Offshore Banking Havens
Privacy Uber Alles!
Your banking relationships are your business - and nobody else's! If you are concerned about personal privacy and security you can find banks to suit you in all corners of the world. See below:
The purpose of this page is to give you some basic information on the services ptCLUB can offer in each country. Remember that offers come and go every day and it is impossible to provide detailed information that is 100% up to date when we are covering the whole world!
ptCLUB is basically an information exchange and we usually work with real live privacy consultants in the field who send us regular information updates…. often from behind enemy lines in the midst of Big Brother's lair!
We strongly encourage you to contact us with your specific inquiries, requirements and questions. We are here to help you and we pride ourselves on our personal service. We don't make any charge for answering serious, reasonable questions, although a consultancy fee may apply if detailed research is required.
However, please do NOT send us general inquiries such as "Please send me information on banking in Outer Mongolia". If you can only be bothered to write one sentence to us, you can't expect us to spend a couple of hours checking with our banking consultants what is the latest situation in Outer Mongolia, all the different accounts we can open there, what Bank X charges for wire transfers and what Bank Y's accounting ratios are etc. So when we get such emails, we just have to hit the delete button.
Please give us basic information like:
- Do you want a company or personal account?
- Is it for savings or day-to-day transactions
- Which jurisdictions you prefer and why?
- What ID and references you can offer?
- Other facilities you require: cards, checkbooks, internet banking etc.
- The amount you have available for an initial deposit
- This is not an exhaustive list, but it will help us to give you the information you require. So here goes with the PT's A-Z OF ANONYBANKING, with thanks to our many worldwide correspondents who sent in all this information.
All fees quoted below are for guaranteed account opening. We don't just send you the application forms and leave you on your own. We work with you until the account is open. If for any reason you are turned down (unlikely) we will of course refund your money in full.
This small principality located between France and Spain is very low profile, but not part of the EU. Although it is not known as an offshore canter, banking is its largest industry after tourism and duty-free sales. All accounts are automatically multi-currency so you can invest dollars, euros and over twenty other major currencies. Internet banking and a full range of cards can be obtained. No minimum deposit or bank references.
Personal accounts can be opened on a walk-in basis with one verbal reference from local if you want the VIP treatment straight away. Both numbered accounts and offshore company accounts are available but are generally only opened for existing clients, not new ones. The banks have an excellent infrastructure and are extremely conservative and stable. Hold mail is available, as are local maildrops.
Andorra is a pleasant place to visit at any time of year and has excellent skiing in winter. It is 2.5 hours drive from Barcelona International Airport. Professional Bank Introduction Fee: $1000 Includes MailDrop service.
Anjouan is a new offshore jurisdiction located in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Africa. A former French colony, it is now a self-administering country within the Federal Islamic Republic of the Comoros which has had 19 coup attempts since 1975. It offers very reasonable fees if you want to launch your own bank, but we can't recommend it for retail banking accounts at the moment. One to watch, however.
As Swiss bankers became more choosy in the early eighties, Austrian bankers took their place and opened secret numbered accounts without ID. They were noted for their discretion and efficiency, and the Austrian "Sparbuch" (bearer savings account) became a world-famous anonymous banking tool. Unfortunately since Austria joined the European Union its secrecy laws have been decimated, but there are still a couple of good banks which provide an excellent service to non-Europeans. We have an excellent contact who is manager of a small private bank there and we are pleased to effect introductions for $300. Opening deposits of around $50,000 are required.
Other Austrian areas of interest are enclaves surrounded by Germany such as Kleinwassertal, but with the introduction of the Euro and the Schengen treaty eliminating borders, they are now little more than romantic hideaways for those who remember movies from the sixties depicting what was then glamorous travel but is now called money laundering. German account holders are attracted to Bregenz, a picturesque border town famous for its opera festivals, and we can obtain securities trading accounts in Bregenz by mail with no ID for a fee of $500 - but you must give details of a German bank account in order to do this. Of course, German bank accounts can be fixed too….
An attractive Caribbean island with a distinctly tropical feel but a hardworking attitude in the financial services field - a member of the British Commonwealth which aims to be a "clean" banking canter. Many offshore banks are located there and we have various recommendations depending on your needs from $500.
