The banking sector of the British Virgin Islands is strong and dynamic with the availability of modern international banking services. It offers access to clients 365 days a year and though it also offers internet banking with a USD account, other major currency deposits are also accepted.
However BVI banks do not issue corporate debit cards and companies involved in ecommerce are not accepted but it offers customers USD corporate chequing accounts. On the other hand BVI banking services offers debit cards on personal accounts.
The first Caribbean International bank (FCIB), First bank BVI and VP bank (BVI) are the prominent banks of British Virgin Islands with FCIB specializing in international banking, offshore banking services for IBCs, internet banking facilities and international credit cards.
Certain documents are required by the banks prior to opening an account in BVI. Below is a general guideline for existing BVI banking services.
The documents that banks generally ask for are permanent address verification report, a duly completed and signed bank application form, certificate of incorporation certified copy, memorandum and articles of association certified copy, two picture IDs in the form of passport/drivers license (certified copy), a reference letter from a bank and a board resolution appointing authorized signatories.
BVI banks consider the passport to be the most authentic document for identification purposes and hence the passport should be notarized. Once the bank related documents are submitted to the concerned bank the particular BVI bank account should be activated within two working days from the receipt of the documents by depositing the minimum initial deposit which is 2,500 US dollars. Though documentary requirements may vary from bank to bank generally, they will need to know and identify the actual owner/owners and everyone else who has been given account signatory rights.
Although personal appearance of the owner of the company is not necessary while opening an account in a BVI bank, still laws regulating the banking industry make it mandatory for banks to know their clients background thoroughly, and they also require an account introduction through an approved intermediary. Approved intermediaries are in the form of professional incorporation service providers based in the British Virgin Islands.
Banking secrecy is a fundamental cornerstone of BVI banking services and under no circumstances can a clients background information be leaked to a third party. This is the reason why BVI banks are very particular with documents prior to opening an account because while protecting a clients background they never want to be caught on the wrong foot.
However there are instances when a clients information may be divulged by a BVI bank and these may be under a proper criminal investigation carried out by local police authorities in-land or when ordered by a court in BVI.
BVI Information: British Virgin Islands is one of the most beautiful territories in the Caribbean. Its total area is just around 150 sq km compromising of 60 islands and even the population is in few thousands.
British Virgin Islands is under British authority and some key points are summarized below:
* Many mutual and hedge funds, insurance companies, trading companies, expatriate individuals, intellectual property rights owners, property investors and just high net worth individuals use BVI banking offshore to pay fewer taxes and save wealth.
* There is no restriction on the nationality of the bank account owner, however most banks prefer that the individual accounts be opened along with corporate accounts, of companies incorporated in the BVI.
* Privacy and confidentiality come as a given but we have to wait and see how the UK reacts to pressures from the EU for BVI bank disclosures.
* Account holders are just charged with few thousand dollars every year for the license fees of banks.
* 9/11 has changed the concept of privacy as it was accepted by us. Now governments, in the name of anti-terror laws have started usurping authority to look into anyones personal information for no strong reason.
* Its not just about privacy and taxes, banking BVI Offshore gives you all the luxuries that you can get in a world class bank.
* World class infrastructure, communication systems, modern day facilities like credit cards, internet, online banking and courier services are available in British Virgin Islands.
* You will also be saved from the tensions of legal issues as someone rarely thinks of filing a suit in a far away country and even if someone does plan to, there is legal protection provided to you in the British Virgin Islands, as in other offshore tax havens.