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Opening Bank Accounts For Alternative Investments [Global Guide]

In the dynamic world of alternative investments, including private equity, real estate, and debt funds, the agility to move and exchange funds quickly and capitalize on market opportunities is paramount.


However, asset managers often face a significant hurdle before they even enter the market: the protracted and cumbersome process of opening a bank account. Traditional banking institutions, with their one-size-fits-all policies, are ill-equipped to handle the specialized needs of alternative investment funds. This has led to a growing frustration among asset managers, who find themselves bogged down by inefficiencies that can delay critical transactions and hamper their ability to compete.



Understanding The Challenge


The traditional banking sector's approach to customer onboarding, particularly for alternative investment funds, is fraught with challenges. The generalized policies and processes designed to cater to a wide range of clients—from retail to corporate, from wealth management to financial entities—often fall short when applied to the complex structures of alternative funds. The result is a slow, inefficient process that not only delays account opening but also complicates the ongoing management of these accounts.


The root of the problem lies in the banks' inability to adequately understand the intricate nature of alternative investments. The complexity of fund structures and the specialized nature of their transactions mean that traditional banks are often playing catch-up, struggling to apply their standard monitoring and compliance procedures in an effective manner. This disconnect leads to significant delays in both onboarding and day-to-day transaction processing, creating a bottleneck that can prevent funds from seizing timely market opportunities.



The Digital Bank Solution


Recognizing the inadequacies of traditional banking practices for alternative investments, digital banks have emerged as a quick and flexible option, offering tailored banking solutions that promise to revolutionize the way alternative funds operate. By adopting a specialized approach to KYC (Know Your Customer) and AML (Anti-Money Laundering) procedures, digital banks are able to streamline the account opening process, reducing the timeframe from months to just a few days without compromising on the thoroughness of regulatory checks.


These digital banks have made considerable investments in technology creating modern banking platforms that ease transactions, reporting and reconciliation for alternative investments and their managers. These platforms offer a unified view of accounts across jurisdictions, different currency balances with unique named account IBANs thus simplifying account management and providing a level of agility previously unseen in the alternative investment space.


If you would like to get an up to date list of banks that tailor to alternative investments, fill our contact form and we will send it to you by email.



The Global Impact


The advent of digital banking solutions for alternative investments is not just a regional phenomenon but a global revolution. By breaking down the barriers to entry and streamlining the operational landscape, digital banks are democratizing access to alternative investment opportunities. Asset managers around the world now have the tools they need to operate more efficiently, respond to market changes more swiftly, and focus more on their core investment strategies rather than being bogged down by administrative hurdles.



Account Opening Requirements And Documentation


Lastly, we would like to share a standard onboarding pack for alternative investments that you should be aware of and prepared for:


- Incorporation/registration documents for the fund or SPV (more about SPV banking here)

- Official list of directors and significant investors

- IDs for all Ultimate Beneficial Owners (UBOs) and all authorized signatories

- Proof of business trading address

- Detailed information on the fund's structure and investment strategy, planned transaction volumes

- Investment manager information: AML and KYC governance policy and customer risk assessment data


Please note, there may be additional specific requests depending on the chosen digital bank, and we highly advise complying with the bank's requests and providing as much detail as possible. This ensures the successful onboarding of your alternative investment fund. Being well-prepared with this documentation can significantly streamline the account opening process, allowing you to focus on your investment activities sooner.






In conclusion, the emergence of digital banks as a solution to the long-standing challenges faced by alternative investment funds in opening and managing bank accounts marks a significant milestone in the financial sector. By offering specialized, efficient, and agile banking services, digital banks are not just solving a problem but are also enabling a more dynamic and inclusive investment environment.

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