• Offshore banking accounts
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BANK ACCOUNT INTRODUCTIONS

BANK ACCOUNT INTRODUCTIONS


A logical choice for bank account opening for a BVI Business Company is in a bank, located in the British Virgin Islands. BVI has a strong and dynamic banking sector, with modern international banking services available. The most prominent commercial banks operating in the British Virgin Islands are the First Caribbean International Bank, FirstBank BVI and VP Bank (BVI). The First Caribbean International Bank is particularly specialised in international banking and offshore banking services for International Business Companies. The FCIB, in particular, also offers internet banking facilities and international credit cards among other standard banking services.

Following are general guidelines in regards opening an account for the offshore company.

To open the account for an offshore company, all reputable banks will require a 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 be properly identified and will 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 cashflow forecast. (These documentary requirements may vary.)

While account introduction through an approved intermediary (like us) is still often possible without personal appearance of the owner of the company in the bank, nevertheless the banks will require to know their clients in very substantial detail. This is simply required by the laws that regulate banking industry.

At the same time banking secrecy remains a fundamental cornerstone of all offshore finance centres, which certainly includes BVI. Banking secrecy means that, while the bank will hold substantial information about its client, such information is strongly protected by the law and severe financial and criminal penalties await any person, who divulges such information. The confidential information on a banks' client may only be divulged under a proper criminal investigation, carried out in-land by a local police authority. Release of banking information to any foreign party or government simply is not possible, unless ordered by a court in the BVI.

For many clients it may seem more 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 directly 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 strongly diminish the owners' personal tax circumstances and put him under additional risk of undesired scrutiny (see our Company Management section for a more detailed explanation of those risks).

Quite often non-resident companies hold their bank accounts in another offshore financial centre or in a country that is know as a "financial centre". Examples of widely known financial centres are UK (City of London), Switzerland, Austria, Luxembourg, Cayman Islands, Isle of Man, Channel Islands. Through our affilate branches, we might be able to introduce a bank account for Your offshore company in some of the European financial centres.

The standard set of IBC documentation (if properly certified by notary and legalised by apostille) will usually correspond to all formal requirements of most banks, as far as 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 that of the actual owners and controllers of the company, its business and manner of operation.

Please feel free to contact us with a more detailed information on Your banking requirements and we just might be able to suggest You a suitable bank.

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, 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. However, we can not 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, and banks routinely reject new clients based on their internal considerations and their new client acceptance guidelines. While we apply all possible effort to determine in advance whether a particular client might be accepted by a bank, this does not in any way guarantee the success of the account opening.

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