Anonymous bank accounts are used to hide the holder’s personal data, protect them from fraud and scam, and help to avoid paying taxes. Yet, with all their perks, anonymous bank accounts are illegal. It is impossible to set up a 100% anonymous bank account today. Modern banks implement stringent KYC, CDD, and AML rules to thoroughly verify the identity of ultimate beneficial owners (UBOs).
With the above in mind, the question remains: what should you do to set up a bank account abroad and remain confidential? What is the best country to hide money? Where can I set up an anonymous checking account? Let’s analyze the key concepts behind anonymous bank transactions and anonymous banks themselves as well as instruments used to legally keep your personal data confidential.
What are anonymous bank accounts?
An anonymous bank account does not contain any holder’s personal data. Instead, a multi-digit number or a customer’s code is used. In earlier days when anonymous bank accounts were perfectly legal, the practice was to enter the holder’s name in special archives stored in a bank safe. As a result, the customer’s personal data were only available to a limited number of senior officials.
The last 2 decades however brought significant changes. Because of them, opening an anonymous bank account is no longer a possibility as this financial instrument became illegal. Yet, it is still possible to secure personal data privacy. This can be achieved through using offshore bank accounts in certain jurisdictions, subject to additional conditions like renouncing your US citizenship, for example.
In a number of jurisdictions, financial institutions specialize in providing services to satisfy customers looking to obtain greater privacy.
If you strive to protect your personal or corporate rights, International Wealth experts recommend you consider becoming a “secret” bank client in any of the below jurisdictions:
- Hong Kong
These jurisdictions come with high confidentiality and protect your deposits and funds to the utmost. With their stable banking systems, they are the best choice to protect customer interests. The only thing to keep in mind is that no abuse of law is allowed anywhere. So, if you avoid taxes or are involved in money laundering, confidentiality regulations won’t serve to protect you.
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FATCA and OECD affecting bank account anonymity
The 2007-2008 crisis made major governments realize they lack tax revenues. The US proved in 2007 that the famous Swiss UBS bank had aided American citizens to avoid taxes. As a result, the US pressure on Switzerland, known as a respected offshore jurisdiction, has increased greatly to make the country outlaw anonymous (a.k.a. numbered) bank accounts.
In 2010, FATCA was introduced. In 2014, many national governments implemented an international FATCA analogue known as CRS. It was followed by the Panama papers leak that speeded up the introduction of global information exchange.
The main CRS objective was to improve tax compliance. With the CRS system in place, over a hundred states can automatically exchange tax information, i.e., data as to the deposits their citizens have with foreign banks. These were the above changes that made anonymous bank account setup illegal.
This however is not an obstacle if you want to keep your money in foreign jurisdictions that guarantee certain confidentiality, especially where asset protection is concerned. Mind that this is perfectly legal to safeguard your assets from forfeiture, freezing, or theft.
Below, you will find examples of such jurisdictions in Europe:
In Asia, they are Singapore, Dubai (UAE), and Hong Kong. In the Caribbean, your choice will be Nevis or Dominica.
With the constant pressure foreign bank systems face from international regulators, 100% bank secrecy is a utopian concept. Yet, if you choose the jurisdiction, the foreign bank, or its alternative wisely, you will successfully build a legal protection for both your personal data and capital.
Offshore banking highlights
Most people willing to set up an anonymous offshore bank account share several common goals:
- higher confidentiality
- asset protection from unlawful acts on the part of national or international regulators, unfair competitors, relatives, and business partners
- currency risk diversification and reduction
- succession planning.
In a way, setting up an offshore bank account balances asset protection, safety, and anonymity.
How to open an anonymous bank account in Switzerland
With a Swiss bank account, you can still enjoy top confidentiality and protection, yet it is no longer 100% anonymous banking. To boost confidentiality, customers are welcome to benefit from private banking in Switzerland and other jurisdictions.
