Who can open a Latvia bank account?
Everyone can open an account at a bank in Latvia . However, banks reserve the right to reject customers. For example, a bank might refuse to offer banking services to a so-called “politically exposed person” who the bank believes would pose a “reputation” risk if he or she were to become a client. A bank might also refuse to start a banking relationship if it has doubts about the origins of the potential client’s funds. Latvian banks are forbidden by law to accept money which they know or must assume stem from crime or any illegal activities.
How can I open an account from my home country?
Latvian banks have procedures concerning the opening of accounts, irrespective of the domicile of the customer. In line with Swiss laws governing “due diligence”, the bank must verify the identity of the customer on the basis of an official document (e.g. a passport and confirmation of residential address).
What are the main benefits of banking offshore?
PRIVACY, SECURITY & ANONIMITY
Offshore banks have the highest bank secrecy to protect their clients. No client informations are disclosed.
Banking offshore could be the best way to manage your funds in regards of tax optimization. We understand that each client has their own needs and reasons for banking offshore. You may want a tax haven to benefit form zero taxation. You may want the strict bank secrecy the offshore countries offer, you may want to internationalize your business or you may want to have access to financial services that aren’t available locally. Whatever your reasons, our professionals help you to realize your need and goals and grow and protects your wealth.
Can you open the account without having to visit the bank personally?
Of course, all the accounts (exluded hnwi accounts) we support to open do not require the physical presence of the owner.
Can an account by opened anonymously in Latvia ?
No, that is not possible. Banks follow so-called “know-your-customer” rules which require staff to identify the person opening an account and, where necessary, to establish the identity of the beneficial owner. Incidentally it was the banks themselves who drew up the extremely strict, internationally recognized rules for verifying the identity of their clients as a deterrent to money of criminal origin.
Is the opening guaranteed?
Yes the opening is guaranteed as long as You:
a) Fill correctly the application form
b) Are not a criminal
c) Show to the bank proof of source of funds
d) Have all the documents legally valid and certified.
Does bank secrecy shield criminals?
No. Bank customer confidentiality has never been absolute. Latvia banks are obliged, for example, to disclose information in criminal proceedings against their clients. This is an absolute obligation, regardless of whether the offence was committed in your home country or abroad.
What means certificated/notarized documents?
Certification means that a bank official, cpa, attorney at law, notary public, attests that the documents are true. As example, for each documents he writes: “I hereby certify this is the true copy of Mr. First Name, Last Name”. This comes with signature, date and professional stamp.
What documentation will the bank want to see?
As mentioned above, Latvia banks are obliged to verify the identity of a client. The bank will want to see official identification papers such as a valid passport or an equivalent official identification document containing a photograph. The bank may also ask for documentation that can prove the origin of your funds, such as the contract for a house sale, a statement from a foreign bank, a receipt from the sale of securities, etc.
What questions will the bank ask me?
First of all, the bank’s staff will certainly ask questions to fulfill the bank’s legal obligations with regard to due diligence. This will include asking for proof of your identity and also establishing the identity of the beneficial owner of the assets if you are depositing funds on behalf of someone else. The bank’s staff might also ask about the origin of the funds and the nature of your professional business and they will also want to get an idea of your usual financial transactions. In order to offer you the best advice, the bank will also ask about your future plans, for example, whether you intend to buy a house, start a business, retire, etc. If you are asking the bank to manage an investment portfolio they will also ask how much risk you are willing to accept. In short, the more the bank knows about you, the more it can tailor its advice and service to your individual needs.
How long does it take to open an account?
From few working days up to 3 weeks.
What are the fees applied by the Latvia banks?
Latvian banks have competitive fees and higher interests rates compared to the banks around the corner
How can I withdraw money from my bank account?
ATM card and credit card valid in all the world.
Can I open a Latvia bank account as a non resident ?
Sure , almost all our clients are non-residents. We have clients in many countries.
I’m Indian (south african, brazilian, etc,etc) citizen, can I still open the account ?
Yes, you can.
Do you have a Latvia bank account? Should you pay tax?
If you receive savings and investment income from abroad, you will usually need to declare this on a Self Assessment (SA) tax return. You may have to pay Income Tax, but if you’ve paid foreign tax on the income you may be able to offset (deduct) this.
Does the Latvia bank account have on-line banking?
Yes all account have on-line banking 24 hours/ 7 days always available.
Can I close my German account whenever I wish ?
Sure There are no restrictions when it comes to closing an account in Offshore countries. You are free to close your account if you wish. The procedure is immediate and cost-free. Of course, if your money is invested, it generally takes a few days to liquidate positions, but even so, no one will prevent you from withdrawing your funds or charge you a financial penalty.
Which Latvia bank will account be opened with ?
We have a large network of banks in Offshore countries.
