Robots, Art, Offshore Finance, and Life 


More Paperwork? 

Bank references are not the only paperwork you've got to get ready in order to open an offshore bank account. Confirmation of your residence from bills (e.g. gas or electricity bills) in your name are routinely requested as a positive confirmation of your actual residential address.

Common Law or Civil Law - Again?

And again, the practice has its roots in common law. To a Frenchman, the idea of providing a gas bill to open a bank account may seem absurd across the Channel in England, this is normal practice.  

Which bureaucracy applies to you?

Where civil law jurisdictions typically maintain centralised population registers (and in many it is an offence not to inform the bureaucrats of your change of address) common law administrations seem to be less concerned about their citizens' whereabouts. As a result, banks in, for example the UK, rely on utility bills to confirm residential address; the thinking being that if you are paying electricity bills at a given address, you are probably living there. 

A substantial number of offshore banking havens, particularly those in the Caribbean, are English-speaking, common-law based ex-colonies of the United Kingdom.  However, producing a utility bill for your offshore bank raises a number of privacy-related issues. Offshore banking, if it is to be successful, should be confidential -- and addresses do present several problems in terms of privacy.


  1. Get a mail-drop / P.O. Box A partial solution to the problem is to instruct your offshore bank to mail all correspondence to an address other than your place of residence. The majority of offshore banks will comply, but of course you will have to make arrangements with a mailing service provider beforehand.
  2. Put it on hold. Most offshore banks will also hold all your mail, never sending anything out. You would be expected to collect your correspondence personally from time to time, or ask them to forward it in bulk once in a while. ​While this is a favourite approach of many, it is still not perfect. Keeping track of your finances becomes more complicated without regular statements to refer to and may involve frequent telephone calls and faxes. You will not be surprised to learn that telephone records are a gold mine for anyone interested in your financial affairs; simple precautions in this regard are common sense.

But while the problems regarding the receipt of mail from your offshore bank can always be overcome somehow (even if this causes some inconvenience) there are other reasons why your offshore bank shouldn't know your actual residential address ​!!

Offshore (page 4) - Bureaucracy

Robots, Art, Offshore Finance, Life - Offshore due dilligence; page 2 of 8