Today, banks offer a variety of banking services and financial products that are designed for private individuals and businesses. However, the most common types of banking services up to date are still the depositing of funds, processing of payments and clearing operations.

IQ Decision UK specialists will provide you with a wide-ranging legal support and help you open the following bank accounts in foreign jurisdictions around the world depending on your needs and priorities:

  • Personal & Business Checking account;
  • Personal & Business Savings account;
  • Transactional account;
  • Interest Bearing Checking account;
  • Money Market account;
  • Certificate of Deposit;
  • Brokerage account

Whether you want to open a personal or a corporate bank account within the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA), in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) countries, the USMCA states, the LAS countries, on the territory of the UNASUR members, the Russian Federation, Israel or Australia, IQ Decision UK lawyers will provide a comprehensive range of professional legal support services in connection with setting up bank accounts for various personal or business purposes.

The United Kingdom

Opening an account in English bank is rather a simple procedure, in case if your bank has overseas corporate identity. Many British banks among which are Lloyds, Barclays, HSBC have long been offering their customers international accounts.

Despite a number of advantages, an international account has its drawbacks. Firstly, the amount of the initial deposit should be large enough, secondly, a monthly maintenance fee is charged for using an international account and thirdly, you will not be able to simply close your account at any time, since you will be bound by obligations before a bank with respect to the expiry date of your international account usability.

In order to open a personal bank debit account in the UK with International Bank Account Number (IBAN) and Bank Identifier Code (BIC) and receive a bank card, you must provide a proof of identity and a document confirming the applicant’s address in the UK. These are utility bills for electricity, water, gas, local tax, etc., which usually come by mail and have the address and name of the applicant.

Certain difficulties may arise if you have just arrived in the country and you simply do not have utility bills. Some banks that are more loyal to foreigners (Lloyds Bank, for example) may accept an apartment rental agreement as proof of your address.

As a rule, no problems should arise when a citizen of a foreign country tries opening an account in a British bank. At the same time, there are sets of unwritten rules that are applied by different banks to foreign customers. It should be understood that the bank has the right to refuse to open an account without explaining the reasons for refusal. For example, the Royal Bank of Scotland rarely works with foreigners, whereas the aforementioned Lloyds Bank, on the contrary, is considered one of the most foreign-friendly banking institutions.

When opening a corporate bank account in England, the following documents will be required from you:

  • Full business address with zip code;
  • Contact details;
  • Company incorporation documents;
  • Information about the structure of the company and its activities;
  • Identification documents from all directors and owners of the company, including the ultimate beneficiaries, if any;
  • Financial and banking statements

IQ Decision UK offers a full range of legal services in relation to opening a corporate bank account in the United Kingdom. We will help non-EU residents to establish long-term contacts with banking institutions in England in strict compliance with banking regulations and provisions established by the European Banking Authority (EBA), the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), viz.:

  • The Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive (BRRD);
  • The Deposit Guarantee Scheme Directive (DGSD);
  • The Capital Requirements Regulation (CRR);
  • The Capital Requirements Directive IV (CRD IV);
  • The European Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) legislation;
  • Directive 2014/92/EU on the comparability of fees related to payment accounts, payment account switching and access to payment accounts with basic features;
  • FCA and CMA rules to allow consumers and small businesses to have better information about the banking services offered by current account providers.

In order to open an offshore account in England, you need to register a company in the United Kingdom. It is not difficult to open a company in England, and a citizen of any country can do this without even coming to England. But in order to open an account in English bank for a company, it is necessary that its director or directors be permanent residents of Great Britain, EU citizens permanently residing in the UK and eligible to do business there. The same requirements apply to the main beneficiaries of the company (shareholders). Otherwise, you will not be able to open a corporate account in an English bank.

The activity of nominee directors and shareholders in the UK is not legal. Companies House, tax authorities and banks always require the information about of the real owners (real end beneficiaries) and the real directors of the company as financial institutions in the United Kingdom are under the strict supervision of and closely monitored by the financial controller represented by Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA).

However, it should be noted that English law does not prohibit British companies to have corporate accounts in other countries without having one in England.

An alternative may be to open an investment account to manage your assets (the so-called wealth management), but the minimum amount of minimum balance usually starts from two million pounds.

