Looking to open an offshore bank account in Asia but struggling to find a jurisdiction where you’re accepted? Well then, opening a Labuan offshore bank account might be worth considering.
In fact, not only is Labuan more affordable than Hong Kong or Singapore, it can be more accessible for certain client profiles as well.
Labuan Offshore Bank Overview
Opening an account with a Labuan offshore bank as a foreign non-resident is possible. However, you will need to meet bank-specific requirements. Additionally, not all Labuan banks accept non-residents. So, knowing which bank and branch accept your client profile is critical to opening. To help you open a Labuan offshore bank account, we detail accepted client profiles below.
Naturally, if you don’t have the right information or you’re unable to meet the specific account opening requirements, opening a Labuan offshore bank account is going to be challenging.
But, unlike many other banking hubs, this may be the only challenge you face when it comes to opening an account. In fact, the account opening process for a Labuan offshore bank account can be smoother than other offshore hubs… if you’re well prepared.
In this article, we’re going to explore why Labuan offshore bank accounts are interesting to foreign non-residents and foreign companies. We’ll also share information on who should consider opening an account here, along with the benefits that a Labuan offshore bank account can offer.
But, before diving in, if this is your first time visiting GlobalBanks, don’t forget to download your free Non-Resident Banking Starter Guide. It’s designed to help non-residents open accounts in top banking hubs around the world.
Why Are Labuan Offshore Bank Accounts Interesting?
Labuan may not be a popular tourist destination. But, for certain client profiles, it’s an interesting (maybe necessary) offshore banking hub. That said, it’s not for everyone. Depending on your client profile and banking needs, a Singapore non-resident bank account might be a better fit.
However, if you have one of the client profiles that align with banking in Labuan, you’ll be able to unlock a wide range of benefits — more on this later.
For now, let’s take a look at what makes Labuan stand out compared to other offshore banking options for certain clients…
1. Accepting of Foreign Non-Residents
Finding a bank that accepts foreign non-residents is difficult if you don’t know which bank or banker to contact. This is especially true if you’re trying to open in a country where you have no local or economic ties. But, in Labuan, non-resident banking is possible.
That said, before applying to open in Labuan, it’s still important to know which banks accept foreign non-residents and which branches will open a Labuan offshore bank account for you.
2. Accepting of Foreign & Offshore Companies
Labuan typically does not open bank accounts for non-Labuan companies. But there are exceptions in place. For instance, if your business is located in Hong Kong or Singapore, there is a higher chance that you’ll be able to open a Labuan offshore bank account.
If you don’t have a Singapore or Hong Kong company, it’s still possible to open a Labuan offshore bank account. But, you still need to know which banks will accept your company. That said,
3. Remote Opening is Possible
Remote account opening in Labuan used to not exist. But, the number of banks willing to open accounts remotely for foreign non-residents and foreign companies has increased considerably.
That said, remote opening does vary from bank to bank and depends on the type of account you’re looking to open. But, there are strategies available for most clients to open accounts without ever stepping foot in Labuan.
So, for those prospective clients who are desperate for remote opening, opening a Labuan offshore bank account may be worth exploring.
4. Favorable Offshore Banking Jurisdiction
As Malaysia’s only offshore financial hub, Labuan offers a wide range of advantages. For instance, Labuan offers interesting tax structures, a low tax environment, and a high level of security as there are little to no disclosure requirements.
Of course, to access these advantages, you need the right company structure to be able to open a bank account successfully. But, the chances of tapping into these advantages and more are increasingly high when opening a Labuan offshore bank account.
In all cases, just because Labuan is an interesting account opening option for some, doesn’t mean it’s the best banking jurisdiction for your client profile. So, let’s take a look at who should consider opening a Labuan offshore bank account and the benefits they can possibly unlock.
Who Should Consider Labuan Offshore Bank Accounts
First of all, offshore banking isn’t for everyone.
