Assisting Clients with

Cross-Border Account Opening

Assisting Clients with Cross-Border Account Opening 1


Introduction 3

Our Regulatory Environment 4

Variables & FAQs 5

Account Opening 6

Example of an 7

Account Opening Process

2 Assisting 2 Assisting Clients Clients with with Cross-Border Account Account Opening Opening

Assisting Clients with

Cross-Border Account Opening

This document provides guidance on completing documentation

for opening an account with one of our international partner

banks. It assists with the account opening procedures, defines

roles and responsibilities, and describes regulatory and

documentary requirements to assist throughout the process.

Assistance with documentation

Whenever bank documentation needs to be

completed, a designated implementation adviser

will assist with identifying the requirements to be

met. We will coordinate the completion of as much

of the documentation as we can, and guide clients

through the elements that require their input. This

assistance through the documentation process

should dramatically reduce the time it takes for the

account to become operational.

Dedicated client service

and support

We provide a dedicated support service through

our partner banks to help you access their incountry

banking services. This offers global

relationship management with regional and local

expertise to streamline problem-solving, escalation

and service. Compliance with all legislation and

regulations, while providing the simplest and most

efficient experience for each of our partner banks

and their clients, is our priority.

Assisting Clients with Cross-Border Account Opening 3



Safeguarding your interests

Anti-money laundering (AML) laws and regulations

in all jurisdictions are designed to protect all

participants within the financial system (including

clients) from financial and reputational loss, while

supporting society’s broader interests by identifying

and preventing potential criminal and terrorist

activities. We take our AML responsibilities very


When first establishing a relationship, clients will need

to provide additional documentation to supplement

their account opening form(s). Among other

requirements, we must verify the corporate identity

of each company, as well as the personal identity

of key shareholders and authorised signatories. The

amount and type of documentation required may vary

depending on such things as country of incorporation,

type of entity and nature of ownership.

Know your customer

Regulators require us to be entirely satisfied with our

understanding of our clients’ identities, beneficial

ownership, management structures, and usual

transaction flows. Our “Know Your Customer” (KYC)

process also assists with fraud prevention, and

enables us to better understand and more effectively

meet clients needs.

Navigating the regulations

Our designated implementation adviser will identify

and assemble the documentation required according

to the many variables. They will, therefore, need to

develop a complete understanding of each client’s

circumstances, including corporate structure,

ownership and domicile.

They will then have the details needed to determine

the appropriate documentation and documentary

evidence required to support the account opening

with our member bank.

4 Assisting Clients with Cross-Border Account Opening


Ultimate Beneficial Ownership

Ownership determines the extent to which we have

to verify the identity of shareholders and managers.

Ownership may be a matter of public record for

companies listed on certain Stock Exchanges, and

therefore some documentation may not be required in

certain circumstances.

Authority of company representatives


Authority determines the extent to which we have to

ascertain whether or not the signatories are authorised

by the company to open accounts in the company’s

name and execute any contracts or other documents

with the bank.

Country of incorporation

This mainly impacts the types and amount of

constitutional documents required to verify the

corporate identity, and what evidence is required to

verify the authority of those who sign the account

opening agreements.

Domicile of account(s)

This affects matters relating to local regulations. Antimoney

laundering requirements are often affected

by the domicile of account. Certain jurisdictions also

require declarations in relation to tax status.


What is the purpose of the Account Opening

Application (AOA)?

The AOA is a legally binding agreement between our

member bank and its clients. The AOA acts as an offer

by our member bank to open an account. The AOA is

signed by an authorised representative of the client and

represents the client’s acceptance of our member bank’s


It also provides important information required for our

member bank to open the account, such as the registered

name of the company, the registered address and the

ownership structure. Also included in the AOA are the

general terms and conditions, or considerations, agreed

between our member bank and the client, that govern

the operation of the account and any local terms and

conditions that apply for the country or countries where

the account(s) are domiciled. Some account opening

agreements may list the terms and conditions separately.

What is the Specimen Signature Document?

The specimen signature document is required for all

those authorised to sign cheques and manual payment

instructions within an organisation. It specifies who has

signing authority on an account and provides sample

signatures for verification purposes. The specimen

signature document does not state who is authorised to

open or close bank accounts.

Why does the client have to provide

identification documents such as copies of


Passports are a form of identification widely used across

the banking industry. Anti-money laundering laws and

regulations require that banks identify and verify the

identities of beneficial owners, senior managers and, in

some cases, signatories.

What is a Board Resolution?

A Board Resolution is a written document that records a

decision or action made by a Board of directors during

a Board meeting. A company, being an artificial person,

cannot act on its own and has a Board of directors

formed to run the business, make decisions and execute

those decisions, such as account opening. The Board

obtains authorisation by passing a resolution providing

detailed instructions concerning operations of the

accounts and this resolution constitutes the company’s

mandate to the bank.

What is legalisation/notarisation/apostille?

Legalisation/notarisation is a process whereby a

document is notarised by a notary public and usually

legalised by an embassy or consulate official so that it

will carry legal force in the country where the account is

to be opened.

Apostille means certification and commonly refers

to the legalisation of a document for international

use under the terms of the 1961 Hague Convention,

abolishing the requirement for the legalisation of

foreign public documents. Documents that have been

notarised and then certified with a conformant apostille

are accepted by all nations that have signed The Hague

Convention. In short, it is the official confirmation that

a signature, seal or stamp on a public document is


Assisting Clients with Cross-Border Account Opening 5



Basic documentation

There are certain documents that will always be required when

opening an account with a bank abroad and these are explained


• Account Opening Application Form – as far as possible, we will assist clients

with pre-filling this form on their behalf by our implementation team.

• Evidence of authority of signatories to complete account opening

agreements – this will be in the form of board resolutions, powers of attorney

or extracts from trade registers, depending on the country of incorporation of

the legal entity.

• Specimen Signature Document – this list of authorised signatories on each

account is used for cheques and manual payments in contingency scenarios.

Depending on the domicile of the account and ownership of the company, we

may need to verify the identity of signatories.

Corporate identity

In line with anti-money laundering requirements, additional

documentation may be requested. Examples of such documents include:

• Constitutional documents – Such as certificate of incorporation,

memorandum and articles of association, bylaws, limited liability operating

agreement, certificate of registration, or other similar documents relating to

the constitution of the legal entity.

• Evidence of your registered office and business address

• Information relating to your shareholders and management – In certain

circumstances we will need to identify key beneficial owners, shareholders and

directors or managers with documentary evidence.

The specific requirements will vary according to the domicile of the account and your

ownership structure.

6 Assisting Clients with Cross-Border Account Opening

Example of an Account Opening Process






Sends ”Referral

Notification” mail with

very basic info.

Reviews referral


Completes AOA

and any additional

info and provides

background docs

Asks client to complete

AOA* and additional info

and requests (as required

by partner bank)

*Account Opening Application






Upon receipt of AOA

and background docs -

carries out a quality check

Sends the package by

courier or, where allowable,

by email as scanned copies

Reviews account



Signs Account

Opening Docs

Arranges for


from the client



Send signed account

opening docs by

courier with Letter of

Introduction or, where

allowable, by email as

scanned copies

Opens and

confirms the

account opening

by sending the

Confirmation of

Account Opening

Starts using



customer that

account is open

Assisting Clients with Cross-Border Account Opening 7

IBOS Association Limited

Golden Cross House

8 Duncannon Street

London, WC2N 4JF

Tel: +44 (0)207 484 5082

8 Assisting Clients with Cross-Border Account Opening

Similar magazines