Another option is to become a resident of England by obtaining an investor visa. A Tier 1 Investor visa is intended for those who plan to obtain a residence permit and British citizenship through investments and are able to invest at least £2 million in the UK economy and already have an open investment account in the UK.

The United States of America

There are a number of reasons why people want to open a bank account in the United States of America. We will not go into details regarding the reasons why they want to do this, but instead will consider the options for opening personal and corporate accounts for non-residents and non-citizens in a U.S. bank.

The U.S.-based banks do open accounts for non-resident individuals and foreign-owned companies. However, to get this opportunity, you need to follow the established rules. Despite the common stereotype, a bank account in the U.S. banking institution is a reality and not an attainable dream, and in order to open one you do not have to be a citizen of the United States or have a permanent residence permit.

It is to note that as a rule American banking institutions do not open accounts without the actual physical presence of the applicant. Therefore, when you are pondering about the possibility of opening a bank account in America, you have to bear in mind that you may need to travel to the USA.

Read also:  General principles of English contract law

In addition to the standard application processing, different banks stick to their own policies and documentation requirements that vary greatly from state to state and even from branch to branch of the same bank. Each bank branch makes an individual decision whether to open an account for the applicant or not by asking different questions and focusing on certain specifics.

The requirements for opening a personal bank account and corporate bank account differ greatly in the United States. If an individual, even a tourist, may in many cases open a bank account without problems and even without a Social Security number (SSN), a company should go through a more complicated procedure.

If you want to become a client of the American bank, it would be a wise decision to get support of professional experts. IQ Decision UK offers professional legal assistance with opening bank accounts for individuals and corporate entities with the U.S.-based financial institutions.

Having arrived in the United States with any legal status, a private person theoretically has the right to open an account in any bank. Your national passport with a valid U.S. visa will be sufficient enough for opening an account in American bank. However, in practice, the process is full of unobvious difficulties and unexpected pitfalls. All banks ask for identification documents, but there are no uniform requirements for them, and besides your passport with a visa you may need to present the following documents:

  • National ID card;
  • International driver’s license;
  • Any comparable ID that contains your biometric data or photo and confirms your identity and place of permanent residence

If the applicant has an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the procedure is simplified to a great extent. Many American banks will also require the following materials:

  • Credit or debit card issued by another bank;
  • Recent utility bills confirming your place of residence in the United States;
  • E-mail address, telephone number and other contact information

Non-residents are recommended to open accounts with large banks in big cities, where the security system is well-established and verification of potential customers do not take much time.

If a non-resident has a company registered in America, he can open a corporate account. To do this, a company needs to apply for the Employer Identification Number (EIN) that is assigned by IRS to business entities for the purposes of identification. You will have to provide the IRS service center with completed SS-4 form. The subsequent processing of your application may take up to four weeks.

Most of American banks will ask for the following information when creating a corporate bank account:

  • Articles of Incorporation;
  • EIN confirmation letter;
  • LLC Operating agreement;
  • Proof of U.S. business address;
  • Two forms of valid IDs of all signers on the account;
  • Letter of Good Standing from another credible banking institution where the signers have a corporate account

IQ Decision UK attorneys are able to open a corporate bank account for you with American bank of your choice in a prompt manner, so it will not preclude you from starting your business activities as soon as possible lest you miss the business opportunities for achieving the maximum results in the American market.   

IQ Decision UK specialists provide maximum cooperation and assistance in opening various types of personal and business accounts in numerous jurisdictions worldwide. Contact us now to find out whether we could fulfill your banking needs remotely without diverting your attention from your priorities and other vital issues. 

Contact usLondon, UKМоскваKyiv
Business hours: 09:00-19:00 Moscow time
E-mail: one@iqdecision.com
Skype: IQ Decision
London +44 7562 787794,+44 (0) 1727 761874
Moscow +7 958 581 52 95, +7 925 470 50 02 (Messengers)
Kyiv+38 067 193 11 17
Our telegram: @iqdecision
Kemp House, 160 City Road, EC1V 2NX
Phone number +44 7562 787794, +44 (0) 1727 761874
Sadovnicheskaya Str., 14, Building – 2, 115035
Phone number+7 958 581 52 95, +7 925 470 50 02 (Messengers)
Volodymyrska Str. 48, Kyiv, 02000
Phone number +38 067 193 11 17