By definition, Compliance is conformance to a rule, standard, or law. In the field of banking, Compliance is faced as a process by which an individual assures the bank that he or she is a reliable customer and complies with the statutory laws and regulations. This process, however, becomes exceedingly more difficult if there are 2 or more jurisdictions involved: when dealing with a non-resident Client, foreign banks impose strict requirements and procedures before an account can be opened.

As a general rule, to successfully open a new account with a foreign bank, you should be able to provide:

  • your personal ID (passport, driver license, etc.);
  • proof of income in an accepted form;
  • a detailed description of the source of income.

In recent years (in response to the new international Anti-Money Laundering legislation) the banks have drastically expanded the list of questions which must be answered prior to opening a bank account.

The Compliance procedure is conducted for the purposes of:

  • acting against the terrorism funding;
  • preventing the «money laundering» of criminally obtained profits;
  • assuring the conformity to the restrictions and standards set internally by the bank.

Compliance is a time-consuming procedure as it requires the preparation of numerous documents to validate and prove the income source of an applicant.

Consequently, Compliance is commonly reduced to the process of opening bank accounts. Although it must be mentioned that Compliance is a much more complicated process surrounded by many other aspects. Additional difficulties are introduced by the new standards of the international exchange of information. For more detailed information on the new legislation trends, you can read the CRS section.