GlobalBanks started out of necessity.
In the mid-2000s it was becoming increasingly difficult to open (and keep open) international bank accounts. Good people with legitimate businesses were being stonewalled.
There were a few reasons for this, including the introduction of new legislation, reporting requirements, information-sharing agreements that made banks less interested in foreign clients, and more.
In other words, bureaucracy that was intended to stop criminal activity and stop the flow of illicit funds… and maybe collect some extra taxes in the process.
Unfortunately, innocent individuals and business owners were collateral damage.
Entire nationalities were being denied, having their accounts closed, and struggling to find banks that would accept them (anywhere).
It was during this time that members of our team faced the shocking realization that bank regulators were making it extremely difficult to do business abroad.
And for many people, that was a serious problem…
We operate in a global economy, and not being able to bank overseas is the equivalent of not doing business overseas.
It’s Not the Mid-2000s Anymore
Thankfully, reporting requirements and cross-border transactions have become streamlined at most banks. And, even client profiles that were previously considered untouchable (e.g. US citizens), are becoming more easily banked abroad.
But unfortunately, the combination of strict regulations, internal bank policies, and uninformed bankers still make account opening extremely difficult for foreign clients.
With this in mind, we’re going to explore whether bank regulators are your friend or foe — taking a closer look at the good and the bad — and how they impact where you can open accounts.
The Role Bank Regulators Play
While it would be easy to point to bank regulators as the source of account opening difficulties, that’s not exactly how we see it.
Instead, by enforcing standards and ensuring that banks have a standardized set of rules to follow, regulators play an important role in protecting your money.
In fact, in countries with weak regulation, we often see very concerning trends in terms of account opening, client acceptance, and transaction activities. In most cases, we strongly suggest that our members avoid these jurisdictions.
On the other hand, countries with strong regulation tend to be home to high quality banks, which translates into higher caliber bankers, and better overall services for clients.
Singapore is a very clear example of this, with some of the strictest bank regulation in the world. Importantly, it is also home to some of the best banks.
What Do Bank Regulators Do?
Bank regulators are tasked with overseeing banks (and similar financial institutions) and protecting depositor funds. And they do this by enforcing laws, monitoring bank reporting, and providing oversight of the banking industry. In most cases, bank regulators are also the issuing body of bank charters (a.k.a. a banking license).
How and Why Bank Regulators Can Impact You
Like any good bureaucratic body, bank regulators pass responsibility down the line. In this case, that means pushing all of the additional monitoring and reporting requirements onto the shoulders of banks.
As a result, banks are forced to collect mountains of information on their clients (and prospective clients). This collection of information is supposedly aimed at stopping criminal activity and protecting the greater good. But as far as we can tell, being required to show electricity bills has hardly put a dent in the international drug trade.
The downside of all this additional regulation and paperwork is that many banks have become scared to open accounts for foreigners and non-residents. They don’t want the extra reporting burden (and associated costs), to weigh down their operations. And, we can’t blame them.
Unfortunately, a select number of prospective clients have been disproportionately hurt but this. We refer to this group as the Unlucky Passport Club.
Introducing the Unlucky Passport Club
If you’re in the Unlucky Passport Club opening bank accounts is going to be a challenge. But if that’s you, this isn’t breaking news.
Unfortunately, very few banks and even fewer countries will be available to you. That means, both bank and country selection are extremely important. In many cases, you will even need to zero in on branches (and bankers) that are comfortable with onboarding clients that share your profile.
We detail the challenges and solutions related to banking as a member of the Unlucky Passport Club in a free article, which you can view by clicking here.
What If You’re Not in the Unlucky Passport Club?
If you’re not in the Unlucky Passport Club, your nationality will typically fall into one of two categories: normal countries or white-listed countries.
The only distinction between these two groups is that white-listed countries typically have a very high level of trust associated with their nationality. Think Switzerland, Canada, and New Zealand. As the counterpoint to the Unlucky Passport Club, we often refer to this group as the (you guessed it)… Lucky Passport Club.
You can read more about the countries included in the Lucky Passport Club by clicking here to review our free article on the topic.
Whether your nationality is considered “normal” or “lucky” will have a limited impact on how bank regulation impacts your account opening options.
That said, other variables tied to your client profile will. These variables include your source of income, source of wealth, residency, the jurisdictions (and parties) you send and receive money to and from, and much more.
How Anyone Can Open Bank Accounts
Yes, with the right approach, careful bank (and country) selection, and some patience, anyone can open the bank accounts they need… assuming they’re not a criminal of course.
In fact, even individuals and businesses involved in high-risk, offshore, and prohibited industries are able to find and open bank accounts successfully.
To do so, you just need to follow a proven approach for opening accounts – ideally based on real feedback from customers that share a similar client profile to you.
Unfortunately, this approach didn’t exist in the real world… so, our team of banking experts decided to create it.
Introducing GlobalBanks IQ
Whether you’re ready to open a bank account today or you’re just starting to assess your options, we can help.
GlobalBanks IQ gives you everything you need to start finding, opening, and keeping open bank accounts around the world.
When you join GlobalBanks IQ, you immediately unlock the entire GlobalBanks Database of international banks. It’s home to 250+ banks in 50+ countries.
And, you get access to our library of premium (members-only) reports. These include proven account opening strategies, country-specific banking options, and lists of banks for specific client types.
Plus, you unlock our account opening checklists, dedicated account opening alerts, and much more.
To get started, click here to see if GlobalBanks IQ is the right choice for you.