Opening an account in a Mauritian bank is a secure way to diversify and protect your assets. It is not one of those ‘little suspect islands’ offering offshore services but rather a modern Republic complying with all the international regulations.
Mauritius: a tropical island in the Indian Ocean
The island of Mauritius is located in the Indian Ocean approximately 900 kilometers (560 miles) to the east of Madagascar. It was discovered by Arab travelers in the 10th century AD but remained uninhabited until the 16th century when Dutch settlers came to live there. The island changed hands afterwards and was a French and then a British colony. In 1968, Mauritius gained independence from Great Britain and the Republic of Mauritius was officially established. It is governed by President and has a seventy-member one-chamber Parliament. Currently the population of the Republic exceeds 1,200,000 people.
The whole of the state is a free trade zone exercising a low-tax regime. However, Mauritius does not qualify as a tax haven. It is firmly on the OECD white list as a nation that has taken serious measures to adapt its legislation to the international standards.
Mauritius is classified as an upper-medium income country. Its GDP per capita is the second highest in the whole of Africa. Even though Mauritian economy ranks 61st in the world, it is actually a prosperous country by the African standards.
An account in a Mauritian bank
The recent years saw rapid development of the financial sector in Mauritius. Today this sector of economy accounts for 11% of the overall country GDP. The bank that we are offering for your consideration belongs to a group of companies that ranks among 100 top business corporations operating in the Indian Ocean.
The bank was established in 2010, in 2016 it went public and now it is listed on the Development and Enterprise Market of the Stock Exchange of Mauritius. In 2017, it became the first Mauritian bank to open a branch office in Hong Kong. The bank administration is proud to provide a financial connection between Africa and Asia.
The services that the bank offers
You can open a personal or a corporate account with this bank. You can also make a call deposit (with no interest on it) or a fixed-term deposit that will pay an interest. If you apply for the private banking services, you can also set up the preferential Diamond savings account.
Accounts can be opened in the following currencies: USD, EUR, GBP, AUD, CAD, CHF, HKD, SGD, CNY, INR, JPY, and ZAR.
The bank has correspondent banks in Paris, London, Frankfurt, Abu Dhabi, Melbourne, Johannesburg, Mumbai, Shanghai, Tokyo, and New York.
Full-fledged electronic services are also provided. Even though the bank website is in English, French, and Chinese, e-banking is available in the English language only. Mobile banking is also accessible.
The bank issues debit MasterCard and Union Pay card.
In addition to that, you can also use the following services with this bank:
- Payroll Services
- Foreign Exchange Swaps
- Foreign Exchange Forwards
- Treasury securities investment and trading
- Trade Finance Services
Minimum deposit and minimum balance requirements
Opening both a personal and a corporate account requires making the minimum deposit of US$ 5,000 and maintaining the minimum balance of the same amount. The first deposit shall be made within one month since the account number acquisition date. If your balance does not go under five thousand dollars, no maintenance fee is to be paid.
Account opening fee
The account opening fee is only US$ 100 with this bank. It has to be paid before an account number is assigned to you. The low sums of the first deposit, the minimum balance, and the account inception fee make this bank very competitive in comparison to other banks providing the same sorts of financial services.
The limitations that the bank applies
The bank will not provide services to the citizens and residents of the countries listed below. It will also not service transactions to or from these destinations.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Serbia and Montenegro
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Central African Republic
Republic of the Congo
Northern and Southern Sudan
Sudan and Darfur
US Virgin Islands
At the same time, the bank officers will be prepared to discuss each case individually. This is only a general rule that may have exceptions.
In case you want to open a corporate account with this bank, it is also likely to deny service to you if your company works in one of the business areas listed below. However, it is a general rule again and there can be exceptions. Every application is considered individually by the bank administration. Prohibited business activities include:
Manufacture and sales of weapons, tobacco, pharmaceuticals, wood products, mining, adult business, diamonds, fur, chemicals, online dating, virtual money, bitcoin, gambling, online casino, trading in derivatives or options or hedging or FOREX, money exchange dealership, online trading and online marketing, and other E-Commerce.
