Who can open a Seychelles bank account?
Everyone can open an account at a bank in Seychelles. 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. Swiss 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?
Seychelles banks have procedures concerning the opening of accounts, irrespective of the domicile of the customer. In line with International 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 Seychelles?
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.
Does bank secrecy shield criminals?
No. Bank customer confidentiality has never been absolute. Swiss 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 Switzerland or abroad.
What documents are required to open the Seychelles personal bank account?
- Copy of utilities must be no longer than three months old. You may need to have these documents certified.
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 bank proof of source of funds
d) Have all the documents legally valid and certified.
What means certified/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, Seychelles 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 in Seychelles?
From few working days up to 3 weeks.
What are the fees applied by the Seychelles banks?
Seychelles 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 Seychelles 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 Seychelles 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.[separator type=’transparent’ normal_full_width=” pattern_full_width=” color=” thickness=” up=’20’ down=’20’]
Does the account have on-line banking?
Yes all account have on-line banking 24 hours/ 7 days always available.
Can I close my Seychelles 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 Seychelles 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 Seychelles 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 Seychelles 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$. Swiss 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 Seychelles 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]
“Seychelles is not a major financial center. The Seychellois authorities consider drug trafficking, parallel market operations, theft and fraud as the major sources of illegal proceeds. Seychelles also has been negatively affected by piracy off the coast of Somalia. Seychelles is a consumer country for narcotics. To diversify its economy beyond tourism and fisheries, the Government of Seychelles (GOS) developed an offshore financial sector to increase foreign exchange earnings. Seychelles actively markets itself as an offshore financial and usiness center that allows the registration of nonresident business companies. These activities make the country vulnerable to money laundering.
In its 2007 – 2017 strategic plan, the GOS proposes to facilitate the further development of the financial services sector through active promotion of Seychelles as an offshore jurisdiction, with emphasis on international business companies (IBCs), mutual funds, special license companies, insurance companies, and private foundations. The Seychelles International Business Authority, which regulates the offshore financial sector, provides training in such areas as company and trust administration, international tax planning, compliance and anti-money laundering.” (INCSR CD 2013: 341-342).
In 2011 the Global Forum reported: “there is an ongoing process to strengthen the Seychelles legal framework related to both the financial and offshore sectors. New acts concerning securities and mutual and hedge funds were respectively adopted in 2007 and 2008 and, since 2009, it is possible to set up foundations in the Seychelles. Simultaneously, the International Corporate Service Provider Act, 2003 was updated.” (GF 2011: 17).
Another important development was reported by the INCSR in 2013: “In December 2011, the Financial Institutions Act 2004 was amended to provide for a single license for both domestic and offshore banks, and the AML Act Amendment of 2011 came into force, amending the AML Act of 2006. The amended AML Act increases the investigative powers and duties of the Financial Intelligence and Assets Recovery Unit, the Seychelles financial intelligence unit (FIU). The increase in powers and responsibilities ensures that officers of the FIU have the legal authority and empowerment to undertake in depth investigations. The AML Regulations of 2012, which essentially provide for the implementation of customer due diligence measures, were enacted in April 2012. ” (INCSR CD 2013: 343). As a result of the amendment “the banking confidentiality provided by the Financial Institutions Act is lifted for exchange of information purposes” (GF 2012: 28).
However, the INCSR still notes: ” The GOS should prohibit bearer shares, anonymous accounts and accounts in fictitious names, and clarify its law regarding the complete identification of beneficial owners. Additionally, it should mandate enhanced due diligence procedures when appropriate. The GOS also should amend its AML laws to state explicitly that all offshore activity is regulated in the same manner and to the same degree as that onshore. The GOS should actively enforce its regulations.” (INCSR CD 2013: 343).
The IMF noted in 2004: “It is a strategy of the government to promote offshore financial services, although relatively little offshore activity as yet takes place. This may in part be related to unfavorable published perceptions during 2000 by the Financial Stability Forum (FSF) and the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF) about the quality of financial supervision. The FATF’s main grievance was with the Economic Development Act (EDA), which Seychelles enacted in 1995 but never implemented. The act, which protected large investors from prosecution, was repealed on August 2, 2000. This action was endorsed by the FATF and resulted in its retracting an earlier warning that financial institutions exercise caution in dealing with individuals and companies domiciled in Seychelles. […].”(IMF OFC-AP 2004: 11, 12). The IMF further added that “SIBA [the Seychelles International Business] has drawn up a plan under which all supervisory functions would be transferred to a new Financial Services Authority (FSA), other than that for banking which would remain with the Central Bank.” (ibid.: [TJN-Note]).
On ‘Black-Lists’ of
32 International Bureau of Fiscal Documentation 1977 Yes [Notes]
33 Charles Irish 1982 No [Notes]
34 Hines Rice 1994 No [Notes]
35 IMF 2000 Yes [Notes]
36 OECD 2000 Yes [Notes]
37 FSF 2000 Yes [Notes]
38 FATF 2000 / 2002 No [Notes]
39 Tax Justice Network 2005 Yes [Notes]
40 Zoromé 2007 (IMF) No [Notes]
41 Stop Tax Havens Act (USA) 2007 No [Notes]
42 Lowtax.net 2008 Yes [Notes]
43 OECD April 2009 No [Notes]