Belgium, the home of the European Union's administration, is a high tax socialist state rife which is the cause of much tax evasion and bureaucratic corruption. It's third city is known as "Sicily of the North". Nonetheless we like Belgium's gritty charm and cosmopolitan attitudes. Banks here are less efficient than in neighboring states but this can be an advantage. We can now offer online bank and/or securities trading in Belgium for $500. A passport copy is required but need not be notarized. Hold mail and debit cards are available.
A small English-speaking nation south of Mexico, previously British Honduras. Well known in the offshore world for selling passports, both the real Belize type and the British Honduras camouflage type (affectionately known in the trade as Honda Camels). Nowadays home to a number of politically incorrect businessmen including Lord Ashcroft, a controversial British politician who was instrumental in developing Belize's successful offshore canter which registers trusts and IBCs. Anyone needing a plain bank account in Belize (either personal or corporate) can order one for $500 right now from ptCLUB. We'll either use the good Lord's bank or one of his rivals. Internet banking and cards are standard, and an interesting feature is a lock-box service in the USA which allows for fast, cheap and efficient clearing of dollar checks through the domestic US clearing system - good news for both the payers and the payees of the checks. This is the best account if you need to clear regular high value dollar checks.
Costa Rica ("the rich coast") is much more developed than its central American neighbors except for Panama. Panama has a very developed banking infrastructure but is for some reason not very interested in attracting new clients. Costa Rica on the other hand is beginning to offer some interesting banking and offshore company products you will find elsewhere on the ptCLUB site. Costa Rica's advantage is that it is not blacklisted nor generally seen as offshore. Unfortunately, however, internet banking is not yet available. We can open standard accounts for offshore companies for a fee of $500.
Traditionally known for weird designs, fairgrounds and hot porn, Denmark is a small but civilized country located in northern Europe. It's a member of the European Union, but - like the UK - has decided not to participate in the Euro. Denmark's ID requirements on new accounts are still rather lax and indeed it was only a few years ago they started asking for ID at all - but unlike Austria they never specifically offered anonymous accounts, so they have rather slipped through the net. Sounds interesting? Our man works with two banks in Denmark and charges the standard $500 account opening fee whether the account is for business or personal use. Contact ptCLUB now by email to place your order.
Thanks to heavy investment from its high-tech neighbors Finland (Nokialand) and Sweden (Ericssonland), Estonia has developed a first-rate banking system over the past ten years. It can be highly recommended for certain purposes such as offshore company accounts. Whilst it doesn't have the strict privacy laws of Latvia (Estonia has signed many DTTs and has been known to cooperate with FBI investigations) it makes up for that with better bank security and stability. We can open both business and personal accounts in Estonia by mail for just $500. Notarized documents are required. To place your order simply contact the club.
Like Denmark, another option that is best-suited to non-European residents seeking a regular bank account in a major Western European country. An interesting feature of our favorite French bank is that they offer clients check books which clear through the domestic systems in the UK and Germany, as well as providing 24 hour customer service and online banking in English and German. If you wish to open a French account, it can be done via ptCLUB for $500. We can advise on reference and ID requirements which differ depending on your country of residence or maildrop. Contact ptCLUB now to order.
There are three main attractions for nonresidents to our favored bank in Germany. One is the bank charges, which start at under EUR 2 for an international transfer. The second is that the account is opened by mail worldwide for both businesses and individuals, although some translations into German may be necessary. ID will be checked by your nearest German consulate. Third: cash is part of the German mentality and is still king… go to a German auto dealer and he won't let you take the car unless you hand over the cash. Go to a US auto dealer and try to pay in cash, and he will report you to Big Brother. So if you go to Germany once in a while and have cash to deposit, or if you run an international mail order business, this account could be for you. To place an order or ask further questions, just contact us.
Gibraltar in the South of Spain provides the Spaniards with an offshore haven right on their doorstep. Gibraltar is part of the British domestic clearing system. We have contacts with several banks there, most notably one which is excellent for opening personal accounts with around $10,000 minimum deposit. Unlike most Gibraltar banks, this one is not interested in checking your electricity consumption or who you call frequently. Our introductory fee is $500.
This island located in the English Channel used to be an attractive tax haven but now denies this status, preferring the appellation "international finance center". A combination of a stuffy companies registry, a regulator who goes by the name of Crook, and a preponderance of British banks with their legendary poor service means we can hardly recommend banking in Guernsey at all any more. There is one bank there which is still cooperative and although it requires references, we can ensure there is no paper trail to your other accounts. If you must have an account there our fee is $600 for personal accounts and $800 for companies incorporated in the UK or Guernsey, and $1250 for all other companies. To order send an email to ptCLUB.
