Bank of Asia has been established in the British Virgin Islands ("BVI") to address the growing needs of offshore companies and their owners.
We are a digital bank with a strong emphasis on providing the best customer experience possible without sacrificing security. Account opening can be done from anywhere in the World with your Smart device or computer and similarly transactions can be done from your other personal devices.
Our core value is to have a robust Know Your Customer and Anti Money Laundering regime leveraging on cutting edge technology and big data, and working together with strong and established partners to ensure that only legitimate customers are on-boarded and only legitimate transactions are handled by our bank. Our principles are to be user-friendly, transparent, compliant, credible, responsible and sustainable.
We have been granted a Restricted Class 1 Banking License by the BVI Financial Services Commission ("FSC") which allows us to bank companies and individuals other than individuals who are resident in the BVI. There are currently only 8 banks licensed in the BVI and this is the first time in over 20 years that a banking license has been granted by the BVI FSC. Our Tier 1 Capital has in April 2017 been increased to US$38 million which satisfied the Tier 1 Capital requirements of the FSC for our commencement of business.
We are set up to provide banking services to BVI and other offshore and mid-shore companies and those who own them, as well as entities, trusts and individuals from around the world. Our cutting edge-technology and use of big data enable us to get accounts opened within days for those who satisfy our robust KYC/AML requirements, rather than the weeks and months that legacy banks may take. Our technology driven platform also would enable customers to enjoy more user-friendly and cost-effective services than those currently available from legacy banks.
Our Hong Kong affiliated Company will provide a World-class wealth management platform to our customers, which will provide them with round-the-clock securities, foreign exchange trading, margin financing and wealth management services at competitive rates, thanks to the cutting-edge technology that we use and the freedom from legacy issues faced by our competitors.
We are planning on opening up for soft launch within Q1 2018, and look forward to being of service to you and your Company.
Carson Wen, BBS, JP
Bank of Asia (BVI) Limited
The BVI is the world's leading offshore jurisdiction with over 410,000 active companies. According to Vistra's Offshore 2020 Report, 40% of offshore companies originate from Mainland China, 9% from Hong Kong, 4% from Taiwan and 4% from Singapore, thus 57% of BVI companies are owned by the Chinese. 7% of BVI companies originate from the UAE. There are in addition more than 100,000 companies that originate out of elsewhere in Asia and Russia. Most banks have, as a result of a tightened compliance culture borne out of the penalties imposed on legacy banks for their past misconducts, not been accepting offshore companies for opening of bank accounts. There is as such a backlog of companies needing to have bank accounts opened, thus providing a captive market. Counting say 50,000 newly incorporated companies in each of 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015, and about 35,000 in 2016, there is a captive market of well over 200,000 unbanked BVI companies worldwide and some 150,000 companies in Asia alone. To that must be added offshore companies from Cayman Islands and elsewhere, which face similar account opening difficulties.
Behind every offshore company there is a private entrepreneur, listed company, trust or private equity fund. Given our unique access to offshore companies, we also hold the keys to high net-worth individuals and fund managers in the Asian markets, many of whom are not obtaining offshore banking services as a result of the risk adverse polices adopted by legacy banks during the past few years. We are as such positioning ourselves as a private banking and wealth management services provider for HNWIs across Asia.
The BVI is one of the largest sources of foreign direct investment into China. As of 2012, the ranking was Hong Kong (43.78%), BVI (9.56%), Japan (6.45%), US (5.19%), Singapore (4.38%), Taiwan (4.22%) and South Korea (3.91%). It should also be noted that of the FDI that came through Hong Kong, a sizable percentage of those should have come through a BVI parent of the Hong Kong company, given the usual way that such transactions are structured. The Offshore 2020 Report showed that the BVI, at 33%, is the second most popular jurisdiction to be used for Chinese outbound investment, second only to Hong Kong at 40%, followed by the Cayman Islands at 7%. The inability of offshore companies, and Hong Kong companies held through offshore companies, to open bank accounts would hinder the FDI and outbound investment activities involving the PRC and thus provide a captive market for the services of Bank of Asia.
