Having an opportunity to open an overseas bank account is crucial for the lifestyle and business of many people. Whether you live in Europe, Americas or anywhere in the world, the ability to send and receive money worldwide is very important. This is especially true if you have an international business or job or you are studying abroad.
But, more importantly, it is necessary to avoid common mistakes that our experts come across very often when they talk to our portal visitors. These common mistakes can cost you dearly. What can possibly go wrong? For example, miscommunication with the bank managers, or choosing a substandard overseas bank, or choosing a country with a poorly regulated financial sector of the economy. But one of the biggest mistakes people make when opening overseas bank accounts on their own is not knowing their own customer profile. This article will take a closer look at the most common misconceptions.
Many visitors to our portal use overseas bank accounts to cover their expenses when traveling abroad. Others are business owners who want to pay their suppliers in local currency and receive money for their products and services from their foreign customers. Some investors seek to diversify their assets and secure them from the law enforcement bodies, courts, criminal elements and creditors from countries where the economic situation is unstable, and the concept of private property protection does not work equally for all the citizens.
In a way, your motives do not matter. You should understand for yourself why you need an overseas bank account. But unfortunately, finding the bank and opening an overseas bank account that would be the right instrument for achieving your goals is now quite a challenge, despite multiple advances in the financial and internet technologies and access to a huge number of high-quality banks around the world.
But when a task is difficult, it does not mean it is impossible to perform. In fact, there is a good chance of opening an overseas bank account to achieve you legitimate goals. You just need to know how to introduce and portray yourself, how to set out your priorities correctly, and how to find what you need according to that.
Opening an international bank account
Most people do not know what banking is. When they come to think of it, it is completely unclear to them how banks work and make their decisions. But while opening a foreign bank account can be challenging, we will assist you in making it easier.
However, facilitation does not mean you will not need to make your own decisions and consider the alternatives. It just means that you will be able to really make those decisions knowing the truth of the matter.
Let’s start with a few considerations that often confuse unprepared applicants wishing to open an account overseas, with a foreign bank (the Applicants).
You will not be caught off guard when opening a foreign bank account if you are aware of the following common errors of the Applicants:
- Applicants do not understand what the bank is asking for in the application papers;
- They accidentally launch the compliance department activities without knowing that some information might be directly related to their work;
- Applicants do not understand the nature of questions asked by the bankers;
- Their answers to those questions of the banks sound weak and unconvincing;
- Applicants are unable to explain their status or their business to the bankers;
- They do not understand the fundamental issues associated with the banks, and accountability issues that should be avoided;
- They believe that banking is a right, not a privilege.
All of the above should be taken into account when opening an international bank account. Knowing how to resolve these issues you will be able to open your international bank account. As long as you stick to the right strategy and take the bank’s interests into consideration, you will succeed in opening an account with it.
Our experts use this approach to shape their decisions when working with foreign banks. At the same time, we get access to the world’s largest banks that understand the business of our customers. Moreover, we are continuously on the lookout for the banks that really welcome our customers and their accounts.
We recommend you taking the following steps when opening an international bank account:
- Aim for those banks and bankers who are interested in your operations and business activities;
- Fill out bank papers to present your strong sides while openly sharing all the information on your income, expenses, and types of business activities;
- Get to know what the red flags of banks are and what you should do to avoid them;
- You should be able to communicate with bank employees, turning them into your advocates. This means speaking the same language and listening carefully to what they are really asking;
- You should be able to perceive the importance of the issues associated with your customer profile.
- As a bank customer-to-be, know your profile’s personal and business soft spots;
- Highlight the strengths of your profile;
- Position yourself as a valuable and long-term customer-to-be for the bank.
Knowing these communication subtleties when talking to the foreign banks, we can discuss how you can successfully open an international bank account.
How to succeed in opening an international bank account
Considering all of the above, it is not surprising that opening an overseas account has become so difficult for someone lacking experience. It is also not surprising that many people either do not want to deal with foreign banks at all or tend to open their accounts with the new and not quite sound financial organizations, which is dangerous in terms of asset safeguard.
So, you would not want such options. Actually, it is still quite possible to open and maintain bank accounts with large banks for both personal and business purposes. If you do know how to open an account with a foreign bank, you can significantly increase your chances by taking the following steps.
Know your customer profile
When it comes to opening an international bank account, one of the most important considerations is your customer profile. Understanding your profile can make a huge difference for a successful foreign account opening.
The main thing here is not to have a high-risk customer profile. These are the profiles to which the compliance department of any bank will pay particularly close attention. If you fall into one of these high-risk categories, you should take extra care when applying for opening the account with a foreign bank. Your odds for success can be much lower than that of the average potential customer.
Below is a list of profiles that should take a structured approach to opening a foreign account.
- Companies with high commercial risk,
- New businesses,
- Failed citizenship;
- The bank does not understand your purpose of opening the account with an overseas financial institution;
- Opening an account when you are a namesake with a well-known politician or representative of the criminal world.
As for high-risk industries that banks do pay attention to, these include:
- Cannabis market;
- Cryptocurrency market;
- Physical products market;
- Consulting or digital services;
- Regulated industries (banking, insurance, financial services, etc.).
Requirements to your international bank account
Knowledge of these requirements is crucial in the process of opening your international bank account. This ensures that you really get the result you need.
Each client’s requirements are somewhat different. But overall, there will be a few major points you should consider. We have found that addressing these requirements in the form of questions is a great way to understand how it works. This approach will help you to specify what you need and determine what bank accounts will be good for you.
