Most bankers want a reference on you mainly “for the record”. The world is full of swindlers and con men who pretend to be someone else in order to divert (ie steal) funds that don’t belong to them. Bankers do not need the aggravation of being involved with customers who immerse them in litigation or unfavorable publicity. If you come in with a simple story, explaining why you want a secret account and if you plan no fancy and illegal financial shenanigans, most banks in offshore banking centers will accept your account upon a mere showing of a passport. Most individuals with tax or domestic problems do not want any foreign banks contacting any professionals or bankers in their home country. If you mention the common problems of possible divorce and the avoidance of confiscatory taxation, most “offshore” bankers will give you an understanding ear. None will ever want to be helpful to common criminals, terrorists, drug dealers etc. If they are hard-nosed or don’t like your looks or smell, they may insist upon some sort of letter of introduction or reference.

For a reference letter that will be acceptable everywhere, it is often possible to look up the name of an accountant or lawyer in the country of your banking passport, and to obtain a letter addressed ‘To whom it may concern”. This letter says merely that “Mr Curt Customer has been a valued client for X years and is highly recommended\ If you mention to your new banker that you wish to keep your new account a secret from everyone in your home country, the banker – if he has any sense of ethics, will never check your reference. You can point-blank ask him if he intends to call your reference giver, and if he says “yes”, then say, you’ll have to take your business elsewhere as you regard this as a serious breach of your confidentiality. Normally, your new banker has his document “for the file”, and that is enough for him.
If your new potential banker does not like your looks, your attitude, or the idea that you are showing off by bringing in large sums of cash, he may reject your business. Thus it is best to make an appointment well in advance, come in to merely discuss the possibility of opening a substantial account. Then shut up and let the banker sell you! Perhaps you make the first deposit with a small amount of cash, say US $25,000 to $50,000. If you need to deposit more, use checks you have purchased for cash or travellers checks acquired at another bank in the same town, made payable to your new name or (once your account has been accepted) to the order of your new bank.
After an account is opened, it is easier to feed it with cash (even in a country where cash deposits are monitored or restricted) by making a large number of smaller cash deposits in other branches of the same bank and also by depositing checks you have purchased for cash. Or you can make several cash deposits to new accounts at other banks and then consolidate by making bank transfers from other banks in the same town. You can simply ask at a branch if there are any restrictions or reporting requirements in that particular country in connection with cash deposits. We suggest you might have favorable answers in Andorra, Belgium, Luxembourg, Gibraltar, Germany, and Austria – to name a few names, but be careful in any EU country which since July 1992 has to report any amount over 15,000 ECUs (£10,000 or US $15,000) paid in or out in cash.

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