FAQs - Opening an Offshore Account and Managing an Offshore Current Account

Select from our most common question topics:

Select a question topic:

About your offshore current account (click to expand / contract questions)
The application process (click to expand / contract questions)
Tax declarations (the EU Savings Directive) (click to expand / contract questions)
Receiving and using your Citibank VISA Debit card (click to expand / contract questions)
Transferring money and making withdrawals (click to expand / contract questions)
Other questions about managing your offshore current account (click to expand / contract questions)

If you still can't find the answer to your question contact us directly.

About your offshore current account

How many account holders can I have and what age should they be?

You can have up to 10 account holders on your offshore current account and they must all be over 18 years of age.

Can I have multiple accounts?

Yes, and they can be held in different currencies. You can also hold joint accounts.

What are the fees and charges I need to be aware of?

Please see our dedicated FAQ page about fees and charges.

In addition our fee schedules are listed on our fees and important documents page.

What do I get when I open an offshore account?

In addition to managing your wealth with one of the largest and most secure financial services companies in the world you get access to a wide range of services, including Multi Currency banking and global fund transfers. Find out more about our services.

Plus you get access to a diverse range of wealth products and all the help and expertise from your fully qualified Relationship Manager, who often speaks your language. Our Relationship Managers are our experts in wealth management in London and offshore banking. Your own dedicated Relationship Manager will work with you to develop a portfolio that is individual to your circumstances, and adapts to your needs.

Can I have beneficiaries in my account?

No, we do not allow for beneficiaries, but you can open a joint offshore account or open an individual account for someone if they are over the age of 18.

In addition we also have one of the world's leading wealth structuring companies – CitiTrust – which can help you plan your wealth for the future by opening Personal Investment Companies (PICs) and Trusts for example.

Do I get a Citibank VISA Debit card for each account?

No, you will receive one card. The card will be linked to the account that you want to withdraw cash from.

London and Jersey clients receive a Citibank VISA Debit card which allows you to withdraw cash from an extensive network of ATMs across the world. The card can also be used in shops and businesses that accept VISA.

The Citibank VISA Debit card is only a VISA debit card, it is not a credit card.

Is my money protected and guaranteed?

London clients benefit from protection of their deposits up to 100% of the first £85,000 by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. Citibank N.A., Jersey Branch is a member of the Depositors Compensation Scheme as set out in the Banking (Depositors Compensation)(Jersey) Regulations 2009.

Find out more about the strength of Citi.

For more detailed information read our important legal and regulatory information about our products and services on our website terms and conditions page.

How do I transfer money?

We make it as easy as possible for you to transfer money between your accounts, to other Citibank accounts and to accounts with different organisations, across the world. See our global fund transfers page for more information.

What happens to my money if I die?

Your offshore current account will be temporarily blocked to ensure nobody can access your wealth. Then we will require proof of grant of probate before we release the funds to the individuals appointed to administrate your estate.

In the case of a joint offshore account, in most cases we will pass on your rights to the account to the other account holders.

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The application process

What is the process needed to open an offshore account and what documents will I need?

In general you should complete an application form, a tax form and provide us with a proof of your identity and address.

You will need to provide an original version of your finished application either via post or through your local Citibank branch.

See our application page and our fees and important documents page for more information.

How can I provide a certified copy of passport with my application?

You can get a solicitor or another bank to certify a copy of your passport before posting it to us.

Do I need to provide all bank statements for the last 12 months in order to open an account?

No, you can provide a selection of statements over the last 12 months provided that they show you have held the account for more than 12 months and they reflect the amount to be invested with the Citi International Personal Bank.

For example, you could provide us with three statements, the most recent statement, one from 6 months ago and one from 12 months ago.

Will I need to complete the European Savings Directive (EUSD) section in the application form?

If you are a Jersey offshore banking client you will need to complete this section and any supporting documents required will need to be provided before an account can be opened. London clients are not required to complete the section.

The European Savings Directive (EUSD) ensures that EU residents pay tax in accordance with the law of their country of permanent residence. The Directive applies to individuals receiving income from savings outside their resident state.

Refer to the European Savings Directive (EUSD) FAQs section for more information on the EUSD.