Both of lists above are subject to change. New items can be added and existing ones taken off.
The procedure of opening a bank account in Mauritius
Both personal and corporate accounts can be opened remotely with the bank we are offering. However, this bank does not accept direct applications from clients. Accounts can be opened there via an Eligible Introducer such as Offshore Pro Group.
The bank administration seeks to prevent intentional or unintentional money laundering undertakings, manage risks and minimize the chances of frauds, and comply with both national and international regulations. For these reasons, it is quite selective when it comes to accepting clients.
The bank will accept new customers only after they go through the customer due diligence procedures such as identity verification, address verification, business activity nature and location verification, profession, purposes of the intended bank account, the applicant’s social and financial status, source of his or her funds, etc. Customer information obtained in the process of account opening will remain confidential and it will not be disclosed to any third parties except when this is required by applicable laws and/ or regulations.
Documents required for personal account opening
- A copy of the passport or ID card.
- A proof of address less than six months old.
- A signed reference letter from the current bank less than six months old.
- Exhaustive background information on the prospective account holder including his or her business details if applicable.
Documents required for corporate account opening
- Certificate of company incorporation.
- Certificate of Good Standing or Incumbency Certificate if the company has been incorporated for over one year.
- Company Constitution or Memorandum and Articles of Association.
- A registry of Company Directors and/ or Shareholders (those holding 20% or more of the shares).
- Copies of passports or ID cards of all authorized directors, signatories, shareholders (those holding 20% or more of the shares), and all ultimate beneficiaries.
- Proof of address less than six months old for all authorized directors, signatories, major shareholders, and other beneficiaries.
- Company Organogram (if available).
- Company Business Plan presented on the bank form.
- If the company is incorporated in Mauritius, Global Business License 1 or 2 certificate.
- Exhaustive background information on the Ultimate Beneficiaries/ Shareholders including their business details if applicable.
All documents have to be certified in a duly fashion before they are submitted to the bank. The application documents can be written in English or French. If the originals are in another language, the documents have to be translated and translations notarized and apostilled. The Notary Public and/ or sworn translator contact information shall be detectable on the copies.
What can serve as a personal identification document and proof of address?
The bank accepts the following documents for personal identification:
- ID Card
- Driving License (one that carries your signature, your date of birth, and your photo)
A valid identification documents shall carry a clearly visible photograph (full face), intelligible and specimen signature of the applicant.
The bank accepts the following documents as proof of address:
Utility Bill (electricity or landline telephone, gas); mobile phone bills are not acceptable.
Bank statement from a reputable bank.
Bank reference letters containing the residential address.
Credit card statements (from major issuers such as Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and so on) that show the residential address.
Confirmation Letter from municipal authorities, or police officers or from any other government officers.
A lease agreement.
A valid driving license that has been certified and that carries the applicant’s residential address.
A tax invoice with the address indicated.
The bank does not accept PO Box or C/O types of address. The address confirmation documents shall be less than three months old and readable.
Specifications of the bank reference letters
Such letters shall demonstrate good financial conduct of the applicant. They shall indicate the term of relationships between the bank and the client (the applicant) and be less than six months old.
In case you want to submit a reference letter for a closed account, a banker’s personal reference shall be provided and the reason for account closure stated.
For clients from Japan, China, and Hong Kong obtaining bank reference letters may appear impossible. If this is the case, the Mauritian bank will accept a bank statement describing a transaction that has been made within one year from the date of the application or a balance statement less than six month old. If you come from one of the three jurisdictions mentioned above, you can also supply a reference letter from an independent professional that confirms your trustworthiness as a client.
The process of account opening with the Mauritian bank
If you want to open a bank account in Mauritius, Offshore Pro Group will be pleased to act on your behalf, as we are an Eligible Introducer to this bank.