Isle of Man
Windswept island in the Irish sea which is reminiscent of a decaying British seaside town but is actually a decaying offshore center. Probably the best place in the British islands to open an account, although they have obviously alienated a large enough selection of potential clients with their bureaucratic antics that they now send out brochures explaining why you might be a money launderer and they have to check for your own protection. We don't like the IOM in general, but there is one which provides above average service, USD and GBP checkbooks, excellent internet banking which is a rarity in the British Isles, and opens accounts for companies as well. Our fee is $750 for both business and personal accounts. Minimum deposit GBP 5000 or equivalent.
Pleasant Channel Island known for delicious calorie-rich ice creams, suffers from the same self-image problems as Guernsey but seems a little more friendly. The island's retail banking scene seems to change every few months, but here it is still possible to open personal accounts through ptCLUB for just $400.
Slightly run down country that's not really famous for much, Riga's art nouveau café society offers a welcome cosmopolitan touch. However, Riga is undoubtedly the financial center for people who value their privacy. For this reason we cover it in-depth here and use it for our ready made banking packages. Standard account opening fee is just Eur 500, which covers a multi-currency account with good internet banking and debit card. Available to all offshore companies and individuals.
The RTL media empire which developed out of Radio Luxembourg has made entertainment the second largest industry in this rather staid but extremely beautiful principality. Its other claim to fame is that statistically it is the richest country in the world. Although they have taxes, nobody seems to work too hard on collecting them. The largest industry, of course, is finance. Luxembourg's history as a tax haven goes back to its 1929 holding company legislation, but as a founder member of the European Union it is under great pressure on bank secrecy issues and is having to readjust its role to compete with the likes of London and Frankfurt rather than Nassau and Road Town. Nonetheless, for non-EU residents Luxembourg gets our highest recommendation. Everything is super efficient, less snobbish than Switzerland, and personal accounts with internet banking can be opened by ptCLUB through the mail for just $500. In this country banking secrecy is part of the national culture more than anywhere else we know. As a small, rich country it has avoided the socialist problems of Switzerland where some politicians want to abolish bank secrecy. And while the Swiss apply a 35% withholding tax, investments in Luxembourg are tax free for non residents. And where else but in our beloved Luxembourg can you find the biggest banks disguising their plastic cards as guides to global time zones, or providing paper shredders for client use in branches? We recommend you to order a Luxembourg account today by contacting ptCLUB.
Viva Mexico! The land of tequila and tacos also offers a discreet banking canter, especially for North Americans who can fly down unnoticed in the vacation crowds when they need to conduct business in person. Our man in Mexico City can open accounts at the biggest, most stable bank there for just $950. The best part? You get a gold Creditcard debit card straight away, and it's all done by mail, and a Mexican maildrop is included. No notarizations or references - just a copy of your passport. Mexico's Hacienda (IRS) is, how shall we put it, some years away from getting information exchange working between their own offices, never mind foreign countries.
Italy meets 1970s England on this Mediterranean island formerly controlled by marauding Crusaders and north Africans… and now the Russians have come to join in the fun. Who can blame them when low-tax residency is rather easy to obtain and they get an excellent passport after five years? Having been scared off by a nationalization program in the sixties, British banks Barclays and HSBC have recently returned to Malta and can boast a distinctly more service-minded but at the same time Mediterranean approach here than they do in the Channel Islands. Personally we prefer a local Maltese-owned bank. Accounts can be opened by mail for $500. Worth noting are the very low charges for clearing US and UK checks.
Recently named by the FATF as a money-laundering haven yet the banks here surely rate as the strictest we have come across anywhere in the world! We can open you an account here for $250 but it is only for individuals or Nevis-registered entities, they only handle USD or local currency, you have to provide references and utility bills and notarizations and certified copies of your social security cards and your grandmother's cat's maiden name, they have no internet banking and their cards are issued through some complicated contrivance involving a whole other island. So frankly, why bother. Any self-respecting money launderer on Nevis surely hops a plane to Miami when he wants to do his banking.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
St. Vincent and the Grenadines is an island group in the Leeward island. In the main street of the capital Kingstown, you'll find "Trust House" home to the island offices of a British offshore expert who is based in Liechtenstein. "Trust House" is possibly home to more banks than any other building in the world of its modest size. But bank failures on St. Vincent are rare and its regulators have skillfully avoided rather smelly business taken on by their neighbors in Grenada. Our recommended St. Vincent bank is also ostensibly based in Trust House, but it's gone further than most in joining Creditcard, SWIFT etc. and establishing itself as a specialty deposit and card issuing bank, not making any risky loans of the type that so often bring down other small offshore banks. Most of this bank's administration is carried out by efficient staff in Europe, safely outside the EU. Our introductory fee is $500 for an account offering internet banking, wire transfers and a debit card. This is one of the best accounts to order if you are in a hurry for an offshore company account, since this bank boasts faster reaction times than their colleagues in Latvia.
