Very recently we have noticed a sharp increase in the amount of overseas companies looking at doing business in the UK – who all have the same requirement; opening a UK bank account.
Some either already have a UK entity, or have asked us to assist them in their formation.
One is an offshore entity and only wanted a bank account – as there is no entity ‘trading’ in the UK.
It can be problematic in opening a bank account occasionally if the company has recently been setup (in the UK). Some potential causes of delays:
- No members of staff
- No sales
- No premises
- No UK based director* or Company Secretary*
*a UK based director is not a requirement for opening a bank account.
Banks in the UK look for a business case to open an account. Due to the ever tightening anti-money laundering regulations and Know Your Client Checks, the internal compliance and due diligence process can be very lengthy and time consuming. We provide a temporary client trust account designated in our clients name in the meantime until their real account is operational.
We have done this many times before – and know what due diligence requirements are required – the same as we are required to conduct on our new clients, in the same way lawyers and other professional advisor’s conduct their own checks.
A Company Secretary in the UK is now optional under new legislation, for the UK entities of companies where the management of such companies is normally overseas. That said, we have seen attempts at opening a bank account, where those clients have opted for us to not be Company Secretary/Registered office, and without any UK based director – the accounts have been refused. Therefore we always stress that this role should be utilised. Read the rest of this entry »