The first thing to do is collect all the necessary application documents. We hold all the bank forms that we will send you for completion. You will have to supply all other required documents to us such as your ID, proof of address, bank reference letter, and so on. Then we will ascertain that everything is in good order and all the papers are done the way the bank wants to see them done. After that, we will send all the documents to Mauritius. Our goal at this stage of the application process will be to obtain a pre-approval of your application for establishing a bank account whether personal or corporate. In order to achieve this goal both you and we will have to work diligently with the documents.
If your application is pre-approved by the bank, their Due Diligence department will make a video call to you by Skype, Viber, WhatsApp, Zoom, WeChat, or Botim. The purpose of this call will be to obtain oral confirmation from you of all the information that the documents at their disposal contain. We will instruct you on the original documents that you will have to have at hand during the video interview.
The video call is necessary only if you are opening an account with this bank remotely. In case you have met one of the senior bank officers in person, the video interview is not required. You will have met one or two of them if you go to Mauritius after receiving the application pre-approval. Since this tropical island is a very popular tourist destination, you might consider paying a personal visit there to complete the process of setting up a bank account with the Mauritian Bank.
After obtaining the ultimate application approval personally or via a video call, you will have to wire US$ 100 to the bank as the account opening fee. When you do, they will assign an account number to you. You will have one month to make the first deposit to this account (US$ 5,000 minimum, just to remind you). If you fail to do it within this timeframe, your account will be closed automatically. In addition, if your balance ever falls under US$ 5,000, you will be charged an account maintenance fee, which you can avoid otherwise.
Maintaining your bank account
We would like to make one more note that is crucially important. Opening a bank account and keeping it going are two distinct tasks, as a matter of fact. Any bank and the Mauritian bank in particular, wants to be updated on all the changes that occur in relation to the account holder’s status and documents.
In case you open a personal account, it is not so difficult to keep the bank administration updated. Anyway, there are several things to keep in mind. If your residential address has changed, inform the bank. If your driving license has expired and you have acquired a new one, inform the bank. If your marital status has changed, inform the bank, and so on and so forth. You will have provided quite a lot of personal information to the bank when applying for opening an account with them. Whatever bit of this information changes, inform the bank.
If you open a corporate account, you will have supplied a much larger amount of information to them as they have to know everything not only about you personally but about your company as well. Thus, you will definitely have more information to update on a regular basis.
A new director has been appointed in your company – inform the bank. You have renewed your office or manufacturing facility lease agreement – inform the bank. Your company has entered a new national market – inform the bank, and so on and so forth.
When filing an application for establishing an account in the Mauritian bank (or any other bank, actually), you have to be especially careful and forward-looking when specifying the types of financial operations that you intend to perform, the expected amounts of money you are going to transfer and receive, the destinations the money will go to and come from, and so on. You have to realize that any transaction that the bank does not expect to go through your account will inevitably evoke suspicions on their part. What can such suspicions lead to? In the very least, the bank will put the transaction on hold and ask you to provide sufficient justification for it. If you can, you can consider yourself lucky. If you cannot, they can freeze, block, or even close your account. The important thing to remember is that whatever relevant change in your business or personal life occurs, the bank has to be prepared for it. It has to be informed about it in advance.
Today banks select customers while the opposite should be the case, of course. Strange as it is, we have to live with it, as there is nothing we can effectively do about it. Opening an account in the Mauritian bank that we have described here on your own would probably be overwhelming even if it accepted direct clients’ applications. However, nothing is impossible with our assistance!
Please place a service request with us by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will utilize all our numerous skills and connections to help you open a bank account in Mauritius. Before we initiate the process of document collection, you have to cover the costs of our services. You are welcome to use any payment method you like and we accept payments in different currencies including bitcoins. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to write to the e-mail address above and we will do our best to help to you!