OFFSHORE BANK ACCOUNT INTRODUCTIONS
A logical choice for bank account opening for a Belize IBC is in a bank, located in Belize.
Belize has a range of offshore banks that specifically cater to the non-resident customers and offshore IBC`s. The most suitable for offshore account openings are the Atlantic Bank and the Provident Bank & Trust Company. Both provide internet banking facilities, credit cards and modern international banking services.
Here are a few guidelines in regards opening an account for the offshore company.
In order to open the account for an offshore company, all reputable banks will ask for a very detailed personal and business information from the owners and controllers of the offshore bank account.
In particular, the bank will need to identify the actual beneficial owner(s) of the underlying offshore company. All such individuals, as well as everyone who will be granted account signatory rights, will have to be properly identified and will have to provide a number of documents - such as a certified passport copy, a bankers reference, a detailed business description and a cashflow forecast. (These documentary requirements may vary from bank to bank.)
While account introduction through an approved intermediary (like Fidelity Overseas) is still often possible without the owner of the IBC personally appearing in the bank, nevertheless the banks will require to know their new client in very substantial detail. This is simply required by the banking industry regulations, which are mandatory.
At the same time banking secrecy remains a foundation for all offshore finance centres, which certainly includes Belize. While the bank will indeed request and hold detailed information about its client, this information will remain strongly protected by the banking secrecy laws. Severe financial and criminal penalties await anyone, who divulges such information. The confidential information on a banks` client may only be divulged under a proper criminal investigation, carried out in Belize by a local authority (not by any foreign representative or international body). Release of banking information to any foreign party or government is not possible, unless ordered by a Belizean court.
For many clients it may seem more convenient to open the offshore bank account in a country situated closer to where they live, or where the IBC has its customers. Many owners of offshore companies tend to operate the companies directly by themselves. Such owners might choose to open the offshore accounts independently, in a location and with bankers whom they may already be familiar with. However, such independent solution may also adversely impact the owners` personal tax circumstances and put him under additional risk of enquiry. (See our Company Management section for a more detailed explanation of those risks.)
Quite often offshore companies hold their bank accounts in another offshore financial centre or in a country that is know as a "financial centre". Examples of widely recognized offshore financial centres are Switzerland, Austria, Hong Kong, Cayman Islands, Isle of Man and, recently, some countries of Eastern and Central Europe.
The standard set of IBC documentation (if properly certified by the notary and legalised by Apostille) will usually satisfy all formal requirements of most banks as far as the internal structure of the IBC itself is concerned. However, as indicated above, in order to open a bank account for an offshore company, the most important aspect is that of the actual owners and controllers of the company, their business and financial profile.
Please note that the bank account introduction fee, as quoted in our fee schedule, is not a fee payable for a guaranteed bank account opening. Payment of this fee does not promise the actual opening of the offshore account. As the name suggests, the account introduction fee is payable for a professional service rendered by us during the introduction of a client to the bank. In particular, this service includes the provision of the bank account application forms and the assistance with their completion. The bank account introduction also includes the support and advice during the compilation of the client due diligence information for the bank. However, we can not guarantee the success of the offshore account opening as such. The success of the bank account opening for an offshore company mostly depends on the particulars of the client himself and his business. Offshore banks routinely reject new clients based on their subjective considerations and their client acceptance guidelines. While we apply all possible effort to determine in advance whether a particular client might be acceptable to a bank, this does not in any way guarantee the success of the account opening.
Please feel free to contact us with a more detailed information on Your banking requirements and we just might be able to suggest You a suitable offshore bank, or provide a bank account introduction.