Butterfield expedites digital nomad onboarding

Butterfield announced it will allow holders of the Global Citizen certificate to open a bank account without valid address-verification documents, such as a Cayman utility bill or rental agreement.

The bank said the move is going to expedite the onboarding process, because most certificate holders would not immediately have the necessary documents.

Mike McWatt, managing director, Butterfield

Mike McWatt, managing director of Butterfield Cayman, said, “Due to the government’s swift action it is unlikely that an approved individual will have secured a valid Cayman address verification document when applying for a new Butterfield account.”

He said the bank’s response to the government initiative would ensure that remote workers have access to their overseas funds as soon as possible, allowing them to secure rental accommodation and transportation, and purchase food and supplies on arrival.

As companies around the world are exploring flexible work policies to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, the new Global Citizen programme is designed to attract workers to Cayman for up to two years, allowing them to work remotely for a non-Cayman entity.

The new certificate was launched on 21 Oct. and costs $1,469 per year and $500 per dependent.

To be eligible, individual applicants must earn annual income of at least US$100,000, or $150,000 for two-person households, and $180,000 if the applicant is accompanied by a child.

“New customers holding Global Citizen certificates can be onboarded without valid address verification on an exception basis, under the condition that the verification document is provided to Butterfield within three months of the onboarding approval date,” McWatt said.

While the submission of a copy of a local utility bill or rental agreement is deferred, applicants are still required to provide numerous other documents under Cayman’s notoriously strict account-opening rules.

To open an account, in addition to the application form, remote workers must submit certified copies of their Global Citizen Certificate, as well as their passport, bank reference and recent utility bill from the country of origin.

Applicants must also produce a letter from their employer, confirming employment and salary, or their most recent tax return, if they are self-employed, as well as details of their temporary address in Cayman, a declaration of their tax status and a W-9 form, if they are US citizens.

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