Offshore bank accounts are very useful for treasuring large amounts of money. However, sometimes these accounts are blocked or canceled without the consent of the clients.
This situation may be due to several reasons. For example, one of the main reasons why ithey may be blocked and not cancelled is that it is an offshore bank account that has not been declared to the country’s residence authorities. Another situation, which is also quite common, is that the final beneficiary is in one of the so-called gray countries, that is, those that are considered to be dangerous in relation to criminal activities or money laundering.
Other reasons why the bank can proceed to block or cancel an offshore bank account without the approval of the holder, is that it is considered that the offshore account is having a high-risk activity. This can be both illegal activities and others that are totally legal. So it can be one of the most difficult factors to answer and in which there is more arbitrariness.
Finally, it may be that the payers that have that offshore account come from countries that are not recommended for the OECD or the United States. In addition, on some occasions banks can act arbitrarily and harm the account holder. In general, when this happens, the banks claim the reason for cancellation or blocking of these accounts is that they are usually linked to terrorism or money laundering.
How does the bank freeze an account
First, what the bank does is freeze the account and convert it into a frozen account. This means that no movement can be made from that account, neither incoming nor outgoing transactions.
It is also common for banks to proceed with an audit of the blocked account. In addition, it is quite common that large commissions are usually applied to the account holder for performing this type of action. Afterwards, they usually inform the authorities of the country in which the account is located and may decide to start other proceedings parallel to those of the bank itself.
Dormant accounts are not the same as frozen accounts. In this case, these are not accounts that are being investigated or seized by the bank or the authorities. However, there are dormant offshore accounts: In this case, these are accounts whose owner has died, but their heirs have not been notified of their existence. Thus, there are many people who have ancestors with offshore bank accounts in countries like Switzerland and, however, cannot enjoy that money.
On many occasions, apart from the death of the holder of the offshore bank account, the complication that the bank may have changed its name or was absorbed by another is added. A very normal occurrence in a country like Switzerland where the banking industry is very powerful.
How to reclaim your money from an offshore account
Whether we are talking about an offshore account that has been blocked or canceled by the bank, or if we are talking about a dormant account, it is necessary to have the advice of professionals in international banking law.
You should always choose an international law firm, since the hiring of local lawyers, especially in countries where the rule of law is not as developed as in Europe, there may be some collusion between banks, authorities and lawyers
First of all, the moment in which a bank has blocked our offshore account, what we must do is lose all confidence in it. From that moment on, the only thing the bank is trying to do is charge investigation costs for the audits. So our priority will be to get the money out of there as soon as possible. Thus, the international dispatch must carry out all the steps to unlock the blocked offshore account.
Also, in the case of dormant accounts, legal experts will carry out all the research work to find them and proceed to their unlocking.
Finally, when bringing the money back to our country of residence, there may be tax problems. Therefore, the same office that managed to recover the money can help you determine the cheapest way to bring that money back and have no problem with the tax authorities of your country of residence.
Remember, why can an offshore bank block an account?
- The account is an account not declared to the authorities of the country of residence of the final beneficiary.
- This final beneficiary comes from a gray country, that is one of the dangerous countries in terms of possible criminal activities.
- The activity of that offshore account is considered High Risk, which does not necessarily mean illegal activities.
- Payers of that account come from gray countries.
- United States sanctions and pressures the country where the account is located directly and it is threatened with the “dollarization” of its system and the imposition of serious sanctions
- Sometimes the current bank acts knowing the terrible consequences for the final beneficiary of being discovered in their country of habitual residence.
- The offshore company that holds the account is in a gray country according to the official listing.
- In all cases, the reasons the bank alleges are basically international laws on terrorism and money laundering.