Opening a Bank Account for Your Offshore Company
A company without a bank account is not much more than an official piece of paper. To carry out trade or investment activities, you will need to open a corporate bank account – preferably in a reputable and globally linked finance centre like Singapore or Hong Kong.
In the current economic and political climate, however, opening a corporate bank account for an offshore company (eg. BVI, Cayman Islands, Seychelles, Marshall Islands, Belize) has recently become a lot harder to do. Fortunately, at Privetrust, our experienced team of company formation consultants work closely with local Singapore bank managers to ensure that all your company papers and supporting business documents are in order for your bank account application interview. We also work with reliable offshore incorporation agents and corporate services associates in Hong Kong and Mauritius, should you wish to open a bank account in either of these jurisdictions.
Singapore Bank Account
In line with Singapore banks’ good reputation for the security of funds invested with them, counter services and their transparent banking transactions and fees, the banks can be highly selective in their clientele. Moreover, in response to the ongoing global crackdown on money laundering and tax evasion, the MAS (Monetary Authority of Singapore) now requires banks to implement even more stringent due diligence (including prescribed “Know Your Customer” protocols) on new and existing customers.
Of course, for customers intending to use their offshore company to conduct genuine and lawful business/investment activities, this is not a major concern. If you can provide sufficient proof to support the legitimate use of your offshore company, we can confidently assist you in opening a corporate bank account in Singapore*.
We cannot, however, guarantee that your application for a Singapore corporate bank account will be approved. In addition to the MAS’ regulations, each bank has its own risk-based approach and ethical compass to taking on new customers. Some banks prefer investment holding companies, while others prefer trading companies. Some banks are comfortable with certain trade countries, others are not. Some banks accept customers in mining, gold and logging industries, others do not.
This approach is true, also, for banks in Hong Kong. However, for those that require greater assurance of success, we can refer you directly to our associates in Hong Kong who offer special account opening packages.
Hong Kong Bank Account
Guarantee Scheme for Opening a Corporate Bank Account in Hong Kong
Our associates in Hong Kong can assist you in applying for a corporate bank account with either DBS Hong Kong or HSBC Hong Kong, at a service fee of HK$40,000. (Fee is payable to our HK associates and to the bank – i.e. one time account opening fee) Under this “guarantee scheme”, if the bank rejects the account opening application, our HK partner will refund the full HK$40,000 to you and absorb the bank’s account opening fees. This service is exclusive to our HK business associate , based on his strong reputation for quality customers with the banks. By using their service, your risk of loss is minimal –just the cost of your travel and stay in Hong Kong. *An added bonus of using a Hong Kong bank account is that if you are not planning on using counter services, the banks’ account maintenance fees and transaction charges are comparatively low.
As indicated above, banks in Singapore and Hong Kong require at least one Director (and initial bank signatory(ies) to be physically present in their respective country for an “opening of bank account” interview with the Bank Manager.
In case it is not possible for you to visit either Singapore or Hong Kong to open a corporate bank account for your offshore company, but still want to operate a bank account in a stable financial center, there is another good option! You may wish to consider opening a bank account in Mauritius.
Mauritius Bank Account
We have good working relationships with reputable banks in Mauritius, and can arrange for the remote opening of a corporate bank account for your offshore company, without the requirement for you to travel to Mauritius. (Contingent on the successful clearance of our KYC/customer due diligence screening and receipt of documentary proof of legitimate business/investment dealings under the offshore company). As with our dealing with Singapore banks, we do not guarantee approval of your bank account application, which is at the discretion of the bank manager in the Mauritius bank. Our role is purely to ensure that you have the best chance of success with correctly completed forms, your documents are in order, and to follow up on the application process, etc.
Our Professional Fees
Our fee for providing assistance with the opening of bank account with Singapore and Mauritius Bank ranges from US$600 to US$1,500 depending on the banks selected and also on the complexity of your corporate structures.
For Singapore, we will arrange for the directors (and bank signatory(ies) to meet up with the bank’s Relationship Manager at our office, facilitate the meeting, prepare board resolution and compile a set of due diligence documents as required by the bank, handling of post-meeting correspondence and follow-up with the bank.
For our assistance in opening a bank account in Hong Kong through our Hong Kong associates, we charge a separate fee from our associates of US$800 (which covers customer due diligence screening, ensuring all company documents are in order, correspondence with our associate and Hong Kong bank manager, and the review of the bank account opening application pack and supporting commercial/investment holding documents).
Once the bank account is opened, you should be “good to go” to activate and operate your new bank account independently and to directly liaise with the bank or your designated bank relationship manager for any assistance/support.
If you are interested in opening a bank account in Singapore, Hong Kong or Mauritius for your Offshore Company, and would like further clarification on the bank charges and minimum bank deposit for each of the bank, please contact our consultants.
Our assistance in opening a Singapore or Mauritius corporate bank account is on a “best effort basis”. We cannot guarantee that having provided the bank with all the required information, the bank account will be opened. The decision to approve the opening of any bank account is entirely at the discretion of the Bank’s compliance officers.