All banks in the Cayman Islands adhere to mandatory due-diligence requirements and will perform fairly extensive checks before opening an account for you to ensure that you are thoroughly legitimate and that no money will be laundered. Non-residents can open bank accounts in Cayman without visiting the Islands (not all banks offer this service), but they must submit multiple certified documents to prove their identity, a current overseas address, the source of funds and bank references.
Local banks will often want a legitimate rationale for opening an account for an overseas resident. It is worth noting that a US citizen who has opened an account in the Cayman Islands will still need to declare the account to the Department of Treasury in the US, and declare any income earned on that account to the International Revenue Service (IRS). In order to open a bank account, banks will request some or all of the following information:
- A reference from your current bank, addressed to the bank in the Cayman Islands. This document must include how long you have banked with your home bank, the average balance maintained, and the manner in which your account has been conducted. If the applicant has not had a bank account for at least three years, a professional reference addressed to the bank is required. The letter must be the original copy and, if a husband and wife are sharing an account, they both must be referenced in the letter. If you are moving from another country, it is much easier to get this letter organised before you leave your home country and bring it with you.
- Source of funds and supporting documentation, i.e. job letter if source is salary or rental agreement if source is rental income.
- If you are coming here to work, then a letter from your Cayman employer stating the commencement of employment, the amount you will earn and your position in the company.
- A recent utility bill (less than 3 months old) as proof of address.
- Valid forms of identification such as your driver’s licence and passport (they will photocopy your documents).
- Your full name, residential address, phone number, nationality, date of birth, occupation and name and address of your employer.