HSBC and Standard Chartered Banks: opening bank accounts for offshore companies

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opening bank accounts for offshore companiesHSBC and Standard Chartered Banks are one of most prominent banks in Asia with presence in all major Asian Financial Centers like Singapore and Hong Kong. Recently both banks have reported that major profit was derived from Asian emerging markets. The banks are optimistic about business forecast in Asia. Opening of bank accounts in Hong Kong is becoming a challenge. Both banks are requesting details about a business presence in Hong Kong and declining opening of bank accounts even for Hong Kong offshore companies if there is no business in Hong Kong. Opening of bank accounts for tax heaven companies from Belize, Seychelles and BVI is a low chance option. Hong Kong has one of the most stringent rules on anti-money laundering in the world. Compliance is very strict and leading to a long process of opening bank accounts. Singapore has slightly relaxed rules for opening of bank account. Typically, there is no problem for opening of a bank account for a Singapore offshore company. The only challenge is that a Singapore offshore company can’t claim Singapore Income tax exemption if money has landed in a Singapore bank account. Some parts of overseas generated profit is becoming deemed as a Singapore source income and subject to Singapore income tax of 17%. One of the solutions is to open a bank account outside of Singapore in order to retain a territorial taxation principle income tax exemption. Singapore banks are still willing to open bank accounts for companies from tax heavens and low tax jurisdictions like Hong Kong and Cyprus. For bank account opening for Cyprus offshore companies an apostil stamp is required on all corporate documents. Hong Kong company’s corporate documents do not require any apostil stamp for opening of a bank account in Singapore. Notary Public services are relatively expensive in Hong Kong. Singapore banks have established some ‘entry barriers’ for offshore companies from Belize, Seychelles and BVI in a form of a higher initial deposit. It is worth to mention that HSBC and Standard Chartered Banks require face-to-face meeting with prospective clients. Eltoma Corporate Services has practical experience in preparing clients for interview and have an offshore bank account successfully opened. Following existing clients requests, Eltoma Corporate Services has started to offer post bank accounts services.