Due diligence and record-keeping

First of all, the know your customer, due diligence and record keeping requirements are rather similar in all offshore banking jurisdictions. It is not a question that every bank should know the identity of an offshore company or a person operating the bank account. Also, no serious offshore jurisdiction can disagree that the bank must know at least one private person – the beneficial owner who stands behind the offshore company, if the offshore bank account is opened on corporation.

The laws and instructions describing how to properly identify customer can vary in different offshore jurisdictions, but in general they are standartized and if you are familiar with FATF 40 Recommendations (especially paragraphs 4-12) there should be no surprise for you when opening an offshore bank account.

The main important customer identification requirement is stated at the legislative level the following way – offshore banks should not keep anonymous accounts, customer’s identity should be verified, the offshore bank should keep properly certified identity document, document evidencing customers’ address as well as some additional third-party verification should be made (for example, reference letter from another bank where customer has already had track record for many years). Banks should keep such documents as well as all the information related to banking transactions for substantially long period.