Why, how, and where to bank in Monaco.
The Principality of Monaco is a small city state, smaller than a square mile, located on the French Riviera in Western Europe. Monaco may be the world’s smallest country, but it has so much to offer. As one of the top destinations for wealthy travelers, the country is known for a strong banking system. Whether you want to make the country your new home or just need a place to keep your money secure, Monaco can do the trick.
Before exploring why Monaco would be best for you, individuals may be asking why anyone would want to bank offshore.
Why Choose Offshore Banking?
One of the biggest draws to offshore banking is security. For some, depositing money into a bank in their home country is not safe. Luckily, you can choose a country that has historically had higher regulations, transparent jurisdictions, and an all around more secure banking system. This is also beneficial for those who have chosen to expatriate. Many expat destinations don’t have the safest banks.
For those feeling the restriction of the investment opportunities at home, offshore banks offer a wide choice of funds and investments that aren’t available in your home country. It’s an easy and great way to diversify your portfolio.
There are tax benefits to international banking. Depending on where your home country is, you may catch some tax breaks for holding your money outside of your tax jurisdiction. Some countries even offer incentives to foreign investors through favorable tax rates in order to attract outside wealth.
Holding money abroad has also proven to be a smart asset protection technique. In the event in which it’s needed, having money in an offshore account can assure you don’t lose everything.
Confidentiality is another leading advantage of banking overseas. Many countries have laws that hold banks to strict confidentiality with serious consequences if it is broken.
Banking in Monaco
Noted as one of the most expensive destinations in the world, Monaco offers a very strong and extensive banking infrastructure. Almost 70% of the assets in Monaco are from non-resident funds, proving how much wealthy investors trust the country’s banking system.
Monaco offers a unique political and economic environment that can be great for banking and wealth management. Large private banks offer the usual cash counter, safety deposit box, direct deposit, and other usual banking services. Leading banks also offer investment services like multi currency deposit accounts, equity and fixed income trading, precious metals, foreign exchange, and commodity trading platforms. Many also provide managed investment portfolio services.
The country offers nearly ninety banks, wealth managers, family offices, and financial advisors that manage almost 100 billion euro. All licensed banks and portfolio managers in the Principality of Monaco belong to the Monégasque Association of Financial Services, a member of the European Banking Federation. This means Monaco is in the Eurozone of the Single Euro Payments Area.
How to Open a Bank Account in Monaco
Anyone can open a bank account in Monaco, but the bank can reject customers. One reason a bank can reject an applicant is if they are “politically exposed” and could threaten the reputation of the bank as a client. They could also reject an individual if they doubt the origins of the potential client’s funds.
As long as you follow certain guidelines and aren’t doing any kind of criminal activity, opening a banking account in Monaco can be fairly easy. To apply, you must correctly fill out an application, prove a clean criminal record, show proof of source of funds, and have all of the required legal documents and certifications.
Many choose to make the expatriation leap to the Principality of Monaco and, as true with any country, one of the first things you want to do is open a bank account. As of July 2017, if you are looking to open a bank account in Monaco for residency purposes, all banks require a 500,000 euro initial deposit.
We, at Alpen Partners, have a relationship with two of the most prestigious banks in Monaco:
Founded in 1976, CMB is dedicated to providing quality banking services that fit the clients’ needs. Since it began, the bank has been a front runner for innovation in Monaco’s financial structure, launching the first hedge funds in the country.
This Monacan bank was founded by several major international banks with local investors in order to form a boutique bank to cater to wealthy clients located in the area and near the Mediterranean coast. Since then, CMB has expanded, gaining international recognition, serving a large, diverse client base.
CMB is one of the leading private international banks in Monaco. The bank is a completely owned subsidiary of the Italian Investment Bank, Mediobanca SpA, which is listed on the Milan stock exchange. This bank offers an array of services that focus on three basic businesses: private banking, investment management, and financing.
Dating back to 1890, this private banking group has locations in more than 20 countries with a head office in Zurich. Switzerland and Asia are the two locations in which the Julius Baer group does most of its business. With a staff of over 5,000, the group manages assets for private clients from all around the globe.
Julius Baer offers a wide range of financial services and investment advice. Wealth management and investment consulting are this firm’s main services, but they also provide services in securities and foreign exchange trading.
Shares for the group are listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange.
For more than 120 years, Julius Baer Monaco’s sole priority has been to satisfy its clients. With a history based in Swiss banking, widely known for world class services, Julius Baer has rooted itself in the values of trustworthiness, accountability, discretion, and expertise.