Company formation and bank account opening are two different services. Generally speaking, offshore company formation is easy. Opening a proper bank account for the same company is not. It can be incredibly difficult and time-consuming.
System is becoming more and more regulated all over the world. To open the account for an offshore company, all banks will require very 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 such persons, as well as everyone who will be granted account signatory rights, will have to provide a number of documents – such as certified passport copy, proof of address (utility bill or bank account statement), bankers and/or professional reference and detailed business description/plan. These documentary requirements vary, depending on the chosen bank. This is required by the laws that regulate banking industry.
Banks account opening through an approved intermediary, like Atrium is still often possible without personal presence of the owner of the company in the bank, however most banks do require personal visit of the beneficial owner before the account opening – or shortly after.
Please note that the bank account introduction fee, as quoted in our fees schedule, is not a fee payable for a bank account opening. Payment of this fee does not guarantee the opening of the account. As the name suggests, the account introduction fee is payable for a professional service rendered by us during the introduction of a client to a particular bank. In particular, this service includes the provision of and the assistance with the completion of bank account application forms, preparation of the company documents for the bank, support and advice during the compiling of the client due diligence information and documents and assistance with submission of the account opening application file to the bank.
Using our service usually significantly increases the chances of a positive result, however, we cannot and we do not guarantee the success of the account opening. The success of a bank account opening for an offshore company is mostly dependent on the particulars of the client himself and his business. Properly certified identification documents according to the requirements of the bank, detailed business description with logical information and realistic cash flow forecasts as well as a detailed CV of the company owner showing experience in the area of the intended business are essential for account opening. These documents must be prepared by the client himself as this information depends and is known only to the client and we cannot create it for the client. Banks routinely reject new clients based on their internal considerations and their new client acceptance guidelines if they find the individuals involved in the company are questionable or the business model is unclear or unrealistic.
Considering the ever-increasing compliance costs, banks also evaluate any prospective customer in terms of its costs and risks versus benefit.
The perceived bank’s risk from a locally operated, locally owned domestic business is usually low.
When you go offshore – everything changes! By definition, an “offshore” client will always be considered high-risk. From the bank’s perspective this means that the overhead cost to maintain the file of such client will be higher, and the compliance procedures for such client will need to be more frequent, thus more costly. This can only be justified for high-value clients.
Long-gone are days when the bank needed your deposit. They don’t. Most banks nowadays have access to infinite and extremely cheap financing from the central banks and the money-market, where all the large institutional money resides. Unless you come with at least a decent six-figure number, banks generally don’t need your money. They can get more of it elsewhere, cheaper and with less trouble.
Banks are not interested to simply keep small amounts of money on current account with little or no movement. Especially, if that current account belongs to a high-risk customer such as an offshore company. It’s simply not worth the trouble and the risk. Keep in mind, bank will also suspect that You are a potential money-launderer until You prove otherwise.
While we apply all possible effort to determine in advance whether a particular client might be accepted by a bank and to prepare all the documents and information as suitable as possible for the bank, this does not in any way guarantee the success of the account opening.
According to international agreements and banking industry regulations, the banks are required to provide financial account information about the companies and their beneficial owners in two cases – regarding tax matters and in cases of criminal investigation.
Regarding tax matters the information is shared automatically to the tax authorities of the country where the beneficial owner of the company resides. Information sharing is required and regulated by FATCA regulations regarding beneficial owners of the USA and CRS regarding the beneficial owners of the countries that have committed to the CRS. Information is provided only to the tax authorities of the respective country and only for tax purposes. No other information is provided to any other government institutions and no information is provided about the residents of the countries that are not committed.
More information about FATCA and CRS can be found on the websites of the respective Authorities.
Regarding criminal matters, the confidential information on a banks’ client may only be divulged under a proper criminal investigation to the respective police authority.
Otherwise the information is strongly protected by the banking regulations and cannot be disclosed to any persons, authorities (other than police or tax authorities according to strict procedures) or any other third parties under any circumstances. Severe financial and criminal penalties await anyone, who divulges such information.