Many of which have been in operations for over 100 years. Our company will select the bank with the best conditions at present from a permanently updated list of banks with the best price-ratio. We work with banks in all categories. Which bank is right for you depends on many factors, such your country of tax residence, where you reside, eventual treaties of exchange information that have been signed, how much you plan to deposit and what kind of operations will you perform with funds.
Can I choose the Latvia bank ?
Yes you can choice bank. We do not, however, give out the names of the banks before you actually pay in full an order. Each account we offer can be opened with different banks in the same country We select the bank that suits better the client needs and minimum deposit requirements. We do not offer “mass product”. We select the banks with the best conditions at present from a permanently updated list of banks with the best privacy&security policy.
Why do I need to pay to open an account ? What benefits would you provide?
Opening a bank account in Latvia is not like opening one in your home country, where all you need is a walk into any bank down the street with your driver’s license and 10$. Latvia banks are very cautious in dealing with new clients that are not introduced by someone they know. Using our bank introduction services, you benefit from the advice of professionals specialists in international banking laws, international company and tax laws. We make sure the opening procedure is as quick and straightforward as possible. For a little fee you’ll save weeks of searches and many complications. Our service will help you in many ways: You benefit from a free top professional consulting from international specialists in fields like:International taxation, International company and International banking. This enables you to get the most out of your Latvia bank account right away and be sure that no problems with your local tax authority will arise. We help you find a way to be in compliance with your home country tax regulation. In many cases we can obtain better terms for our clients lower minimum balance, lower commissions, less restrictions on facilities offered, etc… Most banks have many restrictions to what facilities you will actually get and you usually learn about it after you have opened your account. We can open accounts by mail. We opened hundreds of accounts for clients all over the world and can provide quick and reliable service. Through us you are assigned seasoned, professional and efficient account managers. In any given bank, there are good account managers and not-so-good ones. The good ones are always busy with clients and take only the most promising new clients or those sent by people they know. We specialize in helping international clients open an offshore bank account that will match their needs and more important that will not cause tax problem in their home country. We are not a bank and offer impartial advice and assistance in selecting and opening the right account for your needs in the right country
Account Opening Procedures & Requirements
Opening an offshore bank account via distance banking is slightly more cumbersome when compared to opening a domestic bank account, considering one actually walks into a branch when opening a domestic bank account. As one of the oldest professional offshore banking service providers & incorporation agents on the web, we have relationships with major offshore banks and financial institutions around the world, and stand ready to assist you every step of the way during the account opening process.
Generally speaking the procedure to open an offshore bank account consists of properly preparing and submitting the following documents:
Notarized copy of the Certificate of Incorporation and/or Articles of Association (for corporate accounts)
Certified copy of your government issued passport (for both personal and/or corporate accounts)
Original Utility Bill (for both personal and/or corporate accounts)
Bank or professional reference for the account signatory (for both personal and/or corporate accounts)
Completed banking applications and forms which we provide and assist in completing
Bank Due Diligence requirements
To comply with legislations, banks must collect adequate due diligence to verify the identity of the ultimate beneficial owners and controllers of the potential client wanting to establish a relationship with the bank. Below is the documentation required for the various types of entity the potential client may be established as.
Limited Company – please provide certified copies of the following: a) Certificate of Incorporation, b) Memorandum and Articles of Association, c) Register of Directors, and d) Register of Members. For at least two of the entity’s directors, for shareholders with an interest equal to or greater than 10% and for all other authorised account signatories please provide certified copies of the items laid out at i) through iv) below.
Limited Liability Company – please provide certified copies of the following: e) Certificate of Incorporation, f) Operating Agreement, and g) Schedule showing the members and their respective percentage interests. For at the entity’s managing member, for members with an interest equal to or greater than 10% and for all other authorised account signatories please provide certified copies of the items laid out at i) through iv) below.
Limited Partnership – please provide certified copies of the following: h) Certificate of Registration (where available), i) Limited Partnership Agreement, and j) Schedule showing the limited partners and their respective percentage interests. For the general partner, limited partners with an interest equal to or greater than 10% and for all other authorised account signatories please provide certified copies of the items laid out at i) through iv) below.
Trust – please provide a certified copy of the declaration of trust or deed of settlement as appropriate, and for any of the trust’s settlor, beneficiary(s) with a vested interest and for all other authorised account signatories please provide certified copies of the items laid out at i) through iv) below.
Foundation – please provide certified copies of: k) Certificate of Registration, l) Charter of the Foundation, and m) Register showing the Council of Members. For at least two of the Council of Members, beneficiaries and for all other authorized account signatories please provide certified copies of the items laid out at i) through iv) below.
Individuals – please provide certified copies of the documents below: i) Passport or drivers license, bearing their signature and photograph, AND one of the following to verify their residential address (PO boxes are not acceptable); ii) Recent (less than 3 months old) utility bill, OR iii) Recent (less than 3 months old) bank or credit card statement, OR iv) Reference from a ‘respected professional’ (lawyer, accountant or manager/director of a regulated financial institution), who has known the person for at least 2 years.
