Please find below the 15 most popular banking questions from Google
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1. What is the difference between an international bank account and a domestic bank account?
The term “international bank account” is not accurate, what it really refers to is an account with a bank that allows non-citizens to open an account. These international banks have clients of all nationalities and from all jurisdictions with both private and corporate accounts. An international bank works with customers across the globe where as a domestic, non-international bank has limited or no operations outside of their jurisdiction. If a bank operates internationally it is required to meet strict standards and comply with the legal regulations of multiple jurisdictions. For this an international bank has a compliance department to handle international legal entities. Other features of international banks include international customer support and dealing in multiple currencies. With an international bank account you can send and receive funds in foreign currencies from around the world. A domestic bank with no international dealings will usually offer limited services and not meet the needs of corporations doing business internationally.
2. Can you open a business account at a UK bank if you are from another country?
Yes. If you company was established and registered outside of the UK you can still open a bank account in Britain as a nonresident company. However the requirements for opening a bank account in the UK as a foreign company differ from those of a local company. In recent years the conditions for foreign companies opening accounts in the UK have been made more rigid.
3. What documents do you need to open a business account?
Requirements vary from bank to bank and from jurisdiction to jurisdiction but there are certain requirements made by all banks. These include identification documents (government issued picture ID); your business registration information (incorporation documents);the company’s legal documents (business license); utility bills; details of all directors, shareholders and beneficiaries; physical address and previous bank history. Some banks also request a business plan, tax reports and balance sheets. The documents vary according to the type of business – whether it is a sole owner; general partnership; limited liability company etc. and what kind of account you want to open. Basically banks have free range to request any documents they deem necessary. Find more information on opening business bank account here
4. Is a limited company legally required to have a bank account?
There is no legal requirement for a limited company to have a business bank account however it is highly unlikely that in this day and age a company can succeed without a bank account. Businesses need to have a means to send and receive funds as well as an account where they can keep the funds and where income and expenditures can be recorded and traced.
5. Is it possible to withdraw funds from an account held in one jurisdiction when you are in a different jurisdiction?
Yes. When traveling abroad you can simply go to a local ATM or bank and use your internationally accepted debit card to make a withdrawal from your overseas account.
6. How can I open a numbered account?
Today, opening a numbered account (where the account is identified just by a number and not by a name) is almost impossible. In the past numbered accounts were possible in Swiss banks at a significantly higher rate than regular accounts. However today anonymous numbered accounts are rare if not impossible to open and they are often viewed as an indication that the business has something to hide. Not only do you have to physically travel to Switzerland to open a numbered account but it requires a large minimum deposit, high charges and a complex procedure. Few Swiss banks still hold numbered accounts and they no longer guarantee the anonymity that they did in the pasts. Ostensibly numbered accounts are a thing of the past.
7. Why were Swiss bank accounts considered special?
In 1934 Switzerland passed a law making it illegal for Swiss banks to reveal the name of account holders. This allowed Swiss bank account holders to keep their finances secret and perhaps even deposit illicit funds that could be hidden from the law and tax authorities in other countries. However bank secrecy laws are rapidly becoming a thing of the past as international law, diplomacy and banking without boarders has become a stronger force in the financial world.
8. What does it cost to open a business bank account?
There are banks that do not charge for opening a business bank account so long as there is a minimum initial deposit and a minimum number of transactions. The price of opening a business bank account is not really the issue – the real questions to ask are how much the bank will charge as a monthly account fee; what will the interest rate be; ATM charges; card charges and transaction charges. Some banks offer reduced fees for the first year, two years, 18 months or even no fees at all.
9. Do I need a business bank account for my limited company or can I use my personal bank account?
You are not legally required to have a business bank account for your limited company but it is strongly recommended. It would become very difficult to record and trace your businesses funds in a personal account without getting it confused with your personal money. Not only that but business bank accounts are designed for businesses and offer the services that a business would need. Having a business bank account separate from your personal account will allow for clear and accurate bookkeeping; keep your business professional and provide a clear financial trail if you are ever audited.
10. What information do I have to supply when making an international bank transfer?
To make an international bank transfer you will have to supply your bank with the full name of the recipient and their full bank details including the bank’s address. These details will include the IBAN (International Bank Account Number) and the SWIFT number (SWIFT Bank Identifier Code) which will identify the receiving bank and make the transfer smoother
11. What is a SWIFT international money transfer?
SWIFT (the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications) is a network that transmits messages between banks allowing banks to make accurate and “swift” money transfers. Each bank branch has a SWIFT code made up of Bank Identifier Codes (BIC) that consist of 8-11 numbers and letters: four letters identifying the bank; two letters identifying the country where the bank is; two numbers or letters identifying the location within the country and three letters or numbers giving the branch details. Find more information on What is a SWIFT international money transfer here
12. How long does a SWIFT transfer take?
A SWIFT bank-to-bank money transfer can take 1-2 days; this is effected by different time zones; public holidays; currency etc. Although money should normally be available on day 3 it can take longer
13. How long does a bank to bank transfer take?
A wire transfer through a non-bank money transfer service can take just minutes. Bank wire transfers take a few days. A domestic bank wire transfer is faster than an international transfer and can take up to 24 hours. If the transfer is between accounts held at the same bank it is even faster. Transfers from an account at bank A to an account at bank B can take about 3 business days.
14. How much does it cost to make a wire transfer?
When you make an international wire transfer of funds you are typically charged for both sending and receiving the money. Fees can be about $0-$30 for domestic transfers and $45-$50 for international transfers. The bank charges for making a wire transfer also vary depending on the amount being transferred.
15. How much does an international bank transfer cost?
The fees for making an international bank transfer can vary depending on several factors – where do you initiate the transfer (online, over the phone or at a branch); who is your provider; how much money is being transferred; is currency conversion necessary and whether you are sending or receiving the transfer. Generally outgoing international transfers can incur fees of about $35-$50 and incoming international transfers are charged $13-$25.