But, generally speaking, opening a Labuan offshore bank account might be an easier option compared to other jurisdictions. That’s because other popular offshore banking hubs tend to be more difficult to access for foreign non-residents.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at who should consider opening a Labuan offshore bank account:
- Non-resident & foreign companies that serve customers in Labuan
- Foreign companies that have suppliers in Labuan
- Businesses requiring remote opening
- Foreign non-residents requiring remote opening
- Offshore companies registered in Labuan
- Non-residents looking for attractive tax structures
- Non-residents working in Labuan (receive payments)
- Clients able to meet large minimum deposit requirements
- Companies unable to open in other parts of Asia
- Companies with key shareholders or directors located in Labuan
As mentioned above, if you have an offshore company, opening in Labuan could be an option. In fact, banks here (like most places in Asia), are very familiar with offshore jurisdictions. And, unlike Hong Kong, Singapore, Macau, and Taiwan, banks here have a less intense account opening process and are more accepting of foreign companies. In fact, to open a bank account in Macau or access Taiwan banking options, you will likely need to provide sufficient ties to the country and be present for account opening.
But, in all cases, whether or not you should open a Labuan offshore bank account over another jurisdiction should be based on your unique requirements.
So, if you’re considering opening a Labuan offshore bank account, let’s look at the available benefits to determine if it might be the right place for you or your business to bank.
Benefits of Opening a Labuan Offshore Bank Account
For the right client profile, there are many benefits that can come with opening a Labuan offshore bank account.
For starters, if you’re looking for a gateway into banking in the Middle East or Asia, but you’re struggling to open elsewhere, Labuan may be the solution. But, even if that isn’t a concern, there are many other benefits you can unlock as well…
Benefits of Opening a Labuan Offshore Bank Account
- English-speaking customer support
- Accepts foreign currency deposits
- Access to multiple currencies
- Remote account opening (varies from bank to bank)
- Accessible low and no-tax corporate structures
- Easier account opening process than other jurisdictions
- Information not shared with Malaysian authorities
- No import or export duties on trades
Of course, in order to unlock these benefits, you need to know how to successfully open accounts. That means knowing which bank and banker to connect with, understanding of the account opening requirements, and submitting proper documentation.
So, if you’re ready to unlock these benefits, let’s jump into what you need to open a Labuan offshore bank account.
What Do You Need to Open a Labuan Offshore Bank Account?
Depending on the chosen bank, the documents and regulations needed for opening a Labuan offshore bank account will differ. But, similar to banking anywhere, an account application will need to be submitted to start the opening process.
That said, in addition to the account application, there are other requirements that need to be met as well.
Requirements to Open a Labuan Personal Offshore Bank Account
- Two forms of identification
- Proof of address
- Bank references
- Proof of income & source of wealth
- Minimum deposit (varies from bank to bank)
Requirements to Open a Labuan Corporate Offshore Bank Account
- Two forms of identification (all beneficial owners and signatories)
- Certificate of incorporation
- List of shareholders
- Description of business activities
- Proof of address (all beneficial owners and signatories)
- Lawyers, accountants, or a bankers professional testimonial statement
- Certificate of good standing
- Letter on the reasoning for opening a Labuan offshore bank account
Of course, depending on the type of account and the bank you decide to open with, the requirements listed above can differ.
For instance, in terms of deposit requirements, the amounts will vary from bank to bank and will also depend on the type of account you open.
But, in most cases, a Labuan offshore bank account will require an initial deposit between US $5,000 and $50,000. This is the same amount that you will be expected to maintain in your account at all times.
Bottom Line: Choosing a bank that best suits your requirements and understanding the bank’s account opening process is critical to successfully opening a Labuan offshore bank account.
Ready to Unlock Labuan Offshore Banks?
To start the process of opening accounts with a Labuan offshore bank, you can obviously start with the information in this article.
Or, you can access one of our membership services and get the help you need to find and unlock the best banking option for you.
Each of our premium services is designed to help non-resident individuals, foreigners, and their businesses open international and offshore bank accounts around the world.
So, whether you’re ready to open a Labuan offshore bank account today or you’re just starting to explore your options, we can help.
You can start by accessing GlobalBanks IQ, our dedicated international banking intelligence platform.
GlobalBanks IQ gives you everything you need to figure out where you should (and shouldn’t) open accounts.
When you join GlobalBanks IQ, you immediately unlock the GlobalBanks Database of international banks — 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 to start accessing the benefits of international banking today.