Funds If the potential client is a fund, instead of item d), g) or j) and due diligence on investors, i.e. items i) through iv) as specified, an AML comfort letter is required from the fund’s administrator or transfer agent confirming that they are responsible for performing due diligence on the fund’s investors – we have a standard template available for this. Where the potential client has an entity as either a director or shareholder, documentation as outlined above is required for that type of entity. If the potential client is a regulated financial institution we may be exempt from collecting due diligence on it. Source of funds Please ensure that sufficient, relevant information on the source of funds to be deposited with banks is provided with the application form.
Bearer Shares Most banks are unable to provide services to entities that have issued bearer shares; these must either be immobilized or cancelled and reissued to persons. Entities that haven’t, but are capable of issuing bearer shares must undertake not to issue bearer shares, or upon their issue the account(s) will be frozen until the bearer shares are either immobilized or cancelled.
Certification/Notarization of Documents The certifier (notary public, lawyer, accountant, manager/director of a regulated financial institution, for example) is to attest that the documents are a true copy of the original, sign each document, print their name underneath, indicating their position or capacity and include a contact address and phone number.
Overview of the Secrecy Jurisdiction
30 History as Secrecy Jurisdiction Since Unknown -/-
31 Development and Role as a Secrecy Jurisdiction [Notes]
The INCSR wrote in 2013: “Latvia is a growing regional financial center with a large number of commercial banks with a sizeable nonresident deposit base.Total bank deposits have increased in the past year, with non-residential deposits increasing by 19.7 percent and comprising 49.5 percent of total bank deposits (as of November 2012). The scope of the “shadow” (untaxed) economy (estimated at around 30 percent of the overall economy), geographic location, and public corruption make it challenging to combat money laundering.
Local officials do not consider proceeds from illegal narcotics to be a major source of laundered funds in Latvia. Authorities report that the primary sources of money laundered in Latvia are tax evasion; organized criminal activities, such as prostitution, tax evasion, and fraud, perpetrated by Russian and Latvian groups; as well as other forms of financial fraud. Officials also report that questionable transactions and the overall value of laundered money have remained below prefinancial crisis levels. Latvian regulatory agencies closely monitor financial transactions to identify instances of terrorist financing. Public corruption remains a problem in Latvia. There is a black market for smuggled goods, primarily cigarettes, alcohol, and gasoline; however, contraband smuggling does not generate significant funds that are laundered through the financial system” (INCSR CD 2013: 229).
The IMF reported on Latvia’s recent changes in AML/banking regulations: “The response of the banks to the changes in law, requirements, and guidance, while slow in some cases initially, has been dramatic overall. In accordance with improvements introduced into the AML Law in June 2005, and beginning with the higher-risk accounts (which typically includes nonresident accounts), banks have acted on a large scale to re-identify clients and request documentary evidence to support transactions. They have taken steps to ensure that they have documentation to establish as far as practicable the ultimate beneficial owner of their corporate accounts (including offshore companies) and any cases of accounts being operated by third parties. Where customers were unwilling or unable to provide the requested information, or did not respond in time, the accounts were closed.
The banks informed the assessors that, of the total of 250,000 bank accounts closed by banks in 2005 for whatever reason, probably more than 100,000 accounts were closed as a result of the AML/CFT compliance initiative. However, the balances on many of these accounts were low. In accordance with Latvian legal requirements, the balances were transferred to other banks in Latvia or to banks in other European Economic Area countries.” (IMF 2007, V2: 6). As regards Latvia’s attraction as a low tax jurisdiction, Latvia repeatedly lowered its corporate tax rates over the last years: “From 1 January 2002, the Latvian corporate income tax was reduced from a flat rate of 25% to a flat rate of 22%. The rate was 19% in 2003 and dropped to 15% from 2004.” (Lowtax.net). In addition, “Businesses operating in the Liepaja or Rezekne Special Economic Zones, or in the Riga or Ventspils Free Ports, can qualify for tax rebates of 80%-100%” (ibid.).
On ‘Black-Lists’ of
32 International Bureau of Fiscal Documentation 1977 No [Notes]
33 Charles Irish 1982 No [Notes]
34 Hines Rice 1994 No [Notes]
35 IMF 2000 No [Notes]
36 OECD 2000 No [Notes]
37 FSF 2000 No [Notes]
38 FATF 2000 / 2002 No [Notes]
39 Tax Justice Network 2005 No [Notes]
40 Zoromé 2007 (IMF) Yes [Notes]
41 Stop Tax Havens Act (USA) 2007 Yes [Notes]
42 Lowtax.net 2008 No [Notes]
43 OECD April 2009 No [Notes]