The grandmother of all offshore banking havens, this Alpine country has been providing reliable banking services for generations, and is now entering the internet age. Our $99 Swiss Bank Account is excellent value and everybody should have one or two of these fun little accounts. But the services are somewhat restricted so you might like to open full accounts. Offshore company accounts (and indeed almost any other secret banking service you may desire) are still available in Switzerland, but it's all very hush hush and you and the bank have to get to know each other for a while before they make these services available. For this reason we only introduce personal accounts to Swiss banks and after that, it's up to you. Personal accounts can be opened by mail, but the bank (and the Swiss Tourist Office) will feel much happier if you visit them once in a while. Fee is $500. Contact the club to order.
The land of tea and pubs carefully surveyed by the Queen used to be a great offshore banking center It's still good, like Switzerland, if you have lots of money and get to know a private banker at a bank like the Queen's own bank, Bouts. Unfortunately regular citizens have to put up with what must be one of the worst domestic banking systems in a developed country. You can't even call your branch anymore - you get through to something completely clueless which is half human, half machine (sometimes you don't really know for sure) and can do little more than tell you your balance. If you need an account here we can advise and fix it for $300 (personal accounts) or $750 (corporate accounts) but it won't be easy or fast, you have been warned. Contact the club to order.
Island favored by Aussies because it's close (that's rule number one they just broke). Famous for being on almost every imaginable blacklist and for the government going bankrupt some years ago. Also, every debit card we have seen from Vanuatu has outrageous charges, like USD 4.50 just for using the card in a store! On the positive side, banks are stable because ANZ Bank, the biggest in Australia, dominates. If you're not from Oz, and you need a regular offshore account for a company and you're not going to use plastic too much, it's still relatively easy here. ptCLUB's opening fee is $500 for personal or corporate accounts.
Why should you use a professional offshore consultant?
At many banks you can easily open an account yourself by approaching the bank directly, and there is no reason why you should not do so. However, this is becoming more and more difficult. The advantages of a professional, local introduction may not be immediately apparent - but in many cases it will nonetheless be to your advantage and you may find it a few hundred dollars well spent in the longer term. Banks are happier with introductions from people they know, so you will probably find your account is opened more easily, and runs more smoothly over the first year or two.
Not only that, but your consultant can advise on local banking customs and make sure you do not inadvertently upset the bank. Every country has its own banking customs, different ways of deciding on credit card applications, different fee structures, different clearance times etc. etc. It is good to have someone on your side.
Finally, your consultant can advise on maildrops, opening accounts in alternate identities, what is acceptable / what's not, and so on.
The eight golden rules of successful anonymous banking.
- Avoid a paper trail. If you ounce transfer money directly to your Secret Account, or pay in a personal check, your account is no longer secret!. Pay in checks from foreign countries, route money through an intermediary, like a checking cashing service, or fund it with plain old cash!
- Never use your home or office phone lines to call or fax your offshore bank. Five or ten years later somebody could look at your phone records and find out where your account is. Use pay phones, or prepaid or foreign calling cards, or public faxes in copy shops, airports, etc.
- Don't have statements mailed to your normal address. Have mail held at your bank or sent to a maildrop in a different country!
- None of us are immortal. Make sure you have adequate provisions for passing out your hidden assets in the event of your death!
- Keep your secret account a secret! Jealous ex-lovers and ex-spouses are the biggest source of tip offs to authorities worldwide
- Live a low profile. If you must have conspicuous cars, clothes or patterns, don't bring them where you normally live!
- Don't try to be too clever! Anonymous banking is all about avoiding risks. If your are not sure of something, don't do it!
- Paranoia is good for your wealth! Big Brother is watching you...!