Who is allowed to certify my identification in the application form before submitting my application to Citi International Personal Bank?

Another Citibank business, bank, solicitor or notary. They need to provide their name, stamped certification and contact details.

How long will it take for my offshore current account to be opened?

As long as all documents are completed correctly it should take no longer than five working days. Unfortunately the process may take longer if there are gaps in the information provided or documents have not been correctly completed.

Can I send my application in by scan/fax?

No, we need an application to be sent via post (an original with your signature).

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Tax declarations for clients (the EU Savings Directive)

What is the EU Savings Directive?

The EU Savings Directive is an agreement between EU member states to deduct tax from savings income payments made to those residing in other EU member states; or to pay the tax gross but to report the details of the savings income you have received to the tax authorities in your country of residence.

Does this mean I pay extra tax on my savings income in London or Jersey?

No, it just ensures you are paying the correct tax, and that the tax authority in your country of residence is aware of any savings income you receive offshore.

How often is my information reported?

Jersey offshore banking clients

We report your savings income payments to the Jersey tax authorities once every year.

Wealth management in London clients.

We report your savings income payments to the UK Tax authorities, Her Majesty's Revenue & Customers (HMRC) once every year. For more information and guidance please visit the HMRC website.

Who does the European Savings Directive effect?

Jersey offshore banking clients

Jersey clients whose country of residence is one of the following EU countries are ‘reportable', which means you need to provide us with certain information when you open an offshore current account with us.

The reportable countries are: Austria; Belgium; Bulgaria; Czech Republic; Denmark; Estonia; Finland; France; Germany; Greece; Hungary; Ireland; Italy; Latvia; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Malta; Netherlands; Poland; Portugal; Republic of Cyprus; Romania; Slovakia; Slovenia; Spain; Sweden; United Kingdom.

Wealth management in London clients

If you are investing in London, the following countries are reportable: Aruba, Austria, Belgium, British Virgin Islands, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Guernsey, Hungary, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Jersey, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Montserrat, Netherlands, Netherlands Antilles, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Cyprus, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden.

What information do I need to provide if I am effected?

Jersey offshore banking clients

You need to give us your consent to report your details to the Jersey tax authorities; provide a certified copy of your Tax Identification Number or of your passport (for your date and place of birth).

  • Exemption documentation - which should be appropriate certification from the tax authority of your country of residence as well as a signed letter informing us of your current residential address

Wealth management in London clients

If you live in a country that is effected by the EU Savings Directive (and have opened your account with us after 1st January 2004)* you will need to provide the following with your application:

  • A TIN (Tax Identification Number) or
  • A certified copy of your passport
  • Exemption documentation - which should be appropriate certification from the tax authority of their country of residence as well as a signed letter informing us of their current residential address

*Please contact us for more information if you have opened your account with us prior to 1st Jaunary 2004 about documents you will need to provide.

What is my Tax Identification Number (TIN)?

This is a number assigned to you by your government or local authority. It is the reference number usually used on your annual tax return.

Who can certify a copy of my passport?

The copy can be certified by a lawyer, accountant or your embassy.

Who is exempt from the European Savings Directive?

Clients who do not reside in a reportable EU Member State, government officials and those who do not qualify to be taxed.

Do I need to prove I am exempt? – For Jersey clients only

Yes, you must provide us with exemption documentation. These can include:

  1. A letter confirming your tax status that must be endorsed by a professional third party (accountant, lawyer, tax advisor) and must state that you are exempt from EUSD, as well as stating your UK tax residency and domicile status.
  2. A copy of the form DOM1/P85. This form must be accompanied by a letter from Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) confirming they have also received the form.
  3. A copy of the income tax return NR1/NR2 form submitted in your country of residence as confirmation of non-domiciled status. This must be accompanied by a letter by a professional third party (accountant, lawyer, tax advisor) stating that the tax return and NR1/NR2 has been submitted to HMRC. Note that we do not require the full tax return.

A self-certification document confirming your tax status is not acceptable if it is not accompanied by one of the three examples above.

To access the above forms (DOM1/P85) and for further guidance please visit the HMRC website.

