Gone are 1990s, when Latvian and Swiss banks accepted investments in suitcases of cash. 2000s are no more, when opening an account was done by submitting the signed forms as a fuzzy fax message. Effectively, the 2010s are also behind, when the account was opened within a week with a personal visit and signing a stack of forms at the representative office of a Cypriot bank.
These days if you are planning to establish a non-resident company and a foreign bank account, do not be deceived by the advertising blurbs – it cannot be done without assistance of a qualified lawyer. Foreign banks, in addition to usual paperwork, demand a business plan, confirmation of source of funds, business ties with the jurisdiction of the company as well as to jurisdiction of the bank (“substance”) and the completion of the compliance control of planned activity as well as prospective counterparties. In particular cases, banker’s tour of the future client’s office is mandatory.
In addition, once the account is opened, it is no case of sitting back – every transaction is subject to strict supervision by the bank, and primary documentation may be requested at any time. The account can be for suspended or even arrested, and its replacement is to be ensured.