Offshore Pro Group experts have many years of experience in setting up foreign bank accounts. We are prepared to give you a 99.9% guarantee that you will have an account in a foreign bank if you apply for our assistance and follow our recommendations. Let us discuss what issues are involved in opening a bank account abroad.
How can a company open a business account in a foreign bank?
Our professional experience shows that the best strategy to use when setting up a corporate bank account abroad is to apply for services to several financial institutions at once. These should not be any financial institutions, of course, but those that, first, meet your standards, and second, that are likely to take your company onboard.
Acquiring an approval of your application for banking services is not an easy task these days, especially if you would like to have a bank account in a European state. You have to take a complex approach to the matter and define your priorities.
Please note that we will gladly help you prepare all the application documents, complete the bank forms, and pass through the KYC and due diligence procedures.
How to open a foreign bank account for a non-resident company
Contact us by email, telephone, or our live chat and tell us that you would like to set up a business account in a foreign bank. Sign a service agreement and cover the costs of our services.
Please note that we highly recommend applying to several banks at a time. This will increase your chances for acquiring service from at least one of them.
What do foreign banks want to know about prospective clients?
- First, the bank will want to identify the company beneficiary/ account user. Thus personal IDs will be required and a proof of the residential address.
- Second, your company’s corporate documents will be required (the Registration Certificate, Memorandum and Articles of Association, and so on). The bank officer will also want a description of your business that can let him/ her understand the nature of your business very clearly. You will have to inform the bank about the products or services that you make or sell, about your business partners, about your clients, about your annual turnover, about the expected account turnover, and so on and so forth.
- Third, that bank officer will want to ascertain the legality of you company’s sources of income. You cannot be involved in any money-laundering activities or terrorism financing.
- Finally, you will have to provide some recommendations from your current bank or your business partners.
These are only most general requirements applied by all banks today. Each particular bank may request some additional documents to make sure that they are taking a trustworthy client onboard. You have to understand that the banks have to take good care of their professional reputation. If a bank agrees to provide services to a certain company and it later turns out that the company is involved in some sort of illegal or not-quite-legal activities, the bank is going to suffer huge losses. Fines will be imposed, managers may be arrested, and the banking license may be revoked. Naturally, no bank want such things to happen to it.
European banks in particular are especially demanding to prospective clients. This is the main reason why we recommend acquiring professional assistance when setting up a foreign bank account and applying for services to several financial institutions. We use the term ‘financial institutions’ instead of ‘banks’ to remind you about the existence of payment systems and neobanks (digital banks). These are less demanding to their clients in comparison to the traditional banks and they provide a wide range of banking services. Please remember about the opportunity to open a corporate account with a payment system or a neobank.
Please note that it is important to prepare for the application for banking services with great care in all cases. How can we give you a 99.9% guarantee that your foreign bank account will be opened? We cooperate with over 200 banks and payment systems from different countries and we know exactly how to approach each of them. We keep track of all the changes in their requirements and we also know their unpublicized rules. Why cannot we give you a 100% guarantee? Because the ultimate decision to open a business account for your non-resident company lies with the bank and not with us.
How to open a personal bank account abroad
Setting up a personal bank account in a foreign country is a bit simpler as fewer documents need to be submitted. However, the bank will also want to know that the prospective client is a law-abiding person who deserves to be trusted. Unlike several years ago, today banks do not provide services to anybody and you have to prove that you are going to be a reliable client.
Why do banks want to see a proof of the prospective client’s residential address? Because the Compliance Department wants to ascertain that the person is not related anyhow to a jurisdiction that is blacklisted (or grey-listed) by the OECD or FATF. They are applying great pressure to these jurisdictions in an attempt to put them in compliance with the international regulations.
Besides, the bank will want to know if you are a PEP (Publicly Exposed Person) or if you are closely related to a PEP. Celebrities often get involved in scandals and some politicians are prone to corruption. If the bank takes a PEP onboard and something unpleasant happens with this person in the future, the bank will have its portion of trouble too. This is why banks are so cautious about servicing PEPs.
Most banks will also want to make sure that the money that the prospective client is going to deposit comes from a legal source and that the taxes on this money have been paid. So please be prepared to submit some documents certifying the legality of your sources of personal income.
