Offshore Bank Accounts

What is an "account signatory"?

An account signatory is an individual who has been granted signatory rights in a bank account by a company mandate (a special Resolution, signed by the company director and secretary, resolving to open a bank account and to appoint particular individuals as account signatories). An account signatory may, therefore, "sign" on the account - which means, execute payments, sign cheques and otherwise dispose with the money on the account. An account signatory may enjoy either a single signatory right, or a joint signatory right with someone else. In the latter case, only two signatures are good to do a transaction. In principle, the various options of how to configure signatory rights on a given account are practically endless.

For any regular company, the most logical and obvious option is that the director is also the account signatory. However, any person can serve as the account signatory - even if such person is not formally related to the company. For instance, the beneficial owner of an offshore company, even if he is not formally registered as director or shareholder of the company, may also be appointed as account signatory - either singly, or alongside a director. For offshore company management purposes, licensed company managers, who are obviously not the actual owners of the funds (beneficial owner is!), would routinely act as account signatories for and on behalf of their client - the beneficial owner. In such case, the actions of the account signatories would be determined not only by their bank mandate , but primarily by their client-manager relationship with the beneficial owner. In other words, such appointed account signatories would in fact only be allowed to execute any banking operations if expressly required by the beneficial owner, and not on their own accord.