INTERSHORES I Consideration For Choice Of Foreign Bank To Open An Account

Where to obtain a foreign bank account (for corporate or personal use)  is a common question asked by international entrepreneur as he/she always wants to diversify risk aside ease of account opening.  Consideration for choice of offshore bank is usually as follows:


1.   The economic situation in the country where the bank is licensed. 


2.   Accessibility of the bank.  For different clients and purposes for opening an account, the location of the bank’s office can sometimes be important.   However, digital support via zoom, skype or the bank’s portal (online banking and mobile apps) can serve the very same purpose.


3.   Reliability of the bank.  Annual bank reports certified by auditors are published on the official websites of licensed banks and on the websites of the Central Banks.


4.   Language of service.  Most of the foreign bank is with English service. 


5.   The minimum deposit amount.  Some offshore banks do not set any minimum threshold for an initial deposit at all, some require a reasonably small amount (eg., €5,000), some require a million euros or more. 


6.   Online banking (or access to your account via the internet). Most traditional banks in the world offer online account management via mobile app or website.   There are neobanks (or virtual banks) operate entirely online.


However, there are banks in some countries still have limited or no access to the internet.  This does not mean that these banks fail to process international transactions as the account holder can still use phone and fax.   In fact, some clients do look for such banks for some reasons.  


7.   Banking secrecy.   Laws and regulations on information and banking security are country-specific, yet the banking privacy commitments of reputable banks remain a powerful for asset protection and diversification.   Despite the changing regulatory landscape, offshore jurisdictions and their banks have always taken a tough approach on information disclosure to third parties.  Similar attitude is adopted by banks in Western Europe and the Baltics which  put banking data security as their prime objective.


Having said so, every bank under certain circumstances may have to disclose their client’s information e.g. on a formal request from its correspondent bank, or in the rare situation as stipulated by authorities or court rulings.


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Whilst reasonable care has been taken in provision of information above, it does not constitute legal or other professional advice. INTERSHORES does not accept any responsibility, legal or otherwise, for any error omission and accepts no responsibility for any financial or other loss or damage that may result from its use.  In particular, readers are advised to take appropriate professional advice before committing themselves to any involvement in jurisdictions, vehicles or practice.









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