Offshore Banking

» Introduction
» UAE Banks
» The International Banks We Work With
» What do we need to know to open a Bank Account?


OCRA Arabia FZC maintains relationships with more than thirty banks located in major international and offshore banking centres.

Establishing and maintaining relationships with banks and administering client company bank accounts is complex, especially as the facilities offered by banks and their account opening and maintenance requirements regularly change. Consequently, OCRA Arabia FZC employs specialist staff in its banking department who establish relationships with banks, open client company bank accounts and undertake transactions on behalf of clients.

OCRA Arabia FZC’s Banking Department is able to advise on types of accounts available and details of banks accepting facsimile instructions, credit and debit cards, documentary credit services and online services.

Our Banking Department is familiar with restrictions imposed by different banks; for example, many banks will not accept Eastern European clients, some demand larger initial deposits and ongoing balances whilst others will only accept investment accounts.

The majority of our clients request OCRA Arabia FZC to provide account signatories to their corporate bank accounts. The advantages of this arrangement include operational efficiency, a single point of contact and enhanced confidentiality. When OCRA Arabia FZC provides account signatories we will accept facsimile instructions to make transfers and advise on bank balances.

The fees charged for these services are modest and depend on volume and responsibility. Our Banking Department requires clients utilising these services to execute a simple banking indemnity and agreement.

Mauritius and Seychelles Banks

In Mauritius we work with Barclays Bank, Standard Bank, Standard Chareterd Bank, State Bank of Mauritius, Banque des Mascareignes, Mauritius Commercial Bank, Bank One and HSBC to name a few whilst in the Seychelles our banking partners are Barclays and Bank Muscat International.

Barclays Offshore Banking Unit in Mauritius ( is a full branch of Barclays Bank Plc, United Kingdom. Barclays Offshore Banking Unit was established in 1989 and was the first Offshore Bank in Mauritius. Barclays Mauritius maintains around 2500 corporate and personal accounts. Services of the bank include currency, international inward and outward payments, multi-currency cheque books, interest bearing call accounts, foreign exchange and derivatives transactions, structured investments and custody services amongst others. Accounts can be held in any major currencies.

The Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Corporation, (, offshore Banking Unit in Mauritius operates as a branch of the Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Limited and is a principal member of the HSBC Group. The HSBC Group has been operating in Mauritius since 1916 and currently has a network of 11 domestic branch offices and one Offshore Banking Unit. Services of the HSBC, Offshore Banking Unit, include personal banking, corporate and investment banking, trade finance, treasury and foreign exchange, electronic banking, cash management and securities custody as well as clearing services.

Most Innovative Bank in Mauritius 2008

AfrAsia Bank Limited ( is a boutique financial services provider with the ability to tailor innovative banking solutions and investment products for both the local and international markets.

Headquartered in Mauritius with regional and international reach, AfrAsia Bank is part of one of the largest conglomerates of the country. With world-class strategic partners including JPMorgan and a passionate team of experienced bankers, the Bank offers customized solutions focusing on:

  • Global Business transactions and structures via the Mauritius International Financial Services Centre including multi-currency accounts, trade finance, internet banking, cash management, structured investments and interest bearing current accounts
  • Corporate and Investment Banking, Treasury and Capital Markets
  • Private Banking and Wealth Management

AfrAsia Bank makes a difference in the market by offering services that are mostly used by its clients at NO cost. Moreover, the Bank offers the following services:

  • Opening of account within 24-48 hrs (subject to receipt of all relevant documents)
  • Attractive yields on forex deposits
  • Free investment advice on structured notes and capital secured products
  • Credit Card facility – MasterCard affiliated and available in both USD and MUR (includes access to over 600 VIP lounges worldwide and discounts at 5* hotels in Mauritius and the region)
  • Attractive FX deals
  • Internet Banking (Free for both viewing and transacting)
With the establishment of a representative office in Cape Town, AfrAsia Bank is poised to become a reference point for International Banking, Corporate & Investment Banking and Private Banking Solutions linking Mauritius and the Africa-Asia trade corridor by being closer to those markets.

Bank One, formerly known as the First City Bank, has just undergone a major re-branding exercise. This follows the take-over of First City Bank by CIEL Investment Ltd (50%) and Investment & Mortgages Bank of Kenya Limited (50%). The Bank is a universal bank providing for all customers segments: Retail, Private, Corporate, SME, and International Banking.
The Bank is present in Mauritius ( through 13 branches and is quickly looking to become a Strong regional player.
The Bank has recruited a new, young but experienced Management Team. New employees with specific skills are being added as business keeps growing. With a visionary leadership team, and skilled personnel, the bank is well-poised for a great leap forward in the coming years.

UAE Banks
In the UAE, we work with Barclays Bank and Standard Chartered Bank to name a few.

Please contact OCRA Arabia FZC for more details on opening a bank account with any UAE based banks.

The International Banks We Work With
Many of our clients bank with Barclays ( in the Isle of Man ( and in London. The Barclays Group has been a major force in commercial banking for over 300 years and can boast a strong credit rating and a worldwide reputation for its comprehensive range of services. Barclays has over 400 staff in the Isle of Man. In Luxembourg we work with Dexia Banque Internationale a Luxembourg SA ( - an excellent website!), this is a full service bank, its origins go back to 1865, with multi-national staff, specialising in meeting the needs of businesses for modern and confidential banking services. In Switzerland we work with a range of banks, including Union Bank of Switzerland.

What do we need to know to open a Bank Account?

Which Bank?

The name and location of the bank with which you wish your corporate account to be opened.

Type of Account

Details of the type of account you require such as currency (e.g. Sterling or US Dollar,) and the type of account (e.g. current or deposit).

Description of Company Activities

A detailed description of your company's proposed trading activity, including:
  • its geographical spread
  • source of funds
  • estimated number of transactions per month
  • and, an estimate of annual turnover

Proof of Identity

To establish the identity and signature of directors, account signatories and beneficial owners you must provide a copy of a current valid full passport. Such copy must bear a photograph, a signature and the number and must be certified by:

In the case of Mauritius and Seychelles banks, a senior authorised officer of a reputable and recognised bank. In addition Seychelles banks require two passport photographs of each party.

The passport copy you send to us must be sent by mail or courier (not Fax) and it must bear the ORIGINAL signature of the person certifying the identity document; it must not be a copy.

Proof of Residential Address

To validate the home address of directors, account signatories and beneficial owners please provide one of the following, for each party:

In the case Mauritius and Seychelles banks - original recent (not older than three months) credit card statement or three original utility bills (telephone, electricity etc.) showing the residential address.

The Proof of Identity and the Proof of Residential address may be faxed to us but the originals must be sent to us by courier or mail.

Please contact us if you have difficulty in producing these documents or require details of the type of verification of identity and residential address required by other banks.


All the banks require original bank references from the personal bankers of the directors, account signatories and beneficial owners.

Please contact our Banking Department to obtain details of the precise wording required on these references.

How to proceed

If you would like to discuss your requirements with one of our consultants, please click here to contact us.

Terms of Business | Legal Warnings | Privacy Policy |  OCRA Worldwide 1995 -