecessary public scrutiny and crucial for tax optimization, however these confidentiality functions are fairly irrelevant in bank account openings. Any bank will primarily be interested to establish the actual, real owners of the company, and will not be satisfied by merely getting the data on appointed managers or representatives.

Anonymous accounts?

There is no such thing as "anonymous accounts"! All banks are required by law to know their clients in very comprehensive detail. While account introduction through an approved intermediary (like us) is still possible without personal appearance of the company owner in the bank, the banks will still require to know their clients and their business dealings in great detail. This is simply required by the laws that regulate banking industry and there are no exceptions.

Banking secrecy.

Nowadays all banks are required to report the financial information of offshore companies to the Tax Authorities of the countries where the beneficial owners are residents. Information sharing generally takes place under two international regulations – FATCA regarding the beneficial owners from the USA and CRS regarding individuals of the countries that have committed to this system. No information is shared about the residents of the countries that have not committed to CRS.

More information about FATCA and CRS can be found on the websites of the respective Authorities.

Apart of information sharing under FATCA and CRS only to the tax authorities and only for tax purposes, any other confidential banking and personal information may only be divulged if demanded so by a court ruling. Such ruling, naturally, would have to be based on extremely serious circumstances under the applicable criminal laws, and following a proper criminal investigation, carried out domestically. Information-sharing, reporting or any kind of release of confidential banking information to any foreign party or foreign government is strictly prohibited. Severe financial and criminal penalties await anyone who divulges client information - this concerns both the bankers and the registered agents.

Foreign accounts.

For many clients it may be practical to open the offshore bank account in a country situated closer to the place of the actual business of the company or to the actual location of its beneficial owners. Many owners of offshore companies tend to operate the companies by themselves and open the offshore accounts independently, in a location and with bankers that they may already be familiar with. However, such solution may also adversely impact the owners' personal tax circumstances and put him under additional risk of undesired scrutiny. If the beneficial owner wishes to avoid the company being taxed in his own country, he primarily should avoid having and operating a bank account in the same country. (See our Company Management chapter for a more detailed explanation of these risks.)

The standard set of IBC documentation (if properly certified by notary and legalised by Apostille) will usually satisfy the formal requirements of most banks, insofar the internal structure and set-up of the company itself is concerned. However, as indicated above, in order to open a bank account for an offshore company, the most important aspect is the profile of the actual owners and controllers of the company, their business and area of operation.

Please feel free to contact us with a more detailed information on Your banking requirements.

Bank introduction service.

As the name suggests, the account introduction fee is payable for a professional service rendered by us, whereby we introduce the client to a particular bank. Please note that the bank account introduction fee, as quoted in our fees schedule, is not a "success fee" payable for a bank account opening. Payment of this fee does not guarantee the opening of the account!

A bank introduction means exactly that - we will introduce You to a suitable bank as a potential client. Many banks feel more comfortable accepting new clients through licensed professional intermediaries (like us). We will provide You with a full set of account opening forms and a set of samples and instructions of how to correctly complete those forms. We will also formally introduce You to a competent customer services manager directly in the bank. Certainly, we will provide You with the corporate documentation for Your new company, prepared according to the banks' documentary requirements.

However, we can not and we do not guarantee that the account will be opened! While we apply our best effort and our considerable experience to determine in advance whether a particular client might be accepted by a particular bank and to help prepare the application documents and information to look as suitable as possible for the bank, this does not in any way guarantee the success of the account opening. The success of a bank account opening for an offshore company mostly depends on the background information of the beneficial owner of the company, his personal profile and the pattern of his business. This is something that we can not influence. Every bank has its internal client acceptance guidelines (which change often), and banks routinely reject new clients based on a multitude of subjective considerations.

The bank introduction service is completed when any one of the following happens:

1) the bank issues a formal letter (under the banks' letterhead), addressed to the new applicant, advising that the account has been opened and indicating the account numbers; or
2) the bank issues a similar formal letter, advising that it has reviewed the application and has refused to open an account.

All further works and actions that we might be asked to perform in relation to the new bank account (such as handling correspondence and payments to and from the bank, arranging for further financial services, obtaining credit and debit cards, arranging remote banking facilities, opening further accounts, etc) are billable separately, either on time-spent basis or under separate arrangement. In particular, we can provide a full bank account management service.

In order to make a preliminary assessment of your banking requirements, if You wish us to assist with the bank account opening, please complete the Bank Introduction Form and send it back to us.