It is advisable to select an offshore bank early on in the process of establishing your offshore company or other offshore structure. The bank is obviously an important component of the overall offshore strategy. Certain banks will only establish accounts for companies and from intermediaries in certain jurisdictions. If a particular bank or country is preferred for the establishment of an offshore bank account, this should be given early consideration to guide the establishment of the offshore company, trust, foundation, etc.
We have conducted research and established relationships with several prominent banks in popular offshore banking jurisdictions around the world. We have relationships with top international onshore banks and offshore banks around the world. These onshore and offshore banks cater to a wide array of customers. Some are more suitable for business and commercial accounts offering credit card processing facilities and internet access. Some offer international personal banking with worldwide ATM cards, deferred debit (credit) cards, online banking and international checking. Others offer private banking and wealth management for high net worth clients seeking privacy, stellar service and an opportunity to invest in otherwise unavailable markets. Still others offer specialized services such as overseas mortgages, back to back loans and trade financing facilities.
After consulting with our client, we can provide an introduction to a suitable bank. Many of these offshore banks will only accept applications from offshore companies established by approved intermediaries such as us. Otherwise, the client would be required to visit the bank in person to establish the account. A few banks may still require a face to face meeting with the client within six months of establishing the account but we will advise you when this is the case.
We generally leave the offshore banking business and questions about potential uses to our offshore partner banks; however, we often field questions regarding these issues and find it necessary to explain a few simple strategies often utilised. None of the information in this section and indeed in this website should be construed as tax advice in your home country. These strategies may or may not be legal in your home country. We can only advise on legal uses in the countries where we establish corporations and bank accounts on behalf of our clients.
Back to Back Loan
Back to back loans are generally intended to hedge against changes in currency valuations. The concept is relatively simple. You deposit funds with the bank in one currency and the bank issues a loan in another currency using your deposit as collateral. In practice, these loans have several uses which have contributed to their popularity.
Scenario #1 (Business Loan)
You have an offshore company and bank account with funds you have been accumulating over time. A situation arises and you find your onshore business is in need of a cash infusion. You may be able to structure a "back to back" loan with your offshore bank. It is generally a simple concept. You deposit funds at the bank and using your deposit as security they draft a loan agreement at an interest rate and term decided by you. The bank loans the funds to you solving your cash flow problem and allowing you to show the cash as a liability on your books. This may be an instance when you actually prefer to pay a higher rate of interest. Your interest payments may be tax deductible expenses allowing you to save taxes in future years.
Scenario #2 (Property Mortgage)
You are building a new house or buying a piece of property and need cash. Your offshore bank can draft a back to back loan as a mortgage at an interest rate and term of your choosing (usually at a fairly high rate within reason) allowing you to purchase the property and maintain a lien on the property by filing the mortgage. Many high net worth individuals prefer not to own property and investments in their own names and seek arrangements which make their assets more difficult to locate for potential adversaries. This is a popular strategy in these cases. Any searches for assets would turn up a fully mortgaged home rather than one owned free and clear. These loans may be kept "topped up" to 100% of the value of the home as well. As with the business loan, interest payments are often tax deductible providing future income tax savings which may come in handy, especially if you have the good fortune of being in the highest tax brackets.
Jurisdictions of Bank Accounts
Currently we provide banking options in Hong Kong, Malta, Latvia and Mauritius. We also can make introductions to prestigious private banks.
All of these banks provide the following services:
- Internet banking - fully transactional
- ATM/Debit card linked to the foreign currency accounts
- Multi-currency accounts
- No minimum deposits
- No minimum balances
- Application time 1-7 days depending on bank
- Free support from OCA for the first 30 days