Copyright © 2013 - 2020. International-Formations.com is a trading name of Tai Pan Management Services Ltd.
Company Service Provider Licence No. TC004077 Registered in Hong Kong. No 1942748
All rights reserved.
Please note that Tai Pan provides an execution only service in respect of the formation of companies, opening bank accounts and related services.
Therefore comments or suggestions made by us should not be considered as formal advice.
Should you require formal structuring advice, please visit our sister company TaiPan.
Once you’ve decided which bank will suit you (and it is satisfied with your business proposal), there will be a fair amount of paperwork to complete. In very general terms banks require:
PRE APPROVAL FORMS
This is a summary which we will submit on your behalf giving information about yourself, directors & shareholders, the company and what it proposes to be doing. Generally, banks need about a week to consider this information and from that point the following information / forms will be required:
Completed and signed bank application forms, mandates etc.
A set of corporate documents Some (but not all) banks require company documents to be notarised and apostilled, which can be expensive and time consuming. In some cases, as authorised agents, we can certify some documents.
CERTIFICATE OF GOOD STANDING (COGS)
If the company is more than 1 year old, a Certificate of Good Standing (CoGS) will almost always be requested.
Full documentation for all those connected to opening a bank account including passport copy (in some cases ID card), proof of residential address e.g. utility bill, bank statement, bank reference. Increasingly banks request a personal bank reference, where this is difficult to obtain they will often accept 3 months personal banks statements. Additionally some banks are requesting a professional reference letter from a layer or accountant.
A company business plan together with CV for each director / signatory will normally be requested. The quality of these documents often decide the success (or otherwise) of the application.
- For personal accounts, please ignore the company documents requests -
Please be aware that the cost of obtaining documents that the bank may request is the responsibility of the client. Where we have formed the company, we can generally obtain these documents of your behalf. Typical documents might include Certificate of Good Standing, Certificate of Incumbency, translation of documents (into English), likewise the cost of notarising, legalising and apostilling where required.
Our fees are in respect of two elements - a) our advice and b) assistance in being compliant with the bank's requirements.
We cannot guarantee that your chosen bank will approve your application and indeed there may be factors of which we are not aware causing an application to be declined even if it otherwise appears to be compliant. For example one of the parties to the account may be blacklisted on the bank's database. This is becoming more common with the increased use of compliance software such as World Check.
To summarise, whilst we use our best efforts to assist clients, we cannot guarantee success, however, once the bank has pre-approved the application (see ‘Typical Bank Requirements’ above) has been received the likelihood of success is very high as many banks carry out many checks right at the outset.
TIMELY SUBMISSION OF DOCUMENTS
It is very important to note that many of the documents required by banks are time limited: specifically Certificates of Good Standing and Incumbency as well as proofs of address. Failure to supply documents in a timely manner will sometimes result in documents having to be re-applied for and at worst case (when documents are pending for over a month) may result in the bank closing the application.
Opening an offshore bank account and opening a bank account remotely is very different from walking into your local branch to open an account for a local company. This is particularly the case if the account is opened remotely i.e. without a personal visit. This is due to the bank's compliance requirements and risk assessment procedures.
Typically opening an account remotely can take anything from 2 to 6 weeks and you can expect to be asked detailed questions about your business plan and potential customers and suppliers.
We can assist clients to open offshore bank accounts (corporate as well as personal bank accounts) worldwide; In some cases a personal visit is required by the owner / signatory to the bank in question.
Banks we work with:
We offer two banks in Cyprus - Bank of Cyprus (founded in 1899), and Astro Bank (formerly Piraeus Bank founded in Greece in 1916). Of the two Astro Bank is cheaper on bank charges whereas Bank of Cyprus has more international presence. Both banks offer currency accounts in addition to euros, full Internet banking and payment cards.
We offer two banks in Mauritius - ABC Banking Corporation and Afrasia, both banks offer a maintenance free Internet banking, no monthly or yearly fees, and no additional cost for maintaining a foreign currency account. Although it should be noted that international transfer although fast are relatively expensive - around $50 per transfer. Afrasia offers debit cards in euros or US$, whereas ABC’s cards convert through Mauritius rupees, which adds 5% to the dollar or euros costs. Both banks offer US, € and £ accounts, but please aware that ABC Bank will not make transfers to or from the USA.
We currently offer CIM Banque (relatively new - founded in 1992) and offers all the services you might expect from a Swiss bank. They are relatively expensive both for maintenance costs and transactions. For those requiring a Swiss bank account this is a good choice.
We offer a large selection of banks, including the two largest (DBS and OCBC). Please note that due to a regulatory crackdown all of the banks prefer a Singapore company. For those with companies formed in other jurisdictions, currently we can only recommend only OCBC which is fairly happy with Hong Kong but less so with other ‘offshore’ jurisdictions. Minimum balances for non Singapore companies tent to be fairly high - currently 30K and an explanation needs to be provided as to why a Singapore account is required.
There is one further bank - SAXO Capital Markets which offers trading facilities in Forex and equities. This cannot be used as a stand alone bank account as SAXO require incoming and outgoing funds to be make in an account with the same name.
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