A customer setting up a bank account in Switzerland achieves several goals: they get an anonymous bank card with high confidentiality combined with an opportunity to make savings
To set up a bank account in Switzerland, any potential customer shall go through the bank’s KYC procedures, identify their personality, and produce a corresponding document to confirm their income and funds are legal.
It is illegal to forge your name in order to set up an account with a bank in Europe, the US, Switzerland, and offshore jurisdictions.
Please follow the link below to learn how you can open an offshore bank account.
Anonymous offshore account – here’s how you can open one
With offshore banks, customer confidentiality is a top priority. Most offshore jurisdictions are famous for their laws that protect customers and their interests no matter what.
Thus, with opening an offshore or an overseas bank account, you will enjoy a number of benefits:
- asset protection via bank account setup abroad
- asset diversification
- currency risk reduction
- financial risk reduction through opening additional foreign bank accounts.
To enjoy max offshore banking benefits, the International Wealth pros recommend you use expert support to choose a suitable anonymous bank, go through KYC procedures, and make your first offshore bank transactions.
Options to set up an anonymous bank account
If the confidentiality issue is rampant in your case, we recommend you consider an opportunity to set up an account with a payment system. With the above financial instrument, you’ll get access to nearly all banking services except for loans.
The main benefit an account with the said payment system offers is lack of data exchange as far as the transactions made are concerned. Both natural and legal persons are eligible to set up an account with the above payment system, with compliance control by far not so strict compared to foreign banks. NB: it takes 1 to 10 work days to open an account with the above payment system.
Depending on your goals, you can set up an anonymous bank account with the payment system in Great Britain, Hong Kong, Lithuania, and other jurisdictions.
You won’t enjoy absolute anonymity with cryptocurrencies. Say, all Bitcoin transactions are traceable and if you try hard enough you will eventually find out who the wallet owner is.
It pays to remember that Bitcoin is not the only cryptocurrency available though. You are likely to benefit as a cryptocurrency user due to fast crypto transfers and lower fees. The related risks are few:
- sharp price swings
- cryptos shall be converted to regular (fiat) currencies.
In the latter case, you will require bank services and they come with identity verification. Please, bear it in mind.
More and more banks begin to make cryptocurrency transactions. Withdrawing small amounts from cryptocurrency exchanges is already a possibility, while private banks and certain standard banks accept cryptocurrencies directly.
To transact in crypto, feel free to remotely open an offshore bank account in Dominica or Georgia.
Citizenship by investment as an alternative to opening an anonymous bank account
To diversify risks and cover their bases, many business owners try to achieve anonymity by obtaining citizenship by investment overseas. As a tax resident of a low-tax jurisdiction, you will be free of total government control as you are no longer obliged to report to the authorities.
Untraceable bank accounts were actively used to hide money and thus cut taxes before but the practice has been dropped as illegal. There are 2 ways to lawfully cut your taxes at present:
- Become a citizen or a permanent tax resident of a low-tax jurisdiction (e.g., in Nevis, neither personal income nor inheritance or capital gains are taxed)
- Use companies in jurisdictions with territorial taxation. FYI: neither Panama nor Hong Kong tax foreign income.
You may achieve anonymity by getting citizenship by investment in those jurisdictions that have corresponding CBI schemes. In most cases, the purpose is achieved via business investments, bond purchase, or real estate investment, with CBI prices starting from USD 100,000.
Not only does a wisely chosen citizenship by investment scheme come with high confidentiality but also multiple business opportunities in a country boasting no dividend, capital gains, or income tax. As a bonus, your foreign income won’t be taxed in these jurisdictions.
Finding the best anonymous banks on your own is a mammoth task. No one can guarantee the offshore bank you pick will match your goals and expectations. To avoid wasting time, try resorting to Offshore Pro Group for expert support.
With skills, knowledge, and experience our experts possess, setting up a totally anonymous bank account offshore and/or abroad is not an issue. Curious to learn more? Feel free to message us via an online chat or fill in the online form above and you’ll hear from us in no time.