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Receiving and using your Citibank VISA Debit card

How can I request a Citibank VISA Debit card?

If you did not request a Citibank VISA Debit card when opening your account, you can do so by sending a written instruction to your Relationship Manager by fax or post.

To protect the security of your account, your Debit Card and ATM PIN will be delivered separately. When you have received both the card and PIN you will need to activate your card. You can do this by calling CitiPhone Banking on 0808 109 8888 or if calling from outside the UK dial +44 (0) 20 7500 1445.

Can I change my ATM PIN?

The current Citibank VISA Debit card does not allow you to change your ATM PIN, but you can ask for a new PIN to be sent to you. Please speak with your Relationship Manager.

Can I use an ATM to withdraw cash from my account in any currency outside the UK?

Yes, simply look for any ATM that displays the VISA logo. You can only withdraw cash from your primary account to which your card is linked.

What is my daily withdrawal limit?

You can withdraw up to US$4,000 or equivalent in the local currency per day. You may need to make several withdrawals to receive US$4,000 depending on the local currency denomination. You can only withdraw cash from your primary account to which your card is linked.

What happens if my Citibank VISA Debit card is lost or stolen?

You will need to report this immediately to Citiphone Banking on 0808 109 8888 or if calling from outside the UK dial +44 (0) 20 7500 1445. Citiphone Banking is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Once reported your card will be blocked and your access to Citibank Online will be disabled. Once you receive your new Citibank VISA Debit card you will be required to re-register your details on Citibank Online.

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Transferring money and making withdrawals

How do I deposit cheques into my offshore current account?

You will have to send all cheques to your Relationship Manager for them to process your account. See our contact details.

Can I deposit a cheque into my offshore current account and how long does it take to be cleared?

Yes, you can. It can take up to 21 working days to clear some USD cheques. GBP cheques are cleared in 5 working days.

How do you transfer funds?

Transferring funds is easy with Citi International Personal Bank. You can transfer funds between your Citibank accounts free of charge across the world, or you can make transfers to other accounts quickly and easily.

Find out more about international bank transfers.

How do I pay money into my offshore current account?

If you want to transfer funds into your account you can do so quickly and easily by providing the information in the London or Jersey transfer documents to your current bank.

To find out more about moving money into your account see our transferring funds page.

Can I withdraw cash from ATMs without being charged commission?

Yes if you are withdrawing the money in local currency from an account you hold in that currency.

What banking details do I need to make electronic deposits to my offshore current account?

You can find these on your statement, on your Internet banking (Citibank Online) or contact your Relationship Manager.

Login into your online bank account, Citibank Online.

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Other questions about managing your offshore current account

How can I contact my Relationship Manager?

Your Relationship Manager's contact details, along with your personal account details, are indicated on the letter in your Welcome Guide. You can reach your Relationship Manager by phone, fax, post or email.

See our contact us section for more details.

How often will I receive my statements?

You will probably have ticked the relevant option on your account opening application form, requesting your statements on a monthly or quarterly basis. If you would like to check or change your initial request, please contact your Relationship Manager.

How can I update my personal details?

Written instruction can be sent by fax or post. Please indicate your personal account number on the instruction.

How can I do my banking?

You can bank by phone, fax or online – whichever method suits you best.

Find out more about international online banking.

Can I have the documentation and advice in my own language?

We try to make as much information as possible available in your language – see our multi-lingual page. However if you have any questions please contact your Relationship Manager and they will help you further.

What is the difference between an advised and non-advised sale?

With an advised sale your Relationship Manager will work with you to identify your investment needs and attitude to risk before advising you on the specific products that they believe best suit your particular needs.

However, if you know what you want and do not require advice you can buy an investment product on a non-advisory basis. We will provide you with information to help you make your decision and assist you in the transaction.

Equally if you take advice and decide on a course of action or product that we do not recommend, you are still free to buy this on a non-advisory basis.

Finally there are some products we offer that we do not give advice on and you can only take out on a non-advisory basis. This means they are really only suitable for sophisticated investors who are happy to make their own wealth management decisions. Our International Brokerage is one example of a service that is only available on a non-advisory basis.

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