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By Mark Anderson, Kevelex Corp



Your Own Offshore Bank

Ask any experienced banker from a small offshore jurisdiction what the three most important aspects of his business are, and he'll say correspondent banking, correspondent relationships, and correspondent accounts!

Here at Kevelex we help offshore banks and other international fintech businesses to open correspondent bank accounts with strong banks worldwide. Do not hesitate to email or WhatsApp us for more information about this matter. We always work on a no-win, no-fee basis.

Correspondent bank accounts is a major part of our business today. With more than 10 years of experience in this business and an excellent reputation to uphold, we don't really like to boast but we know we are one of the few consultancies that can really deliver in this area. Try the rest, then come talk to us!

We can help out with everything from small closed private groups of investors (such as offshore hedge or crypto funds) to Multiple banking entities with unrestricted legal capacity to offer commercial banking services to the general public. Our customers include Commercial and Private Banks, Trust Companies, Wealth Managers, Finance Companies, Credit Unions, Payment Processors, E-Wallets, Forex Brokers, Offshore Fund Managers, Cryptocurrency Exchanges among others. Requirements and costs vary depending on the type of entity established but generally we can provide a complete package solution.


At which bank can Kevelex open your Correspondent Account?

Every case is different so the first thing we need to do is analyze your requirements. There is no point in getting a correspondent account opened for you, only to have it closed a month later because the bank does not like your business model.

For example, a crypto currency exchange will have very different needs from a traditional Swiss multi-family office or Wealth Manager. Yet both are prospective Kevelex clients that could take their business to a whole new level by obtaining an offshore banking license.

Then again, sometimes a banking license can be a handicap. Today, if all you want to do is process wire transfers and issue pre-paid cards, for example, there are much more flexible structures available in the offshore fintech world such as e-money licenses or companies acting in the European Union under the new Payment Services Directive.

Finding the optimal mix of correspondent partners based on your transaction flow, currencies, client base, and redundancy needs is a complex process. As a startup fintech business, you face an uphill battle to secure these correspondent accounts, and success or failure of your offshore bank will often hinge on the relationships of those you choose to work with.

Therefore, before we start talking about which bank or which country, we need to get on a call with you and fully understand your requirements. Then we work out a plan, agree our fees, and go to work for you!

To give you an example though, this year we have helped offshore clients open correspondent accounts in places as diverse as USA, Puerto Rico, Denmark, Portugal, South Korea and Guyana!


Is SWIFT membership required?

Swift membership is not required for the correspondent bank account opening process.

You the Client may apply for Swift Membership after the opening of the account or in parallel to the account opening process. If you do not have a SWIFT code we can help obtain one for you as part of our service. We would then point you to our recommended tech partners to arrange the implementation.

Note that once the Correspondent Bank Account has been open the Client bank must exchange crypto keys with the Corresponding Bank account to activate the actual account.

If your offshore bank is very small and prefers to operate without SWIFT (basically manual processing) this is generally not recommended but might be possible. It is suitable for clients on a budget with very low transaction volume.


How long does it take to open a Correspondent Account?

Our record is getting a correspondent account open in 10 days. Normally it takes much longer. We start work when we have received your payment and all the documents required, so if time is of the essence, do not put off the process. A quick WhatsApp message to us is all it takes to get things moving.


What are the fees?

We like to work on a fixed fee basis. We agree a fee in advance, you pay us half the funds up front, then the other half when your account is open. That is how we normally prefer to work as it is fairest for all concerned.

Our fees are all inclusive and expenses disbursed for the process are included. The total fees will depend of the number of accounts you will need (one account per currency no multi-currency account for correspondent bank account

Just to give you some guidelines, our absolute minimum fee for correspondent account opening is USD 25,000. If you need a high volume transactional account in a major bank, fees will be higher. If you are an offshore fintech such as a securities dealer, rather than a bank, then we can go substantially lower.


What documents are required?

The following will give you an idea of the documentary requirements:

  • Copy of Bank incorporation (or financial service company) file notarized and apostilled including (certificate of incorporation, memorandum and articles of association, director register, shareholder register)
  • Copy of Bank License (or financial services license) notarized and apostilled
  • Copy of Director/shareholder passports notarized
  • Proof of address of less than 2 months
  • Curriculum vitae of director /shareholder
  • Notarized Power of Attorney with local law firm (we will provide)
  • FATCA Self-Certification Form (Entities) if account is in USD (we will provide)
  • Bank disclosure form (we will provide)

I hope you've found this article on correspondent banking for offshore banks and fintech businesses to be helpful. For assistance in setting up a correspondent account for an international bank, please visit our contact page where you will find our Contact Form and WhatsApp details. We'll be happy to assist you to setup your accounts!