Mauritius corporate bank accounts in 2020

Since 2003, Healy Consultants Group PLC helps multi-national Clients open multi-currency corporate bank accounts in Mauritius for both local and non-resident companies.

Our team will project manage the multi-currency corporate bank account opening process, including preparing a quality business plan for our Client’s business.

We recommend our multi-national Clients read this web page to avoid bank surprises later!

  • Mauritius banking problems and solutions

    NoMauritius banking problemSolution
    1.

    Mauritius is a small island economy with a small banking system. Dependent on the health of the global economy, major international economic shocks could cause a Mauritian bank crisis. This is why all international rating agencies designate a country rating of Baa1 with a negative outlook.

    Although Mauritius banks are stable and well capitalised, Healy Consultants Group PLC believes a Mauritius corporate bank account is not a quality long-term solution for our multinational Clients’ businesses because i) Mauritius’ ongoing reputation as a tax haven and ii) doubts over the ability of the local banking system to cope with the effects of an international financial or economic crisis.

    2.

    Mauritius banks have become more strict after being grey-listed by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and often ask for additional documents to showcase active business/ substance in business (anywhere in the world).

    Healy Consultants Group PLC will negotiate an exemption with the bank for the same.

    Healy Consultants Group PLC will open an international corporate bank account with a top tier bank outside Mauritius (e g New York, Germany, Liechtenstein, Austria, Bulgaria, South Africa, Australia, London, South America or Dubai).

    Healy Consultants Group PLC has a guaranteed corporate bank account approval policy.

    If our Client must travel to Mauritius for corporate bank account opening, Healy Consultants Group PLC will refund our Client US$950.

    3.

    Global banks continue to tighten corporate bank account opening procedures, their internal compliance departments completing more thorough due diligence of Clients. Consequently, our Clients should expect Mauritius bank account approval to take up to three months.

    If our Client requires a bank account at short notice, we recommend an immediate solution (company plus already-approved international corporate bank account).

    4.

    Global banks consider tax haven entities to be high risk customers, and do not welcome corporate bank account applications from these potential Clients.

    Re-domicile (click link) your tax haven entity to a more reputable jurisdiction. Thereafter, global banks will welcome a corporate bank account opening application.

    5.

    The majority of Mauritian banks only provide telephone support during Mauritius business hours. This is inconvenient for multi-national Clients in Asia or the Americas.

    Healy Consultants Group PLC staff assist our multi-national Clients with bank communication, regardless of time zones.

  • The Mauritius banking sector

    Healy Consultants’ Group PLC summary view:

    • Mauritius has a well-regulated, stable banking and financial system. Bank of Mauritius, the central bank, has a reputation for maintaining the stability of the country’s banking and finance sector, as well as the local rupee currency. Mauritius banking system is a significant foreign investment route into the Asian sub-continent and, increasingly, into mainland Africa
    • Although Mauritius banks are stable and well capitalised, Healy Consultants Group PLC believes a Mauritius corporate bank account is not a quality long-term option for our multinational Clients’ businesses because i) Mauritius’ ongoing reputation as a tax haven and ii) doubts over the ability of the local banking system to cope with a prolonged health and economic crisis and the negative results within this report (click link);
    • In a July 2020 financial stability report, the Bank of Mauritius noted that the island’s dependence on i) tourism revenue ii) manufacturing and iii) international trade makes it vulnerable to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Local lockdowns have hurt revenues and profits of small businesses in Mauritius. Some businesses may default on loan repayments, affecting bank asset quality and revenues;
    • The IMF forecasts the Mauritius economy will shrink 14.2% in 2020, before recovering by 9.9% in 2021. The IMF predicts inflation in Mauritius will be 2.5% in 2020, and 3.2% in 2021. Though schemes are in place to support small businesses, more are going bankrupt, and loan defaults will cause some local banks to seek government assistance.
    • However, a 2020 stress test conducted by the central bank found i) local banks enjoy high capital and liquidity buffers and ii) there are no disruptions to funding. In August 2020, total deposits in Mauritian banks reached US$32.33 billion, from US$29.92 billion in July 2020.
    • The central bank has implemented schemes to assist borrowers most affected by the 2020 health and economic crisis by i) increasing the supply of loanable funds provided by banks and ii) encouraging banks to offer loan repayment holidays without impacting credit ratings.
    • In October 2020, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned Mauritius not to rely on the central bank to finance crisis spending during COVID-19. For example, in May 2020, Bank of Mauritius announced it would provide the government with a ‘one-off’ Rs60 billion (US$1.5 billion) transfer to stabilise the economy.
    • Mauritius banks have seen their margins eroded in 2020, and we believe this will continue. We expect i) more customers to default on debt repayments ii) more banks being required to restructure and reschedule loans and iii) more households conserving cash rather than take out loans during economic uncertainty, which will impact bank earnings.
    • Since the start of 2020, the Stock Exchange of Mauritius has lost 32% of its value. The Mauritian rupee has depreciated by more than 9% since March 2019.
    • In July 2020, Mauritius foreign exchange reserves reached an all-time high of US$7.6 billion. In April 2020, at the start of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the country’s foreign exchange reserves had dropped to US$6.86 billion.
    • Bank deposits in Mauritius are protected by law. The Mauritius Deposit Insurance Scheme applies for rupee and foreign currency deposits, including any interest, held with a member institution in Mauritius. Although Mauritius banks rarely fail, the protection scheme provides another layer of comfort for multinational investors during the global health and economic crisis.
    • In August 2020, Mauritian banks pay up to 1.45% on a 5-year fixed deposit.
    • In April 2020, Moody’s sovereign credit rating for Mauritius is Baa1 with a negative outlook. Because the Mauritian economy is small, the health of the banking sector is dependent on the health of the global economy, especially Europe;
    • Mauritian banks have failed to implement the Basel III framework. Consequently, the local banking sector is more susceptible to global economic shocks;
    • Mauritius’ inclusion in the EU’s provisional list of High-Risk Third Countries is likely to affect cross-border flows. This is exacerbated by the Transparency International Corruption Index rating the country 52 out of 100. The World Governance Indicator of Control of Corruption rates Mauritius 63 out of 100;
  • Key information on the Mauritius banking sector