Our Services before you deal directly with the bank by yourself:
Independent advice to help you to choose the right bank;
Support regarding due diligence requirements;
Assistance with filling in the required forms;
Provision of properly legalized corporate documentation where applicable;
Recommending you to the bank based on your individual profile and due diligence documentation;
Representing you before the bank in the course of account opening;
Our bank account introduction is a professional service provided by Atrium to European or Offshore company owners as an approved bank intermediary. While we cannot guarantee the bank will open an account for every client, by using our professional expertise, we can significantly increase the success rate for account opening. We also can reduce potential application hold ups with incorrect or missing documents that the client may not have been aware of.
Factors we consider when recommending banks for account opening: client’s citizenship and country of residence, types of transactions involved (trading / manufacturing / real estate / investment), volume of payment transfers, investment requirements, confidentiality, soft currency requirements, as well as language issues when communicating with the bank.
What separates us from our competitors is that our services don’t end with the registration of your company. We offer a wide range of additional services others can’t or just won’t offer, such as lifetime free support.
Whilst most providers either specialise on personalized consultation at relatively high rates or run bulk registration factories without any support, we want to offer the positive aspects of both types. Therefore Atrium combines professional advice, worldwide registration services, reasonable fees, customized order processing, lifetime support and fast processing. Where others see company formation services as a bulk registration with no support and no individual assistance, we do care about your business needs.
UK Residency is not a legal requirement
There are no legal restrictions that prohibit non-UK residents from opening a business account. However, most banks will not accept applications from overseas due to fraud concerns and the additional administration costs.
HSBC can provide a business account for UK-registered companies with non-resident directors and shareholders. However, the owner(s) of the company must travel to the UK to sign a bank mandate and present their photographic ID and proof of address documentation.
BARCLAYS offers an international business account with no stipulation for any directors or shareholders to be UK residents, under same terms.
Opening a company bank account in the United States became almost impossible for foreigners since introduction of the “Patriot Act”. However, the good news is: It still can be done.
If your Delaware Company has all prerequisites (Company in good standing, US tax number (EIN), US business address) we can assist to open a corporate bank account in Delaware or in NY.
Your corporate bank account will be open with one of the largest banks in the United States. Online banking, check book and VISA card is included. Only you or your named signatories will have access to the bank account – we won’t provide “nominee banking” as other providers might do.
International Recommended Banks:
ABC Banking Corporation, Mauritius
Atlantic International Bank, Belize
BlueOrange Bank, Latvia (****)
Banco Sabadell, Spain, Madrid (*)
Bank of Nevis International Ltd
Bankinter, Spain, Madrid (*)
Barclays Bank, UK (*)
BFI, Cape Vert
BOC, Bank of Cyprus, Cyprus
BOSLIL, Bank of Saint Lucia Limited
Capital Security Bank, Cook Islands
CIM Banque, Switzerland
Citizens Bank, USA (*)
Euro Pacific Bank, St. Vincent & Grenadines
First Gulf Bank, Dubai (***)
Hellenic Bank, Cyprus
Heritage International Bank & Trust Ltd, Belize
HSBC, Hong Kong (*)
HSBC, UK (*)
Loyal Bank, St Vincent & The Grenadines
Millennium BCP, Portugal
NatWest, UK (*)
Nedbank Private Wealth – Isle of Man
Noor Bank, Dubai (**)
Pacific Private Bank, Vanuatu
Vanuatu National Bank, Vanuatu
Verso Bank, Estonia
(*) Personal meeting required
(**) Personal meeting at the branch in Dubai or at Noor Bank Lawyers in Switzerland
(***) Please note the clients do have to travel to Dubai to set up the bank account, any high net worth individuals or clients who can deposit a min of US$200,000 in the bank we can set up from London (UK)
(****) Merchant Account Services available, too
> If either of these banks or jurisdictions to set up your corporate bank account suits you, we shall be very pleased to assist you…