Apostille for International Banking

The undeniable trend of globalisation is leading to more and more interest in opening an overseas bank account both on a personal level and a commercial level. If you are conducting international activities and you are assessing the possibility of opening an overseas bank account then the legalisation of your documents will be an important factor to consider.

Historically, various bureaucratic issues and differing regulations from country to country have made international activities very difficult. However, the implementation and widespread recognition of the Apostille certification has simplified this process dramatically. The Apostille enables your documentation to be accepted legally throughout all parties of the Hague Convention.

An individual looking to open a bank account locally can often do so simply by visiting a high street branch with a few items of identification. UK financial institutions have several tools at their disposal to verify an individual’s information and conduct any due diligence required.

Overseas banks request the apostille on UK documents to confirm identity or authenticity.


Financial institutions overseas, however, may not be able to verify this information as easily. This would necessitate the Apostille certificate for your documentation. Some common examples of documents you may require the Apostille for when opening an account overseas are as follows:

  • Copies of passports
  • Birth Certificates
  • Copies of Utility Bills
  • Proof of earnings e.g. P60
  • Confirmation of employment e.g. employers letters

Please note that this is not a definitive list but simply a guideline. Please contact the overseas branch to confirm specific requirements before legalising your documentation.

On a commercial level, international trade and business activities can add significant value when looking to expand your company. When opening a business bank account overseas you may require the Apostille for the following documents:

  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • Memorandum & Articles of Association
  • Board resolutions
  • Powers of Attorney
  • Certificate of Good Standing
  • Certificate of Incumbency

Again this list is not exhaustive but simply a guideline. The Certificate of Good standing issued by Companies House confirms the current stature of your company. You can find more information on the Certificate of Good Standing by contacting our team of advisors.

About the Author

The Apostille Service are pleased to provide advice on a wide range of document legalisation matters. Our team of advisors contribute to the blog.