    • Bank of Mauritius licences, regulates and supervises i) 5 local banks ii) nine foreign-owned subsidiaries iii) one joint venture iv) four branches of foreign banks and v) 1 private bank.
    • Our preferred international banks in Mauritius banks are i) Deutsche Bank ii) Standard Chartered iii) Barclays and iv) HSBC. Our preferred local options are i) Bank One ii) SBM Bank and iii) Banyan Tree Bank. Mauritius banks do not accept clients on a direct approach basis. Most require an introducer before confirming whether they can board foreign companies.
    • As well as Mauritius rupee accounts, local banks offer multi-currency corporate bank accounts in including S$, Yen, RMB, US$, euros, sterling and other currencies.
    • Corporate banking in Mauritius includes a full range of conventional products and services including i) investment products (insurance and unit trusts) ii) financing products and services (trade and share financing) iii) trade and credit facilities (including revolving credit facilities) iv) remittances v) bank guarantee facilities and vi) vendor financing.
    • Most Mauritius banks do not charge an account opening fee or annual maintenance fee. However, the account must be funded during opening. Minimum account opening deposits range from US$5,000 to US$10,000.
    • On average, it takes three months for a Mauritius bank to issue corporate bank account numbers and set up e-banking access.
    • Most Mauritius bank staff speak English, and correspondence and online banking etc in all banks is available in English.
    • Since 2017, Mauritius has been a signatory to the Common Reporting Standard (CRS), a global initiative to clamp down on tax evasion. As a result, Mauritius-based banks share information on accounts and account holders with tax authorities where the company/individual is tax-resident.
    • Under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), since 2014 Mauritius banks report information on US account holders to the US Inland Revenue Service (IRS).
    • There are no foreign exchange controls in Mauritius. Profits, dividends and capital gains can be repatriated freely from the country. However, transactions exceeding US$50,000 will likely trigger the bank to make a video call to the Client for security purposes.
    • It is important that our Clients are aware of their corporate and legal obligations in Mauritius and that they timely fulfil the same. Let us know if you require Healy Consultants Group PLC’s assistance to timely and efficiently complete your legal and corporate responsibilities.
  • Healy Consultants Group PLC fees to help open a corporate bank account in Mauritius

    Healy Consultants Group PLC guarantees Mauritius company bank account approval. Our fees for different banking services include:

    Mauritius banking taskOur Client travelsUS$
    Mauritius bank account for a foreign companyNo4,950
    Mauritius bank account for a Mauritius companyNo4,950
    Mauritius personal bank accountNo2,950

    Our multi-currency corporate bank account opening fees cover the following:

    • Creating a quality business plan for the Mauritius banks, explaining the purpose of the business and future banking transactions.
    • Acting as the introducer at the Mauritius bank for our Client.
    • Securing welcome emails from multiple Mauritius banks, inviting our Client to submit a multi-currency corporate bank account application.
    • Healy Consultants Group PLC’s Banking Team completing, on our Client’s behalf i) the multi-currency corporate bank account application forms and ii) collating Know Your Customer (KYC) due diligence documents for submission to the bank.
    • Following successful completion of the above, the bank officer submitting a complete potential customer file to the bank Legal and Compliance Department.
    • If a bank declines to board our Client’s business, Healy Consultants Group PLC immediately informing our Client and actioning back-up banking solutions.
    • In an average of three months following application submission, Healy Consultants Group PLC securing multiple multi-currency corporate bank account numbers for our Client’s company.
    • Thereafter, Healy Consultants Group PLC, or the banks, couriering mails and e-banking tokens to the bank signatory, who is expected to activate the internet bank account, with Healy Consultants Group PLC’s assistance if needed.
    • After corporate bank account numbers are secured and, if required, Healy Consultants Group PLC assisting our Client to appoint more new shareholders and directors. However, the banks will usually only approve them as bank signatory after a face-to-face meeting and the review and approval of a bank signatory application.
  • Considerations when opening a bank account in Mauritius

