Difficulties with the opening and maintenance of bank accounts

European, Emirati, Turkish, Hong Kong and other foreign companies with founders and shareholders from Russia and other countries of the former USSR often face difficulties when trying to open bank accounts in the countries where the companies have been incorporated. In some cases, a check when accounts are opened takes up to six months. Sometimes, there is a refusal to open accounts at all. Literally everything gives rise to suspicion in the compliance department of banks. For example, they often refuse to open accounts for companies with founders who have the same surnames as persons on the sanctions lists. At the same time, the bank may not pay attention to the fact that the names and/or patronymics of the founder and the person under sanctions do not coincide.

In the current situation, consultants and the business community are looking for banks that, firstly, are ready to open and maintain accounts for foreign companies (and not just companies incorporated in the country of the bank in question), and secondly (and this is the most important), that have a normal attitude towards companies with founders and shareholders from Russia and other countries of the former USSR. We have found such banks in Israel, as well as in a number of exotic countries, for instance in Mauritius. At the same time, practice shows that, in these banks, the online function can be very lame. It is suggested that payment orders should be physically brought to the bank or sent to the bank by fax on condition of a call back for verification. Of course this is inconvenient, but the most important thing is that payments are made and business carries on.

Andrei Gusev
Managing Partner, Attorney-at-Law

+7 921 938 29 90, +34 695 043 424, +376 692 1714
St. Petersburg, Barcelona, Almaty