Tagged: bank account
November 6, 2018 at 18:23 #5041
I’ll start with the question where can I open a bank account as a non resident, non citizen tourist?
I’m a non American citizen and intend to go to the bank branch in person.
I need a list of countries and banks where that is still possible.
It use to be so simple back in 2007 I could just walk into an HSBC branch in Hong Kong with my passport and open an account. That is not the case anymore I’ve arranged a trip there after getting multiple assurances from the online Standard Charted stuff that I will just need a passport and utility bill, but of course that was not enough and in fact I’ve learned at the branch that despite filling the forms they will not open my account.November 10, 2018 at 07:16 #5047
In addition to the banks’ policies, what it comes down to is your reason for wanting to open an account, what ties to you have to the bank or to the jurisdiction, how much money do you plan to put into the account, and where does that money come from. It also depends on your overall risk profile, which banks typically decide based on your nationality, residence, profession, and source of wealth.
If you are EU citizen/resident, it’s still relatively easy within the EU and most of Europe as long as you have a good reason for wanting to open the account. Switzerland and Liechtenstein are not included here.
Hong Kong and Singapore are still doable but, again, you need to have a good explanation for the account. If you get rejected at one branch (before they start taking copies of your documents), you can try the same bank at another street and get a different result.
Banks in the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand can be accommodating, especially if you plan to use the account for trading in the local currencies/markets.
For more exotic locations such as Africa, Central Asia, Middle East (except UAE, Lebanon, and Qatar), and Latin America, heavy emphasis is placed on having a good reason and local connection of some sort.
As for documents, I’d recommend bringing two forms of ID, two forms of proof of address, a CV, something that proves your source of wealth, and one or two references.
Your mileage may and will vary. I know people who in recent weeks/months have opened personal accounts with little or no local connections in anywhere from Guatemala to Brunei to Equatorial Guinea. At the same time, I’m aware of intra-EU expats having problems opening accounts.
One thing that has changed a lot in recent years is that the front-desk people have even less of a say about account opening. While they are trained in the basics of KYC and on-boarding procedures, the final say is usually up to a compliance officer who sits in the back office. This is especially the case for non-resident clients. When you walk into the bank, give the front-desk person no reason to note anything suspicious or unusual in your application. That will 99.99% of the time lead to the compliance officer saying no.
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