Many foreign investors choose to open a bank account in Liechtenstein not only because it’s easier for them to conduct their business in the country, but also because Liechtenstein banks provide high quality services. Internet banking is also widely used, therefore transactions are more efficient and convenient to make. The legal system in Liechtenstein allows banking institutions to get involved in world stock markets, money markets, offshore funds, insurance and other assets management opportunities.
Although there is a national bank in Liechtenstein, the Swiss National Bank performs the duties of the central bank, due tot the currency union with Switzerland. Having a strict bank secrecy, thousands of foreign business are nominally headquartered in Liechtenstein. However, the secrecy laws are waived in the case of criminal intents.
New laws created to combat insider trading and money laundering have recently tightened the fiduciary regulations.
How to open a bank account in Liechtenstein
Opening a bank account is a relatively simple process, but it is not required for the bank account holder to go personally to the bank of their choice in order to open a bank account. Online applications are not accepted. Following documents are required to open a bank account:
- For personal accounts, it is required to provide a copy of the holder’s passport and proof of address
- For corporate accounts, it is required to provide the Certificate of Incorporation of the company, statements of shareholders, company status, board resolution for opening a bank account, passport copy of the person authorized to open the account and proof of address.
It is also possible to open offshore accounts with Liechtenstein banks. The required documents may be sent via email, but it is mandatory for the bank account holder to visit the bank in person, to sign the documents. It is required for bank account holders to come in person to the bank for security reasons, to protect their identity and their property. However, it is possible for an individual or a legal entity to appoint an authorized legal representative to open a bank account.
Financial services offered by Liechtenstein banks
Here are some of the most common financial services offered by Liechtenstein banks, but they may vary from one bank to another:
- Family office management;
- Secure loans;
- Security advances;
- Numbered accounts;
- Investments portfolio management;
- Credit cards issue and internet banking;
- Escrow accounts and investment funds;
- Custody, deposit services and time deposit;
- Fiduciary investments and time deposits;
- Trading accounts, exports, imports and commercial accounts;
- Trade in foreign currencies, financial instruments and securities.
In order to open a bank account, it is required to pay a one-time fee of 500 CHF. Compared to other countries, it might seem that Liechtenstein banks require a higher minimum deposit, but the services they provide are certainly worth it.
Online banking services allow bank holders to make transactions on their own, without having to visit the bank. This facility also provides real – time information about the balance of the account.
After a bank account is created, the account holder will be provided with a credit card.