The offshore banks are working in accordance with the “Know Your Client” policies. Therefore, they are taking more and more for establishing the identity of all of their clients and beneficiaries, so that they accept only clients only when they have completed this identification process.
The client that applies for an offshore bank account must have a valid passport and will have to be listed to make a personal visit to the bank or else offer authentic documents (authenticated or apostilled). For reasons of Due Diligence, banks need to receive all information about foreseen account activities and the source of the capital (a description of the origin and the means through which the funds that will be accepted for opening the account will be transferred). If a large transaction were to take place, the bank would then request more documents that confirm that particular transaction (contracts, invoices, etc.). In some cases, the bank will call for references or other sources that allow corroboration of the reputation of the information delivered.
The bank guards and respects all information provided by the client, in accordance with bank laws and strict compliance to privacy. These data are revealed only in limited situations, when the bank receives a formal, written request from the appropriate authority.
These are exceptional cases and are generally related to serious legal procedures such as drug or arms trafficking and terrorist actions. Banks that hand over their clients’ confidential information, in on-legal cases, an face heavy criminal procedures.
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