Here are the questions that every Applicant should ask themselves before opening an international bank account:
- Would you like to get over to the bank in person or are you ready to open your account remotely?
- Where will you be sending your money to and where are you going to receive your money from?
- What type of international bank account are you specifically looking for?
- How much are you able and willing to place to your initial deposit?
- How much are you able and willing to maintain as an average monthly balance in your account?
- How many transactions would you like to get processed per month?
- What annual fee on your foreign account are you ready to pay? At least roughly;
- Do you need the payments related to your account processed?
- Will you need to send or receive money from/to a fintech company?
- Are you ready to care about the bank’s reputation?
You will have a clear idea of your specific requirements to a foreign bank after finding answers to the above questions. These answers will help you focus on the banks that suit you. And if you are ready to provide your answers it will be much easier for you to find a foreign bank to open an account with.
Choosing the country where you should open an international bank account
In our portal, we have repeatedly emphasized that the country you choose for opening your account is crucial in finding the best international financial solutions.
In case you have an emergency and you immediately need to find a bank for sending and receiving payments, it does not matter that much. But at least in the medium and long term, such a hurry would be a mistake. Thus, you could find a quick solution to receive current payments for the short term (for example, open an account with one of the payment systems). But for later we recommend you sit down composedly and pick up a country and a bank for opening your account that would work for you in the long run.
Selecting a country for you bank account is of critical importance from the standpoint of building up a long-term relationship with a foreign bank.
It doesn’t matter whether you start with a small amount of assets or immediately with a large fortune, the country you choose is crucial. And this decision should be entirely based on your specific priorities.
Below is a list of practical issues to consider when assessing a country for opening your bank account.
- Is there a requirement in the country to make transactions in local currency?
- Is this country solvent and politically stable?
- Is there a temporary or frequently changing financial legislation in that country?
- Is this jurisdiction on the black or grey offshore list? If so, in which countries or regions?
- Is there a reputational risk for you personally or your business if you open an account in this country?
- Does this country comply with the international norms and standards?
Of course, there are other considerations that should be taken into account from a practical point of view.
For example, there is a slightly different set of considerations that need to be taken care of when opening an account. These include circumstances affecting individual countries.
Here is a list of country-specific factors that need to be assessed when choosing your banking jurisdiction.
- Peculiarities of a particular country regarding opening international bank accounts;
- The country’s economic stability,
- its financial position in the global stage;
- political stability;
- Whether there is a regional conflict and the risks involved;
- The quality of local banking infrastructure;
- FATF and OECD ratings.
Key tips for a successful opening of overseas accounts
When it comes to getting the best bank account open for you and your business, you need to acquire a deep understanding of the system and find opportunities to work closely with it. There is no need to fight the rules and methods of the international financial system since it is counterproductive. If you start playing by the rules of this system, you will get the opportunity of using the best foreign bank accounts for yourself and your business.
Your customer profile and how you present your account to the bank are paramount. You should anticipate their questions and potential issues related to your maintenance as well as the risks of the bank. Therefore, the best method is to build up your relations with the bank on a clear and transparent basis.
With that in mind, you should strive to make your bank’s life as simple and easy as possible. Determine what vulnerabilities of your customer profile may affect the bank before you submit your application. Ultimately, it would be better for you and your foreign bank if you knew that there were certain issues that need to be discussed immediately and openly, and tried to find a solution that would satisfy everyone.
It will be more honest, expeditious and efficient rather than running around the various banks of the world hoping that no one will ever find out anything about you and your operations. Our experience suggests that they will, and there is a very high probability that sooner or later the accounts of such a customer will be blocked with no possibility of withdrawing funds from there. Consider this when choosing between a temporary and a long-term banking solution.
We suggest you start with the following consultations:
- Free Advice – Choose a foreign/offshore bank account with a professional;
- Choose a payment system for free;
- Your pre-approval with the foreign banks.
Do not hesitate to send us a short request for any of these services to firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact our experts in any way you find convenient in this page.
Professionalism and complete confidentiality guaranteed.
Is it possible to open a foreign bank account remotely?
Yes, as a rule, it is possible. But not with all countries and banks. Choosing the right country for your account is very important not only in terms of the remote procedure, but also for making this account useful for your purposes. Therefore, first you need to decide on the country where you wish to open your account. Then find the banks that are ready to work with foreign customers and then you will choose among them those banks that are most convenient in remote operations.
Should you need your foreign account promptly and want it to work efficiently, it is better to ask for a professional advice for not only picking up your country and bank, but also for the on-the-ground assistance and recommendations regarding opening a foreign account.
How to choose the right foreign account for your purposes?
Giving a universal answer to such a question is rather difficult. One could only give the most general recommendations.
If you need an overseas account for infrequent travels and quick and small payments without conversion losses, it is better to look at the international payment systems rather than banks.
In case you are looking for a foreign bank to invest or attract investments, then have a look at the countries where these financial instruments are well developed, and where there are reliable instruments for the financial risk insurance.
Should you need an account for your business operations, ask your customers and partners with what foreign banks they have their accounts and choose among them.
How long does it take to open an account overseas?
It depends on your customer profile, the bank you choose to open an account with and the purposes you have for such an account.
In short, the clearer your purpose and your customer profile to the bank that you choose for opening your foreign account with, the faster the decision will be made and all the necessary checks and operations will be carried out.
If you prepare your papers for the bank yourself, the timeline for opening your account overseas can be from a few weeks ad infinitum, as the rejection probability will be more than 50%.
On the contrary, if you contact professional consultants and follow their recommendations, the opening time will be from a couple of weeks to several months with a opening probability of more than 90%.