South Africa corporate banking options
Healy Consultants Group PLC will be pleased to assist our Clients with opening a South Africa corporate bank account for locally incorporated companies as well as non-resident companies. While the process has its own administrative challenges, and can be time consuming, Healy Consultants will shelter our Client from these challenges.
South Africa banking for resident and non-resident companies
- The South African banking system has over 80 commercial banking institutions; with the most renowned banks for corporate banking being i) Nedbank Group ii) Standard Bank iii) Citibank SA iv) HSBC SA and v) Standard Chartered;
- South African banks offer an excellent range of corporate and personal banking products including multicurrency accounts, internet and phone banking, checking and savings accounts, debit and credit cards, and wealth management services;
- Healy Consultants generally recommend to our Clients the services of the local banking institutions including Nedbank, First National and Standard Bank when incorporating a company in South Africa;
- Foreign nationals incorporating a company in South Africa can open a corporate bank account for their new company without having to travel to South Africa for neither a bank interview nor signing of bank account opening forms;
- Although travel to South Africa is not mandatory, our Clients will be required to i) sign the bank account opening forms in the presence of a Notary Public and ii) apostille the signed forms in their country or domicile.
Considerations when opening a South Africa corporate bank account
- Personal due diligence documents required from foreign nationals opening a corporate bank account include i) original copy of passport ii) proof of address in the form of a utility bill iii) a reference letter from our Client existing bank and iv) a current bank statement;
- Corporate documents required from companies include i) certificate of registration/incorporation ii) memorandum and articles of association iii) a letter of introduction from the company’s UBO and iv) company’s proof of address;
- Depending on the company’s or our Client’s country of domicile, the above documents will be required to i) be notarized by a notary public and ii) either apostilled by a local court or legalized by the South Africa embassy in the domicile country;
- Some South African banks do not open foreign currency bank accounts at the onset and our Client must i) first open a local currency (Rand) account and ii) thereafter apply for a foreign currency account, one foreign currency at a time;
- To ensure smooth transfer of funds in and out of South Africa, our Clients must maintain with their preferred bank, clear records of invoices from Clients or sources of funds being transferred into the bank account.
Healy Consultants services
- Although South Africa corporate bank account setup is a challenging task when company shareholders, directors and bank signatories reside overseas, Healy Consultants will effectively and timely assist our Client with the A to Z of the process;
- Healy Consultants prepares a quality business plan for our Client’s company to support bank account application; indicating the business activity as well as financial projections for the company and their business intentions in South Africa;
- Our team approaches multiple top tier banks in South Africa to present our Client’s company profile and negotiate with the banks’ compliance departments to consider securing a corporate account for our Client’s business;
- Healy Consultants bank account opening team can open the corporate account within 4 weeks and obtain internet banking approval within the subsequent 3 weeks;
- Following bank account approval, the preferred South African bank will directly email our Client the corporate account numbers and later courier the internet banking token to our Client’s preferred location;
- Alternatively Healy Consultants can also assist our Client to secure African banking options for their foreign company (without travel).
Trade finance considerations
- Our Clients looking to secure trade financing with a South African bank must present i) a quality business plan ii) experiences of the business owners iii) latest 3 years audited financial statements iv) a realistic feasibility study and v) strengths and weaknesses analysis (SWOT);
- Healy Consultants assist our Clients to secure trade finance facilities including i) bank guarantees ii) letters of credit iii) finance against trust receipt and iv) documents against payment and against acceptance;
- We will also help our Clients to obtain corporate finance in the form of a loan, overdraft or simply preferential credit terms;
- Healy Consultants works with South African banking institutions that offer customized and solution based financial structures including insurance and various other banking disciplines;
- Our Clients engaged in import and export of products to and from other African countries will especially enjoy various funding solutions such as pre- and post-shipment finance, revolving credit facilities and cross border guarantees among others.
Foreign exchange controls considerations
- The South African government imposes foreign exchange controls on funds transferred in and out of the country by resident individuals and companies although the controls have progressively been eased over the recent years;
- Non-residents can freely repatriate funds from the country without any government intervention; however, they will still be required to report all investments into the country to the South African Reserve Bank (SARB);
- Local commercial banks must report to SARB all purchase of foreign exchange received by South African residents and companies irrespective of the amount;
- Resident companies are permitted to freely remit dividends to non-resident shareholders. There are no immediate restrictions or clearances needed for the same;
- Non-resident shareholders can freely repatriate sales proceeds of their shares in a South Africa resident company;
- Loans from foreign banks will require resident companies to obtain prior permission from the South African Reserve Bank however, approvals are usually easily granted.
Frequently asked questions
Which banks offer the best business banking solutions for a South Africa company formation?Healy Consultants recommends our Clients to opt for highly reputable banks including First National Bank, Standard Bank, HSBC, Standard Chartered and Citibank. These banks offer excellent customer service facilities to foreign entrepreneurs.
Is online corporate banking deemed a safe option when working in South Africa?Yes. Healy Consultants has prior experience of working in South Africa and hence, only works with the most reputable banks. So, we believe our Clients should feel safe when conducting online banking in South Africa.