What is hindering legacy banks from onboarding offshore companies and HNWI across Asia is partly the compliance and KYC-AML costs, with antiquated processes and a lot of manpower. For Bank of Asia we are building a cutting edge technology platform that would allow for KYC-AML to be conducted using advanced biometrics and Big Data analytics and mining, by which we can get a better assessment of the character and credit-worthiness of a potential customer analyzing cloud-based data generated by their social media, e-commerce and other online data, such as Google and Baidu searches. These data are fed into our KYC-AML process and analyzed through algorithms by which the acceptability for on-boarding is determined without human intervention, thus ensuring objectiveness, transparency, speed and cost effectiveness. That would enable our KYC-AML processes to be more robust than the legacy banks but at a vastly reduced cost.
As a new bank, Bank of Asia has no legacy issues, no expensive branch network, and no redundancies to deal with and pay for. With no past misconducts it also does not have to have an over-staffed compliance department to resolve past mistakes.
As a new digital bank, Bank of Asia also has no legacy IT systems and can use cutting edge fintech to build a cloud based technology platform that is efficient, scalable, multi-functional and cost effective. Most legacy banks cannot afford to write off huge past investments in their IT systems without painful impacts on their profit and loss accounts and balance sheets.
In the future Bank of Asia may also play a useful role in the "Belt and Road" initiative, acting as a lender, investor and syndicator.
Bank of Asia believes strongly in and has built a matrix and multi-dimensional KYC screening process far more advanced to the current requirement of merely an identity card, address proof, and signed application form that banks use to open accounts today.
Bank of Asia's multi-dimensional process independently screens applicants with third party outsource providers:
We strongly believe using established credible third parties, removes conflicts of interest and provides utility independent KYC that will benefit the applicant and standardize the background gathering process and records keeping process.
In addition, however, we believe that including significant real time defensive measures greatly enhances our cross matrix KYC.
We build a profile with every additional data point, sequentially becoming more accurate and able to dispense with false hits, and build on accurate factual matches. Our account opening process, and ongoing relationship management, will gather customer facts each of which will be scrubbed for connections within the world wide web, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Each additional point of identifying data point, will beget exponential facts on the internet. False positives will be removed via percentage mismatch with the previous data and purged. True positives will build into the customer profile and step by step, along with the aforementioned additional KYC checks, will provide increasingly detailed identity profiles that are impossible for the current human and manual system of KYC to ascertain, let alone a single relationship manager who is the usual gatekeeper of KYC adherence. Not to mention that technology is not biased by client acquisition goals or bonus/commissions tied to the on boarding of clients and AUM to churn. True negatives will easily be determined and Bank of Asia will know when financial crime is trying to enter the system via fraudulent identity.
In Phase 1, we will provide core banking services and a white-labelled globally respected securities platform. The phase 1 products consist of:
We want to digest and provide at the highest level of quality service at a reasonable price, these basic services first. In line with the 80/20 rule, if we are scaling rapidly and capturing 80% of the revenue from 20% of product complexity, then we will only slowly introduce new products and services, steadfastly focused on client need and benefit first and foremost.
A Hong Kong affiliated company with a white label partnership with a globally respected financial services platform will offer a very sophisticated wealth management platform, with suitability measurement technology, in particular, to monitor churn and self inflicted risk positions that are outside of defined suitability. This will be our minimum standard, which is also no less rigorous than those required by HKMA / SFC, and MAS, in addition to many other jurisdictions around the world where our wealth management platform partner operates.
We are also working on building an artificial intelligence driven advisory platform. Similar to our KYC philosophy, we believe that for every new data point, whether that is a buy or sell action, or a question on markets, or a piece of research downloaded, we are able to develop a better profile of an individual. Relationship managers do exactly the same. Unfortunately, they are limited by incomplete facts, inaccurate memories or translation of facts to fit the story, bias in wanting to sell products that generate revenue, and the need to "switch off" daily, weekly, monthly, annually. Technology has none of these limitations.
Whilst we will not rely solely on technology to provide the answers, we will enable our sales force to be far better equipped with analytical tools profiling both the KYC and investment profile of our customer from both a financial crime, and wealth objectives perspective.