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Introduction – Our law firm can assist you in the purchase of an existing offshore bank in a tax haven or in the formation of a new bank. Today in spite of the OECD tax hoopla there is still a need for some people to own their own offshore bank. Offshore banks are generally located in tax havens that do not tax offshore-derived income. The regulatory hassles of owning your own offshore bank are substantially less than what you encounter when using an offshore bank that you do not own. It is a lot simpler to conduct your business affairs under your own control and scrutiny. Many people operate in a financial world where having such a bank is advantageous for them and their clients. It can be a big marketing feature for your organization because your clients and customers know only too well the hassles they must endure when dealing with banks in the course of their trade or commerce with you. Examples of such businesses would be forex brokers, stock brokers, investment counselors and advisors, people with large sales networks they pay regular commissions to, commodity brokers, exporters, casinos, sports books, travel agents and people processing large amounts of credit card transactions each month. This is far from an exhaustive list. Offshore Banking Scams – Today we see a lot of products being sold that are scams. This is NOT what we do. Some of these scams in brief are described and then after the scams we explain what we can do to get you your own bank or financial institution. Swedish Credit Union Scams - These are Swedish companies that are allowed to use the words Credit Union in their name. These are not “real” licensed financial institutions able to get Swift numbers, issue Visa and MasterCard’s etc. I have never even seen a Swedish Credit Union get a correspondent bank or intermediary bank enabling the sending of international wire transfers. We do not get involved with these Swedish Credit Unions and suggest no one else does either. They do not work as a bank or licensed financial institution. New Zealand Financial Service Corporation Scams – These are another scam if represented as a real financial institution similar to a bank. These are corporations that can get a bank account in New Zealand at their National Bank and have sub accounts for their own clients. They are essentially trying to bank within a bank which the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) forbids. FATF also calls for a legitimate financial institution to have a brick and mortar presence. You will find these are costly for what one gets. You will also find that the due diligence from the government and the bank in New Zealand is grueling. You cannot get a Swift number, you cannot issue credit cards and you are not a real licensed financial institution. You will have to share information freely according to the wishes of the New Zealand government and the national bank your account is with. We do not get involved with New Zealand structures of any sort and suggest avoidance. You can easily find your account and funds frozen pending some due diligence investigation. New Zealand and their banks are not known for their offshore banking flexibility. Grueling due diligence and information sharing typical of a high tax country are the operative key words. Expect to be paying taxes there as well.
Unknown Island Jurisdiction Scams - Little Island jurisdictions sometimes offer to sell various licenses including banking licenses. You have to go to a map to figure out where these islands are another scam we hear about. You have small corrupt governments selling banking licenses to anyone who can pay. Now try to get a Swift number, correspondent bank, or issue credit cards - forget it. Such a banking license is worthless unless you do business on the island only and then have fun with the corruption because if you have any funds in the bank you are a target for confiscation. Run away from these jurisdictions in that they are of no functional value. What Our Law Firm Does – Our law firm can obtain for you a full commercial banking license in a real country with a solid economy. We do not deal in offshore banking licenses as a rule. Offshore banking licenses just let one operate with foreigners only. They have a connotation of relaxed scrutiny since the government issuing the license does not let the citizens or businesses of the country use the offshore banks. We operate in Central America and use Central American Countries, mostly Guatemala. Guatemala has the largest economy in Central America ($33,000,000,000) and a population of over 14 million people. We get you real financial institutions with licenses that will allow you to get your own Swift number, have correspondent banks, issue MasterCard and Visa and conduct banking operations onshore or offshore including lending activities. Full banking operations are what we are offering. Formation of a New Bank – The truth here is that the nations of the world are not going to allow new banks to open unless it is an already existing bank in another jurisdiction looking to expand into that country. If you encounter a law firm that says they can get you a new bank license in a real country, not on a tiny island in the middle of some body of water, it is our advice that you run away fast. Any real legitimate country is not issuing any new banking licenses unless you are already a recognized bank. Law firms love to take a nice fee $75,000 or so to fill out the application for you and file it. Then a few months later it gets turned down. Senor what can I do, the banking authorities turned you down. Another one is well Senor maybe if we apply some grease to the wheels we can get it through and there goes another $75,000 and so the story goes. If you do the research you will find we are correct. Panama has not issued a banking license to any entity that did not already own a bank in another country for many years yet there are many lawyers who will be happy to take your money to try and apply for you. Now add in the new OECD tax haven crack down and however bad it was, it just got worse for new banking licenses. What we do instead is buy existing banks that are already in business and fully licensed. There are ways to buy banks and other ways to buy banks. We are not going to explain to you