International bank advising through Kresse Law

International bank advising through Kresse Law

08 March 2021
Fiat and Crypto Banking Solutions as Introducer facilitated

In today's business world, access to banking solutions is becoming increasingly difficult. If the client due diligence (CDD) has been successfully completed, setting up a company per se is work that requires legal and tax expertise, but through structures and guidelines of the respective company law as well as the responsible commercial register (for Malta: Malta Business Registry, MBR) based on clear guidelines.

The challenge usually only begins after the company has been founded

Our consulting practice has proven for around 3 years that the challenge often only really begins when the foundation has been completed, the company has been entered in the commercial register and the tax number has been applied for.

The VAT number as the first hurdle

Then, unless it is a pure holding company that does not conduct any commercial business, the VAT number (Value Added Tax), i.e. the sales tax number, must first be applied for, for a company that is operational, such as online trading, which operates via Malta. This requires a minimum substance in Malta, i.e. in addition to the so-called Registered Office, i.e. the registered office, and the Resident Company Secretary also a Resident Director, i.e. a resident managing director, as well as an (at least small) office space that acts as a commercial office is registered. For about a year now, the VAT Department in Malta has been much stricter and is checking the existence of these requirements in order to prevent abuse of VAT.

Choosing a suitable banking solution

If the VAT number is available, which usually takes up to a maximum of 4 weeks, but can also be done more quickly in individual cases, then we as Bank Advisors can start with the Bank Account Application. Before that, as part of our extensive advisory work, we exchange with our clients what precise requirements they have for the corporate banking solution. As far as FIAT banking is concerned, also with corresponding multi-currency accounts, we often offer online banking solutions that are known to us and proven from experience with other clients, usually with an EU IBAN number.

In addition, we have options in our advisory portfolio with certain, usually foreign (i.e. non-Maltese) traditional retail banks, but also private banks in the EU as well as in Switzerland and Lichtenstein, and, if desired, also offshore, for example in Gibraltar. In corporate banking in particular, the requirements for the due diligence documents to be submitted, including the “Source of Funds” (SOF) and “Source of Wealth” (SOW) documents, have increased to such an extent that the process has become extensive and labour-intensive, not to mention the bank terms used and the length of the forms, which can often be quite a daunting experience.

If a private bank account in Malta is also desired, for example, usually when the client moves to Malta, i.e. relocated, as it is called here, then we can recommend large local banks and personally assist the account opening there.

Blockchain banking

In addition, there is an increasing demand in the corporate sector for the processing of crypto currency solutions and tailor-made blockchain banking services for corporate customers. Especially regulated blockchain banking, which is a focus that has been more in the foreground for some time.

We now also have extensive know-how and introducer connections, which is why we can efficiently advise and support our clients in the selection and creation of suitable banking solutions.

Also, in the future it can be assumed that the 'good old days', in which one entered a bank branch with a passport in their pocket and after about half an hour (by filling out and signing some bank forms), left again as the proud owner of a bank account, are over for good - not least because of ever stricter compliance and money laundering regulations.