    • It is possible for both locally incorporated and foreign (i e non-Mauritius) companies to open a corporate bank account in Mauritius. However, it is increasingly difficult for foreign companies without a permanent establishment (i e physical office premises with lease agreement stamped at the tax authority) in Mauritius to open a local account, unless they have existing Mauritius customers or suppliers.
    • At the time of company incorporation, we recommend keeping the corporate structure simple by appointing our Client’s preferred individual shareholder(s) and director(s) and bank signatories. No corporate entity, nominee, trust, or tax haven holding company.
    • During the Mauritius corporate bank account opening process, it is common for each bank’s in-house Legal and Compliance Department to request additional due diligence documents from potential customers. These include i) regulatory licences ii) proof of business globally and in home country including evidence of contracts, invoices and agreements with local Clients and iii) additional KYC information on our Client’s business and place of residency, including nature and volume of transactions. Our Clients should expect the bank account approval period to take up to three months.
    • Depending on our Client’s business and nationality, there is an 80% probability Mauritius banks will request a bank signatory to travel for a one-hour bank interview as part of bank AML/CFT obligations. We will try our best to negotiate with the bank for a travel exemption (see non-travel options below). Unfortunately, even if our Client travels to Korea to meet the bank, there is no guarantee that the bank account will be opened.
    • If our Client must travel to Mauritius for corporate bank account opening, Healy Consultants Group PLC will refund our Client US$950.
    • If our Client is not comfortable with only a Mauritius corporate bank account, Healy Consultants Group PLC can open an international corporate bank account outside Mauritius. Examples include New York, Germany, Liechtenstein, Austria, Bulgaria, South Africa, Australia, London, South America or Dubai. All banks will be top-tier banks in these countries, with excellent internet banking.
    • Some Mauritius banks prefer to communicate directly with our Client and will not put Healy Consultants Group PLC in the loop for security purposes. In this case, Healy Consultants Group PLC will assist our Client to prepare quality answers to the bankers’ questions and requests.
  • Mauritius non-travel banking options

    Mauritus non-travel banking optionsBank One MauritiusSBM Bank MauritiusBanyan Tree Bank MauritiusMauritius Commercial Bank
    Does our Client need to visit the bank?NoNoNoNo
    How big is the bank in Mauritius?LargeTop 5 banksTop 5 banksTop 5 banks
    Regulated by which governing body?Bank of MauritiusBank of MauritiusBank of MauritiusBank of Mauritius
    Initial deposit to corporate bank a/c?US$10,000None

    At least 1 transaction required in 1st month

    NoneAt least US$1,000
    Minimum monthly balance to maintain?US$10,000NoneNoneIf average monthly balance is less than US$50,000. monthly maintenance fee of US$50 applicable
    Monthly bank account maintenance fees?US$50 per 6 monthsNo chargesNone
    Bank account opening fee?NoneNoneNoneNone
    Multi-currency corporate bank account?YesYesYesYes
    Bank charges per fund transfer outwards?US$25- US$750.15%

    Minimum: US$30

    Maximum: US$75

    TBCTBC
    Bank charges per fund transfer inwards?FreeFreeTBCTBC
    Can open USD and EUR bank accounts?YesYesYesYes
    Will internet banking be available?YesYesYesYes (US$20/month)
    Monthly e-statement emailed to our Client?YesYesYesYes (US$20/month)
    Funds transfer SMS alert to your phone?YesNoNoNo
    How soon after you receive a/c numbers can you deposit funds?ImmediatelyImmediatelyImmediatelyImmediately
    How soon after you receive a/c nos. will you receive internet banking passwords?Within 7 daysWithin 5 daysWithin 5 daysWithin 5 days
    How soon after you receive a/c nos. will you receive corporate Visa cards?Within 2 weeksWithin 4 weeksWithin 3 weeksWithin 4 weeks

  • Mauritius bank finance options

    • Mauritius-based banks provide finance to locally-registered companies provided the following conditions are met i) quality business plan ii) availability of security iii) experience of business owners iv) last three years audited financial statements v) realistic feasibility study vi) project strength and weaknesses analysis (SWOT).
    • Healy Consultants Group PLC can assist Clients with trade finance tasks including i) bank guarantees ii) letters of credit iii) finance against trust receipt iv) documents against payment and against acceptance.
    • Healy Consultants Group PLC can also assist in securing corporate finance in the form of a loan, overdraft or preferential credit terms, as well as on other corporate banking-related aspects of doing business in Mauritius.
  • Documents required for Mauritius corporate bank account opening

    Documents required to open a Mauritius corporate bank account include i) valid passport ii) proof of address and iii) company registration documents. For more information on corporate bank account opening procedures, visit this page.

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Conclusion

Mauritius multi-currency corporate bank account opening is easy if you know how. Contact Healy Consultants Group PLC if your Firm needs assistance navigating through the different banking solutions.

Disclaimer: Healy Consultants Group PLC neither has an office nor staff in Mauritius nor is it licenced as a management company under Section 77(1) of the Financial Services Act of 2007 or in any other way by the Financial Services Commission.

Contact us

For additional information on our services, please contact our in-house country expert, Mr. Simon Guidecoq, directly:
client relationship officer - Simon