What you have to know about opening a foreign bank account in 2020
The recent decline in the stock markets that has happened due to the coronavirus epidemic and the OPEC+ negotiation failure has shown once again how fragile the world financial systems can be. It has become especially clear now that keeping all your assets in one country can be dangerous even if you have put it into different financial instruments. Keeping money in several banks in different countries and in different currencies is the most conservative asset protection strategy today.
What benefits does such a strategy bring? First and foremost, it allows preserving the average worth of your assets in the long run. Whatever currency fluctuations may happen, the growth of one currency will compensate for the depreciation of the other.
If you have bank accounts in three or four different ‘hard’ currencies, your financial risks become three or four times lower than when you keep all your money in one currency. The same is true for the geographical locations of the banks where you have accounts. Each new account in a new location adds to your financial security.
You can open bank accounts in different countries of the world, divide your capital into four approximately equal portions and keep you money in US dollars, euros, British pounds, and Japanese yens, for example. If you do so, you will be protected from currency fluctuations and other crises such as a sudden drop in the oil price, for example.
We do recommend that you should set up several foreign bank accounts as soon as you can especially with the view of the fact that this can be done remotely. You do not have to travel to the country where the bank is located, which is certainly good news in the times of the pandemic.
Why open a foreign bank account while there are many banks in your home country?
The reason for this is actually quite simple: you have to protect yourself from the self-will of your home country’s authorities.
First, fiscal bodies do sometimes make mistakes. All your accounts in the country can be blocked in an instant if the tax inspector erroneously decides that you have not paid the taxes while you have, in fact. This situation can be overturned, of course, and you can prove that the decision was wrong but how much time will it take you to restore justice? While you are running around trying to do that, you will not have access to the money in your bank accounts.
Second, an angry relative of yours or a competitor can file a lawsuit against you. This lawsuit will be ungrounded and the accusations against you will be false but your accounts will be frozen for the time that the investigations are carried out. Thus, you will not have access to your money again.
Third, you cannot trust politicians and you know it very well. Especially in the times of crises when national governments run out of money, they may well become greedy for money that is yours. They may claim that you seem too wealthy and that you have more money than you need. What are they going to do? Exactly! They are going to confiscate the capital that you keep in a domestic bank (or domestic banks – it does not matter). Recent history has seen quite a number of examples when people’s property has been simply expropriated. And such expropriations are always legal: what politicians do is they pass the laws that justify their actions. It is as easy as squeezing a lemon.
Now, if you have three quarters of your total net worth in foreign banks, the authorities of your home country are going to have much harder times making you penniless – temporarily or permanently. This is probably the main reason to open banks accounts abroad even though you will acquire other valuable benefits as well if you do what we recommend.
Why should you open accounts in several different countries?
The answer to this question looks obvious: if one country is in deep economic trouble, the other two or three where you have bank accounts will probably feel better in economic terms.
The current crisis clearly shows that some countries suffer more from the combination of the coronavirus epidemic and the low oil prices while other countries suffer less. You have not heard much negative news from Switzerland, for example, have you? Swiss franc is one more hard currency that you should definitely take into consideration.
Is it legal to open foreign bank accounts?
Most countries allow their citizens to open bank accounts abroad. However, you have to clarify this issue with your home country’s authorities. In some national states, government officials, elected parliamentarians, central national bank managers, etc. cannot have foreign bank accounts. So please find out if you are entitled for opening a foreign bank account.
Please also bear in mind that most national legislations require that you inform your home country’s tax authorities that you have a bank account abroad when you do. Of course, they will learn about it inevitably, as the automatic exchange of information between banks is becoming truly global. However, it may be your responsibility to inform the fiscal authorities about your foreign bank account. In several states, failure to inform about it entails a fine.
Is it possible to open a corporate account in a foreign bank?
Again, most countries do not mind if their citizens register business companies abroad and open foreign bank accounts for them. Moreover, Offshore-Pro Group has been setting up corporate bank accounts in various countries for clients with various countries of origin. So, the answer is ‘Yes, it is quite possible’.
Every national state will implement its own procedures when it comes to establishing a bank account for a foreign company. But we know them all as we have successfully gone through these procedures a great number of times.
Where should you open a foreign bank account in 2020?
In light of the current pandemic, it is reasonable to look for a foreign bank that provides a full range of online services, one that you can freely use without ever meeting with a bank manager.
In the modern digitalized world, there are many banks that conform to this requirement and they are located in many different countries of the world. Please be informed that not only European and North American banks are able to provide high quality online services. Financial institutions in such remote locations as Panama, Mauritius, or Vanuatu, for example, come up to the highest standards as far as online services are concerned.
Is it easy to open a foreign bank account in 2020?
We hate to say it but the answer to this question is ‘No, it is not’.
Today, banks are overly regulated. The worldwide campaign against tax evasion, money laundering, and terrorism financing has made the banks very cautious when accepting new clients. They are forced to conduct stringent security checks because if they let an untrustworthy client get through, they will face huge fines and even license termination. And a foreign applicant for bank services is suspicious by default.
At the same time, banks have to do some business and they cannot really afford to turn too many clients down. Thus, it is quite possible to establish a foreign bank account even though it may not be so easy.
