A requirement for banking facilities usually closely follows the purchase of an UK company.
Use of a bank account is usually taken to signal that a company has started to trade or operate. It is active, it is no longer considered to be dormant. That means that accounts must be filed and tax returns completed.
Banking is a current issue for many international business operations and for investments and family wealth.
Whilst typically consideration could be given to the advantages of privacy or low taxation in a banking location, it is now safety that is the main issue.
Protection against local, political, or financial instability is currently the most important feature in international banking. The UK offers that protection.
Banking from the UK
The UK is a long established location for international banking. In 2013 it was ranked first as a Global Financial Centre* and as the largest banking centre in Europe and the largest currency exchange.
* Z/Yen & Qatar FCA Jan 2013 – Based on over 80 indices from organisations such as the World Bank, the OEDC and the Economist Intelligence Unit.
Choosing a bank
International business is best served by a bank with an international presence
The UK is home to some of the World’s best known international banks. So in terms of image a UK registered company benefits from operating with a UK located bank.
International clients located outside of the UK may need third party help to operate bank accounts through transaction management services.
Banking services generally include credit facilities, deposit taking, foreign exchange, fund and investment management, letters of credit and trade finance, trustee services and funds transfers. The latter and all services for processing receipts from customers and payments to suppliers, together with associated multi-currency operations, are considered to involve transaction management.
Put simply, a transaction is the process of money transferring from one place to another. However transaction management is not just about moving cash; it is about the security requirements that come with it. It is about the assurance that complex processes are as streamlined as possible. Moreover it concerns the confidence that such arrangements operate within a global banking system that is now increasingly regulated against money laundering.
Valetime Group can advise on choosing banks and provide transaction management services to international clients. Valetime Group is registered under the UK’s Money Laundering Regulations as an authorised Trust & Company Services Provider (HMRC No. 1255 6035) confirming compliance with the tests prescribed in the EU Payments and Transfers Regulations.
Bank requirements for a new bank account.
Banks in all countries need to be aware of international arrangements to fight money laundering. As an established base for international banking and finance the UK banking industry operates very strict compliance. The central feature is a “Know Your Customer” approach which is based on knowledge of a customer and the related business.
Opening a bank account is an event that is focused on controlling money laundering. Consequently that is a key issue that needs to be fully understood at the time that banking arrangements are sought.
However a bank is unlikely to know the background of a new customer or its business. In that case it will require information about the business and those involved as required under various banking protocols.
Opening a new account
The usual requirements for a bank to consider a new company customer cover the following guidelines. First they need to know about the business:
- Incorporation details of the company
- Business name and address, and legal status
- Contact details
This can be provided from the information recorded at the Companies House.
- Nature of business
- Start date (if applicable), anticipated turnover and funding requirements
For a new UK company that is associated with an international owner with an existing business, this can require release of much information.
A bank will also need some personal details about those who will be involved in the business banking arrangements:
- Personal name and address
- Date, country and city of birth; and country of nationality (this is easily discharged by reference to a passport)
- Details of residency / home address
- Date you moved into your home address
- Previous address details
- Existing bank account details
Note here that there is considerable reliance placed on residency. If this involves several addresses, or even several countries, then all must be revealed. Moreover evidence of residency is required. Such evidence usually requires sight of original utility invoices, or any official documentation that records a residential address.
Personal details must be verified on the “banks premises”. A visit to UK would be best but this can be at a foreign branch of an UK bank
Introduction to a bank
As an alternative to some of the above, or as a useful supporting addition, banks may also consider an introduction from reliable others. For example a third party provider of transaction management services is likely to be familiar with a bank’s systems and also be known to that bank.Some countries actually specify who is acceptable as an “introducer” and require a minimum term of acquaintance and other factors. However such introductions are usually only accepted from suitably “regulated” sources such as lawyers, accountants etc.
Valetime Group operates with several international banks and can help.
A full range of banking services are available from all UK based international banks. We recommend use of Web banking systems and have developed applications for our clients to ensure their participation and direction to transaction management.
Banking cannot operate in isolation from the overall arrangements for the business and any links to investments or family wealth. Consequently consideration and re-assessment of a client’s corporate structure may also be needed.
We are aware that nationals of some countries may need to consider currency regulations in their home country and how these might be compromised by their personal involvement as Directors or employees in the UK. Such involvement might prejudice other key issues for operation of the UK company – for example image and privacy.