14 Comments on "How to Open an Offshore Bank Account"

  1. Hi! Thanks for all the info on your site, I’ve been devouring pages and pages of great stuff 🙂

    One question I have after reading this one though (and I apologize if this is a really dumb question), is why would a company want/need an offshore bank account? I currently have a corporation in Canada and am looking into closing up shop and opening up an offshore corporation instead, but I don’t have any problems with my current bank account. Couldn’t I just have a business in BVI, for example, but retain my Canadian bank accounts?

    Thanks in advance!


    • One question I have after reading this one though (and I apologize if this is a really dumb question), is why would a company want/need an offshore bank account?

      Some seek secrecy. Some seek easy-going banks that they perhaps can’t find onshore. Some seek currencies or banking services (savings accounts, term deposits, investments, brokerage) not available with local banks.

      Many seek to diversify their assets so as to not be reliant on one bank and/or one country’s financial stability.

      In many cases, onshore banks won’t accept offshore companies (unless there is a strong, existing relationship or a trusted intermediary is used).

      Couldn’t I just have a business in BVI, for example, but retain my Canadian bank accounts?

      Sure, as long as your bank is happy to take on your BVI company. Chances are they won’t but it doesn’t hurt to ask (unless you ask in such a shady manner that they file a suspicious activity report…).

  2. Do the references need to be addressed directly to the bank?

    • It varies but it’s usually not a requirement. Maltese banks are an exception to this. They almost always ask for references to be addressed to them, and they in turn only issue addressed references.

  3. Hi. Great site!
    Are the banks and jurisdictions in this article considered safe and reliable? All I am trying to accomplish is a personal bank account in my name, so that I can use it to wire, ACH, or debit funds to and from online gambling sites. This is because the reputable gambling sites don’t take any kind of transfer of funds from the USA. I imagine I will be keeping $25k-$50k in the account.
    While I am not trying to hide any income, I’d be just as happy to have the account somewhere more private than not.

    • Hi,

      Thanks for the feedback!

      The banks listed here are just examples of the most common banks offshore service providers work with. I’d recommend doing your own due diligence on the bank’s financial stability. Most of them have been around for several years by now, so they’re not pump-and-dump scam artists.

      However, as a US person, you will find it very difficult to find banks that accept you. Due to FATCA, PATRIOT Act, and other intrusive laws, it’s simply not worth the hassle of taking on US clients any more for many of these banks.

      Since I don’t usually deal with US persons, I’m afraid I don’t know much about which banks accepts US persons. What I’d recommend is just speaking to banks that seem interesting and see what their policy is on US persons.

  4. I don’t need to evade taxes, only I need to reduce (in a legal way taxes)to make my little company survive, and to let me invest in a new company.
    if you have time to make some advise (paid) let me know by mail.
    Thank you!

  5. Thank you for your fast reply!
    I think that most of people open offshore bank accounts when tax pressure is excessive in their country (68-70% in my case). So it’s the right way to open an account? With a nom. shareh. nom. director and with all transparent with the bank?
    Thank you again.

    • Unless you have very specific needs, nominee directors and shareholders are often just a money sink. TIEAs are written in such a way that it is always you – the UBO – that is sought after. There is no added privacy if your adversary is a government body.

      Keep in mind the difference between tax evasion and tax avoidance.

      In order to evade taxes – a crime in most countries – an offshore company and bank account might be enough. In order to avoid taxes – the legal practice of reducing tax by using offshore structures – you may need a more intricate structure. This is something you would need the advice of a qualified professional who knows your local laws, such as a specialized lawyer or accountant.

      Just something to be aware of before going ahead. There’s no denying that there are plenty of small-time tax evaders that get by just fine.

  6. Hello Streber, first of all thank you for sharing your knowledge!
    I would like know if it is obligatory to give copy of the declaration of trust to the bank, in case of nominee sharholder.
    I mean, I know they say that they must have, but if I don’t tell them that company owner is a nominee service… and I have power of attorney to open the bank account. Can I open without give them copy of decl. of trust or not? what is your experience? Thank you very much.

    • Hi,

      Glad you’ve enjoyed the blog!

      Something I stress a lot is that you should never lie to your bank. On bank forms, you are supposed to state the ultimate beneficial owner (UBO). In a nominee structure, this is you. Failure to do so and instead open the account under a PoA on behalf of the nominees likely constitutes fraud if not money laundering.

      If the bank ever discovers the truth behind the company, they bank will either close the account down and confiscate the assets pending a legal investigation (which basically means you won’t see the money again) or – and this would be an extreme fringe case – you will have to disclose yourself as UBO.

      If you want a bank account without your name attached to it, you will need to use something called a signatory nominee. The bank account is then in someone else’s name and typically all instructions must pass via them. This is a huge hassle (and expensive) if you are actively trading and make a lot of transactions. There is also the risk of the nominees running away with the money. While unlikely if using licensed and reputable nominees, it is a risk to consider.

  7. Hello Streber,

    Can you please give a review of CCLOGIC.COM as an Offshore Service Provider. Have you used them??

    Also they advertise strongly a bank ( cnpeurope.com )which offers ” a limited time offer for 100% Anonymous Offshore banking.Usually you MUST provide some photo ID i.e. passport copy or other government issued photo ID and a utility bill or bank statement!!! HOWEVER Where is this bank located? [b]We will not publish the name, nor location of the bank before you have signed the initial application and paid the fee[/b]“.

    This looks rather suspect to me but I would appreciate your experiences and views. Have you used them?

    • Hi,

      This comment was unfortunately caught by the spam filter. Sorry about the late reply.

      I commented on this on a couple of forums:

      CNP Europe is neither European nor a bank. They offer bank accounts in Cyprus and St. Vincent, which probably means FBME in Cyprus and Euro Pacific Bank or Loyal Bank in St. Vincent. Neither bank account is, of course, anonymous.

      From what I can see, neither CNP nor CCLogic is licensed anywhere to perform the services they offer. An unlicensed offshore service provider that refuses to disclose name of bank should set off all sorts of alarms and red flags.

      I have no experience with CCLogic. I have dealt with resellers on more than one occasion and several of them are good at what they do.

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