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Tax Engineering

Countries included in global banks' 'high risk' list


Question

How can I know which countries are included in global banks' 'high risk' list? Can I open a personal account if I have Colombian nationality?

Answer

Offshore banks generally comply with the financial policies of onshore banks, since most international transactions are made in the most important financial centers in the world, such as New York, London, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Singapore. If you see the list of countries mentioned above, in all the named countries you have to pay taxes except in Hong Kong and, therefore, these countries implement very strict money laundering policies.

If an individual whose country of residence in considered high-risk, such as Colombia, Russia, Ukraine or Panama, wants to open an offshore personal bank account it does not mean that the bank will refuse the opening. However, the process will take more time and the bank's compliance department will ask the potential client more questions and he will need to provide more documentation to justify the origin of funds. Once the KYC department clears out all its doubts, the entity can open the account without any problem.

In the following image you can see which countries are included in global banks' 'high risk' list:

On the right side of the table we can find the countries considered by the banks as "NON GRATOS". These countries are included in black list of all the banks in the world and, therefore, have no options of entering in the international financial markets. If an individual has this black passport or has a company registered in a blacklisted country, no financial entity in the world will offer its services. In case that the bank offers its services, it will run the risk of losing its bank passport in the countries where the country is restricted. For example (fictitious), if the Deutsche Bank opens a bank account on American territory to a person with a passport from North Korea, the American central bank could revoke the license of the German bank and it could not work in US $ in no country in the world. 

As you can see, no bank in the world will run the risk of losing its banking license for offering a service to a person with this nationality and we recommend that you do not request a bank account outside your country of residence since the answer will be "NO".



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