The question everyone is asking is: Do Secret Bank Accounts Still Exist?
Your Right to Privacy
Here at Offshore Pro Group we have strict compliance and KYC policies. However we appreciate that if you are not breaking the law, you have a perfect right to secrecy. Furthermore, we believe you should not have to justify your need for secrecy. The burden of proof should be the other way.
Secret vs. Anonymous Accounts
Clients should understand that secret is not the same as anonymous. Both Offshore Pro Group as introducer, and the offshore bank where you open your account, need to understand exactly who you are and carry out regular due diligence checks.
Numbered and Pseudonymous Accounts
However, once these due diligence checks have been carried out satisfactorily, it is possible to open Numbered Accounts or Pseudonymous Accounts.
These special bank accounts can be opened in a number of the European private banks we work with.
The main benefit of these accounts is that no identity information is held in the bank’s computer system, so they offer excellent protection against illegal data theft. If for example it happens that a bank employee steals the data of all account holders, all they will see is either a random number, or a pseudonym you choose. When you communicate with the bank, you can choose to identify yourself only with the account number or name, that offers protection against identity theft via interception of communications, a common problem especially with e-mail.
The actual file containing information on your true identity is kept on paper in a safe, typically off site in a secure location where access to all files is strictly controlled and recorded. Your true identity will be known only to your Relationship Manager and to one or two senior bank officers.
Disadvantages of Numbered and Pseudonymous Accounts
The main disadvantage of these accounts is that, due to international regulations, they cannot be used for day-to-day transactions, since correspondent banks will block wire transfers that do not clearly identify both the sender and receiver.
Deposits and withdrawals from numbered accounts can only, therefore, be carried out either in cash or by transfer within the same bank. Sometimes, transfers to other offices of the same bank in different jurisdictions are possible, since they can be handled on the bank’s internal ledger system.
Additionally, it is not normally possible to open numbered accounts for companies. Numbered accounts are therefore classed as personal accounts and should be declared as such to tax authorities where required.
Secret Accounts Conclusion
These secret bank accounts are not practical for day-to-day use. They may however be useful for enhancing privacy as part of an overall structure or a group of accounts within the same bank.
If you would like to open a Numbered or Pseudonymous Bank Account, please contact Offshore Pro Group today!