February 1, 2018


 What do we mean by the term onshore banking?

Generally, when we talk about onshore banking we mean that process whereby the signatory on the account and / or the company opening the account are in the same country in which the account is being opened and operated. In this case, the person operating the account appears in person in the bank at the time of opening the account and during its subsequent operation.

The offshore banking process is completely different.

When we talk about offshore banking, we mean that the signatory does not appear in the bank in person at the time of opening the account, and / or the company opening the account is not registered in the country in which the bank is located.

Offshore banking has become more and more difficult in recent years.

The reasons:

  1. Very few banks are open to this method of operating, and those which do now want to close a significant number of existing accounts, even for old, well-established clients.
  2. The banks are no longer willing to open accounts for every type of company. For example, American companies, which were extremely popular a few years ago, are not considered welcome by the banks, primarily on account of the FATCA regulations.
  3. The banks are not willing to open accounts for all types of company activity. Applications for accounts for sensitive activities are usually rejected straightaway.
  4. More stringent due diligence checks are made on clients. Compliance departments have been given immeasurable power, and their judgement of applications is not based on commercial factors.
  5. The banks’ terms and conditions are constantly changing; very often the Compliance department don’t even explain the changes to their colleagues within the bank, and nobody takes the clients’ interests into account.


Although this costs money, it usually works out at less than half of what it costs if you try and do it yourself.

Calculate it yourself:

If you go on a 3-day trip from Europe to Hong Kong to open an account yourself, you can count on the following, modestly calculated, expenses:

Air ticket: approx. 1000 EUR + hotel (3 nights): 500 EUR + transport: approx. 100 EUR + food and other expenses: approx. 200 EUR. Based on these rather modest figures, the 3-day trip is going to cost 1800 EUR and there is no guarantee that a person acting alone will be able to open an account without the help of a professional service provider.

If you go in person, everything must be organised in advance, otherwise you have no chance of achieving your goal. Even then, it is by no means certain that the account will be opened.

Using the services of LAVECO Ltd. greatly increases the chances of success, as we deal with this on a daily basis. Even before we start the process we are able to help you navigate through the difficulties and select the right bank for your personal needs.