Take Advantage of Offshore Banking

Offshore Banking Malta

The Republic of Malta is a tiny and very densely populated independent microstate (made up of seven islands) found in the Mediterranean Sea. Malta is a microstate so assigned due to its small size, but with population of over 400,000 it is the most densely populated of the European microstates.

Malta is a member of the European Union and does in fact comply with OECD and EU directives for onshore activities. As a result of this compliance, banks in Malta are required to report all interest paid to accounts of European Union members and residents. As such, when considering an offshore bank account, a Maltese bank account may not be suitable for an EU resident whose intent lies in tax exemptions or tax planning through an offshore account. Malta has an effective double tax treaty agreement with Austria, so the primary marketing of offshore banking in Malta is placed on Austrian Corporations

Banks founded as offshore banks in Malta have had to convert to the status of credit institutions under the new Banking Act, and operate as commercial banks that provide banking services for local and international customers. Under the new banking act of Malta, exchange controls are abolished in Malta and as such there is very little distinction between an offshore and an onshore bank. The banking system in Malta is strong and competent one. Malta has always been strategically located in between Europe and North Africa, and its location and its financial orientation make is ideal as an international monetary service and trading center. Malta economic goal is to establish itself as a significant financial center in the region, and as such investments banks and international banking sector is expected to grow.

Most banks in Malta cater to both personal and corporate entities and offshore a complete range of banking facilities that include personal accounts, corporate accounts, online banking, credit card facilities, savings or current accounts and competitive interest rates, international banking transactions.

Prior to opening a Malta bank account, the bank will ensure the client meets all requirements under the Prevention of Money laundering procedures. Bank accounts in Malta can be opened in most currencies and most banks offer (limited) online or internet banking facilities - balance viewing mainly, other transactions must be conducted via fax instructions.

Bank accounts in Malta can be opened without having to personally travel to Malta but must be done through a recognized intermediary service.

The recognized major players in the financial and banking sector in Malta are HSBC Bank Malta PLC, the Bank of Valletta PLC, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, and other banks include Sparkasse Bank Malta PLC, Malta Lombard Bank PLC.

Malta (offshore) banks accounts are known for favorable interest rates, a corporate bank account in Malta will provide credit card facilities, check book facilities, there is no tax or withholding tax on interest paid to non residents account holders (Malta does comply with EU Tax Directive and reports tax paid to EU resident accounts) and banks in Malta permits accounts in any foreign currency.

The documents required to open a Maltese corporate bank account are:

  • an original banker's reference for each beneficial owner, each director of the company and each signatory to the bank account;
  • a notarized copy of the passport of each beneficial owner, each director of the company and each signatory to the bank account
  • a notarized copy of the company's incorporation papers
  • a certificate of good standing for the company
  • a banker's reference for the company
  • a utility bill for each shareholder/director/signatory of the account validating residence

The documents required to open individual non-resident account are:

  • an original banker's reference
  • a notarized copy of passport
  • a utility bill proving address

The process of opening a bank account in absence can be facilitated through licensed professionals in Malta who will help with bank account applications

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