Opening a bank account in the UK
How EBS can assist foreign owned businesses in the UK
Opening a UK Bank Account for an internationally owned company is difficult, slow, and in some cases impossible.
At EBS, we have a simple solution to enable your company to operate very quickly. On the successful completion of the identification and Anti Money Laundering checks required we can provide an EBS Client Account, removing obstacles to your success.
Please note though that having an EBS Client Account would be a purely temporary solution. It does not remove the requirement for your company to open a bank account in your own name at another financial institution. However, it provides that essential breathing space to allow you to build an initial trading pattern which will help when applying to open an account with a bank in your own name. And of course EBS can help with this too.
So, what are the issues?
Significant increases in Anti Money Laundering regulations have made banks extremely cautious. The cost of compliance has risen significantly, making many accounts uneconomic to operate. This cost only increases when dealing with internationally owned companies which do not fit the standard UK procedures.
Compliance teams are separated from the account opening teams. You may spend weeks completing application forms and ID verification checks before your application is passed to the compliance team, only for them to reject you with no explanation and no opportunity to re-apply.
At EBS, we work exclusively with internationally owned businesses, have seen these issues many times, and understand how to smooth transition into the UK.
So, what can you do?
Following the guidance below will help you give the bank clear, comprehensive information showing them how to say “yes”.
Owner and Director Identification
Make sure that you can provide certified/notarised identification documents for every director, beneficial owner, and signatory. Satisfying the banks’ requirements for formal identification is key to success.
A simple ownership structure will help enormously. A complex structure with multiple international layers will take longer. The more people needing to provide ID, the greater the opportunity for delay or mistake.
Key to minimising risk is showing clear evidence of business activity in the UK. A bank will often expect you to have employees and customers in the UK before you can open an account. This may seem impossible at first, but the EBS Client Account enables you to do this.
The bank will often ask for a Business Plan. Explain clearly where your income comes from and where money will be going. The bank will be looking for any Money Laundering risks inherent in your business, so minimise these where it is practical to do so.
Public Information about you
Do a web search on your own company. The bank will, so you should know what they will find.
The EBS Client Account Solution
We can only open and operate an EBS Client Account for you if you are already a client of EBS. EBS is not a Bank, so provision of this account would be a temporary solution for our clients.
However, as a client of EBS we will already have completed all the identification and Anti Money Laundering checks required, so we can be ready to open an EBS Client Account immediately. This is an account that is in the name of EBS and each client individually, but operated by us on behalf of your business.
Therefore, we can only provide the EBS Client Account solution where we have complete visibility over the company and we are providing all Accounting, Registered Office and Legal Compliance Services. This includes:
- Registered Office
- Company Secretary
- Full bookkeeping and Management Accounting Services
- VAT Compliance
- Payroll, if there are any employees
- Preparation of Year end accounts, to be passed to external auditors if necessary
The EBS Client Account solution enables you to start trading straight away, growing your business and building a clear history in the UK whilst working towards opening a Bank Account in your own right. Our experience and contact network combined with this trading history will make opening your own bank account much simpler.