how we do it ensuring a smooth and rapid transfer of the license (forget corruption) on the web site. This comes later after you have retained us and signed a non-disclosure agreement. We can always find at least 12 banks of various size and age for sale in our country and in the nearby countries. The actual names and particulars of the banks come later when you have retained us and a non-disclosure agreement is in place. Banks do not list themselves as businesses for sale. One must be a law firm involved with banking and the banks in the country to develop this information, which is always very sensitive for obvious reasons. Commercial Bank Licenses – When you buy a bank say in Guatemala or in a nearby country you will be getting a fully operational bank. There will be thousands of accounts, mostly from locals. There will be correspondent banks, loans, drive through tellers, staff, Visa and MasterCard issuance, ATM card issuance, Merchant Accounts, Online Banking, vault boxes, safes, and there can be very few or a large amount of branches included and of course the amount of employees varies with the amount of branches. These are not offshore banks that attract a lot of attention and scrutiny. Guatemala does not
tax offshore-derived income, and it is also not considered an offshore tax haven, which is a big plus. Guatemala has anonymous bearer share corporations (Sociedad Anonima, S.A.) and anonymous foundations. You can also have bank accounts using corporations from other countries that are domesticated in Guatemala but still anonymous. You can engage in any type of banking activity you wish, no restrictions. Commercial Bank Acquisition Costs – There is going to be a great deal of variance here based on the assets of the bank, the real estate, goodwill etc. The amount of cash on deposit with the government is going to be $3,000,000. It is possible to get an existing bank with as little as $7,000,000 cash including the $3,000,000 deposit. This is an incredibly low price in the international market. In many countries now since no new banking licenses are being issued anymore and have not been issued for some time the goodwill price has pushed existing banking licenses up to price levels beginning at $25,000,000 and we are hearing figures in excess of $100,000,000 in some countries. Who buys such banks? Large existing banks that are in the many billions of dollars that want to expand into these countries. If you have $7,000,000 to $12,000,000 cash available we can have a nice selection of established banks to look at. Remember these are existing banks that have been around for some years. They have Swift Numbers, Correspondent Banks, they issue MasterCard and Visa (there is a three year wait for a new bank to issue cards) and they also have merchant accounts (this is another wait of some years after the bank starts to issue credit cards). These are turnkey banks with track records ready to go. For less money we have some other excellent fully licensed financial institution options explained below. Guatemala Savings and Loan – We refer to these in Spanish as a “Corporativo” but the closest in English functionally speaking is a Savings and Loan. These financial institutions are fully licensed and get to issue credit cards, and get a Swift number for international wire transfers, correspondent banks, etc. These institutions can do anything except offer checking accounts. They can write loans, mortgages, offer savings accounts etc. The regulation of these Corporativos is very similar to that of a bank but does allow for some advantages. These institutions can be newly formed, licenses are still being issued. The total fees including cash deposit is going to be $900,000 complete. The cash deposit is $300,000 but it goes into the institution and can be borrowed against, it is not a deposit with the government. The time frame to complete is 4-6 months. The $900,000 includes our legal fees. A Corporativo must have a retail outlet. This means tellers, offices, etc that the public can enter. This can be an office in an office building. It is possible to buy an existing Savings and Loan (Corporativo) but the fees will be higher based on assets, good will, real estate etc. This is an excellent option allowing one to effectively operate as a bank with low startup costs. Guatemala Financiero – This is what can be thought of as a finance company. You can open savings accounts, not checking. You can issue credit cards and obtain a Swift Number for international wire transfers. The setup expenses for a Finaciero are the same as a Corporativo and in our opinion the Corporativo is a better vehicle to invest in but this is another option. We can successfully file for a new Financiero license or acquire an existing one. Other Countries – Opportunities to acquire existing financial institutions in other countries are often available. The amount of funds required is generally higher. We do not deal with financial institutions in: Europe, Asia, Africa, or North America. What Are the Requirements – You must have a very clean police record for starters. The directors must also have clean police records. The other requirements (nothing to be construed as a deal killer or burdensome) we can explain to you when you become a client. The big thing is one must have a clean
background. No criminality and no major civil fraud or fiduciary fraud scandals. You will need to be able to explain the source of your funds and the businesses you are involved in. How to Proceed – The way to begin is to arrange a trip to our executive offices in Guatemala. Our law firm owns banks in Central and South America and we maintain legal representatives in various jurisdictions but financial institution acquisitions and filings are all done through our executive offices in Guatemala. You would fly in to Guatemala City (call for a list of hotels). We would need you to be here for about two working days for the first contact. We will meet and discuss the possibilities, and how the process would work. We can also represent your financial institution after acquisition. There is no retainer due for the first initial meeting. Financial arrangements can be discussed at the initial meeting. Questions – We will be happy to answer questions. See our contact information below.
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