As far as a personal bank account is concerned, the most important requirement that you will have to meet is as follows: you have to be able to conclusively prove to the bank manager that the sources of the capital that you are putting in the bank are perfectly legal. Various documents can serve as such proof and with our experience, we can tell you what kinds of documents will certainly satisfy the bank, what kinds of documents are doubtful to satisfy the bank, and what kinds of documents will certainly NOT be accepted as proof of the legality of income.
As far as a corporate bank account abroad is concerned, things can get more complicated. You will have to show to the bank manager what exactly you need the account for and how exactly you are going to use it. What is more, you will have to use the corporate account exactly the way you said you intended to use it when you were setting it up.
Naturally, your goal is to open an account that will be usable in the future and that will not be closed in a couple of months, is it not? These days, bank managers want to be informed about the transaction purposes and destinations beforehand. If you said that you were going to transfer money to Costa Rica, for example, the bank manager may not be entirely happy with it but he or she will probably accept it. However, if you suddenly make a transaction to Panama without a warning, the bank is going to waive a red flag to you! They want all your transactions to go on in a ‘normal’ fashion.
In addition to that, you will have to submit all the corporate documents when applying for a corporate bank account abroad. If the documents are not made in the language of the country where you are applying to, they will have to be translated into that language. (As a side note: Some non-English speaking countries such as Switzerland, for instance, accept documents made in English or translated into this language.)
As complicated as the procedure of setting up a corporate account in a foreign bank can be, we have gone through it thousands of times and we certainly can do it again. You are welcome to apply for our assistance with the collection of the application documents and with the filing of the application. Our specialists know the requirements inside out and they will gladly help you compile your application documents package in such a way that will maximize your chances of acquiring services from a foreign bank.
We are working with banks located in Great Britain, Switzerland, Monaco, Lichtenstein, the USA, Canada, Singapore, Hong Kong, and many other countries. We know their ways and they know us. As we prepare each application for opening a bank account with great care, our partner banks trust us.
Can you open a foreign bank account by yourself?
Theoretically, yes you can. Practically, it is going to be highly problematic.
You would have to do the following if you decided not to ask for anyone’s assistance when establishing a foreign bank account:
- Choose the country where you want to open the account. In order to do that you will have to study banking-related legislations of several countries to find out which one serves your purposes best.
- Find two or three banks in the chosen country that will work with clients who come from your country of origin and who speak your language.
- Compile the application document package that will satisfy the bank managers. Now, every bank will have its own requirements as far as the application documents are concerned.
- Supply documents that confirm that the information that you put on the application form is truthful and exhaustive. This issue can appear intricate indeed.
- Supply the recommendations that will be convincing for the particular bank where you are applying for services.
- Send the application document package via e-mail and/ or courier. The document delivery requirements differ from one bank to another.
- Promptly reply to the questions from the bank manager who is processing your application.
In addition to that, in most cases you will have to visit the country where the bank is located. This means that you will have to book the flights and the hotel and cover the costs of the trip.
At the same time, if you let us help you set up a foreign bank account, your life is going to be much easier and the chances for the success of this endeavor are going to be much higher.
Can you open a foreign bank account without leaving home?
Hardly. You will have to pay a visit to the notary public in order to have the copy of your identity card or your passport notarized. However, we can find banks for you that do not require a personal visit when opening accounts with them. Thus, you can avoid taking a long trip far away.
We will be honest: not all foreign banks that we work with provide for this opportunity. But some do and we have been setting up accounts for our clients with them for a number of years already.
So if you are open to communication and if you are ready to answer relevant questions, setting up an account with a foreign bank is not going to be difficult for you.
How can we assist you in setting up a bank account abroad?
First, we provide free consultations on selecting the bank (and the country) that will suit your purposes best of all.
Second, we provide free consultations on selecting the international payment system that will suit your purposes best of all. An account with a payment system is a convenient solution for those who like making numerous small payments.
Third, we provide the preapproval service. Before filing the application for opening a bank account abroad, it is a good idea to obtain a preapproval from the bank. A preapproval means that the bank is ready to consider your application when you send them the full document package. We will submit the much lesser document package required for preapproval in such a way that your chances for obtaining service will be as high as possible.
The preapproval service is not free of charge. However, its price will be included in the price of the bank account opening service when you apply for it after obtaining the preapproval. The cost of the latter service may prove even smaller than the cost of establishing a foreign bank account by yourself. The risk of service denial will be smaller manifold.
What documents are required for setting up an account in a foreign bank?
Every country has its own legislation that regulates banking service provision. Moreover, every bank has its own requirements as far as the application documents are concerned. Thus, the application document package will be different in every individual case. The good news, however, is that we know exactly what documents are required in each country and by each bank. We will be happy to help you compile the right set of documents and guide you through the application process.
Please apply for our assistance in setting up a foreign bank account today thus diversifying and protecting your assets. The current crisis should not actually make you as meek as a lamb lying down and keeping still. It should make you act fast in order to guard yourself against future crises that are bound to arise without any doubt.
You can also request a free consultation by writing to our corporate e-mail address [email protected]. Should you have any other queries pertaining to improving your level of security and your overall lifestyle, please contact us at the same address without hesitation.