In addition, you have to bear in mind that some banks will want you to make an initial deposit of a certain amount before they make your account functional. Banks in Switzerland, for instance, require rather substantial initial deposits.
Often a security balance is required as well. With some banks, its amount equals the amount of the initial deposit, while with others it is smaller. Anyway, you have to be aware of that too.
As far as payment systems and neobanks are concerned, they have much fewer restrictions pertaining to their clients’ countries of residence or social positions. Opening an account there will be easier but they often fail to provide some services that traditional banks offer. Therefore, you had better ascertain that the PSP (Payment Service Provider) you are applying to is able to provide the banking services that you need. You also have to bear in mind the fact that financial regulators put forward more relaxed requirements to PSPs and neobanks in comparison to the classic banks. For this reason, the former should be regarded as less reliable than the latter.
The procedure of setting up a personal account in a foreign bank
Contact us by email, messenger, or our live chat and tell us that you would like to set up a personal account in a foreign bank indicating your purposes.
You will have to submit a copy of your international passport in order to set up an account in a foreign bank. If you have a domestic passport, you can supply a copy of it too. In addition to that, most banks will require documents that confirm the legality of your sources of income and a bank statement from your home country bank. In all cases, you will have to complete the application form that is different with every foreign bank. You have to answer all the questions that the form asks.
When you have submitted the application for services to a foreign bank, you will have to wait for their answer. It usually takes the bank between a week and a month to make the decision. While processing your application, the bank officer may want to ask you some additional questions and request some additional documents. You have to be cooperative; otherwise, they will not open an account for you! As a rule, the banks with the best reputation are simultaneously the most demanding to their prospective clients.
Please note: that we will gladly advise on completing the forms and supplying the documents. If you are able to answer all the bank officer’s questions to his/ her satisfaction, you will have a 99.9% chance to open an account in a foreign bank.
Remote opening of a foreign bank account and remote account management
The quarantine restrictions applied due to the COVID-19 pandemic together with the global tendency to provide more digital services have made many banks provide for the possibility to open accounts remotely.
Our experts will be happy to tell you what financial institutions will let you set up a foreign bank account without leaving the comfort of your home. The number of banks that provide for such an opportunity is growing so please request the latest information from us. What is more, payment systems and neobanks have always provided services to the clients remotely.
How do the banks identify clients remotely? They have to rely on the documents that the client supplies. This means that the documents have to be notarized and sometimes they also need to be apostilled. Some banks will have recommendations as to how exactly the applications documents have to be legalized. In addition, some banks use videoconferencing applications to set up a virtual meeting with the prospective client. Some other banks may have representation offices in your home country so you can be asked to have a personal meeting with a bank officer located close to you.
All banks and payment systems that we collaborate with offer online banking opportunities and many of them use mobile banking applications as well. Sometimes, coding applications are used to provide for the security of the client – bank communications. In some cases, you can make a telephone call to the bank to give instructions. In any event, remote bank account management has become widespread and easy to use.
Please note: that not all foreign banks will open accounts for non-residents remotely. Please inquire if the bank that you are considering provides for such an opportunity.
If you are interested in setting up a personal or a corporate account in a foreign bank, please contact us and request our professional support in this endeavor. Our corporate email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. We always respond quickly!
Can I open an account in a foreign bank without anybody’s assistance?
Theoretically, you can. Many banks have websites that provide for such an opportunity. However, most often, you cannot find all the necessary information at the website to succeed in setting up a foreign bank account. With our assistance, you will have much better chances to open an account in a foreign bank.
What country should I choose to open a foreign bank account?
You have a wide choice of countries indeed and each of them will have its own advantages and disadvantages. Banks in Switzerland are perfectly safe, for instance, but opening a foreign bank account in this country is not easy and the financial requirements are quite tough. Banks in the Caribbean offer more attractive service conditions but their reputation can be an issue. Please seek our advice on choosing the country where your foreign bank account should be opened.
Is it expensive to set up an account in a foreign bank?
The cost of our services is not very high. However, some banks will ask you to make a substantial initial deposit before they activate your account. Therefore, you have to be prepared to allocate a few thousand euros or dollars to this endeavor.