CIC Association

Serving Community Enterprise

Hello! I am one of three directors of a CIC. I am the only resident director in the UK, and the other two live in Argentina. We have been trying to open a bank account but it is extremely difficult because most banks won't allow it. We tried Lloyds, HSBC and Coop.

I have to questions:

1. Is there any other bank that may have an option for overseas directors?

2. One of the easiest ways to deal with the problem is the overseas directors resigning, open the bank account and re-appointing them after. Is this possible? will it be troublesome for the future?

Thank you!

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Did the banks explain why? I'm intrigued by this because international banking regulation is a mine field the Governance issues are quite straightforward as they already meet the requirements of a director in the UK

Most banks won't allow to have directors who live overseas. I tried with:

- HSBC: all Directors need to go to a UK branch to proof identity. this option is too expensive for us.

- Lloyds: according to their website they allow overseas directors as long as at least one is resident in the UK. The application can only be done through telephone. I only found out that it our application didn't work a month later, when I called again to ask why documents weren't send. They just said that my CIC wasn't able to apply anymore. 

- Last option is Barclays, but they ask for a 20k deposit. Not going to happen

A common problem, the proof of identity issue, also the CIC structure is still perceived by the banking industry as suspect.

However, in the past where we have worked with non- resident Directors it was helpful to drop in and speak to the international banking team or work with Triodos Bank. We could establish who they used in the country of residence for the director and they could provide proof of ID there. It is frustrating and long winded and sometimes it doesn't work. 

Sorry couldn't be more helpful. 



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