The answer is absolutely not – however, an offshore bank account is of use to the average expat – and in this report we’ll show you why. So, if you’re living abroad, you have property overseas, you’re retired abroad or your work takes you around the world, an offshore bank account could be a highly useful tool in your money management arsenal.
Forget what you’ve heard or read about offshore banking being all about tax avoidance, today such an account is all about the international efficient management of money. In this report we will detail why many expats should bank offshore and how you can get your hands on an offshore bank account to suit your needs.
First things first it’s imperative to point out that when it comes to matters of money, we are all different – and a solution or path that may suit you may not suit the next man or woman to come along looking for advice. Therefore, you have to understand that the content of this report does not constitute advice, it is just for general information purposes only.
If you would like personal advice about any aspect of your financial position, there are international, offshore and expatriate wealth advisers out there who are qualified to assist you.
Having said all of that, here are the top 10 reasons why most expats find they can benefit from having a far more international bank account that their old onshore, high street current account in the UK!
1) An offshore bank account is a flexible way of accessing your money no matter where you are in the world.
2) International bank accounts usually come in multiple currencies so you don’t have to lose out on currency transfers – a benefit if you earn in one currency and live and spend day-to-day in another currency.
3) Because you’re living abroad and therefore in a different time zone, an international bank account is usually designed so that you can access it and get support for it 24 hours a day.
4) Such accounts often come with useful features and benefits for clients such as a fee free international ATM card for example.
5) Many expatriates find they have financial obligations back home and abroad, an international account can allow them to manage their obligations from one central account, no matter where in the world a bill needs to be paid.
6) Some international accounts offer add-ons such as international travel insurance.
7) Others come with bonuses such as airport lounge access.
8) Your account manager will understand your needs and requirements far better than your old account manager who won’t understand why you have to access large sums of cash at short notice in a foreign currency to pay your rental deposit!
9) You can get international credit cards with an offshore account.
10) There are sometimes taxation benefits to having such a solution depending on you, where you’re tax resident, where you earn and remit your income.
If you find that you’re often having to move money between accounts, you bank, earn and transact in different currencies and/or in different countries or you would like greater privacy when it comes to account transactions, an offshore bank account might suit your needs. There are various different types of account however, and you may need to think carefully about the account type that will best suit you.
Many leading global banks offer such accounts for individual customers who want a simple structure that will allow them the ability to manage their money internationally. As you can imagine, a straightforward personal account with a bank such as HSBC, Lloyds TSB International or even Citibank can be totally free.
There are usually minimum balance requirements – and if you want a dedicated account manager or preferential services then you will have to pay a monthly fee. Account types, features, benefits and any fees differ per institution, but all major banks have international websites dedicated to expatriate clients where you can learn more.
If you require such an account you are probably best advised to approach your preferred bank and ask them for an account application form. You may have to provide proof of ID and your address, you may have to undergo a credit score and provide a bank reference. However, criteria differ per bank, so you need to speak to the bank you want an account with and find out how you open one with them.
If you require a private offshore bank account or one that is protected by a company and trust structure, and you would like your account to be held with a major international bank that has 125 years of history, 120 branches worldwide, that has –AA rating with Standard and Poors and you do not wish to have to undergo a credit score or provide a bank reference for example, then one of our preferred partners may be able to assist you.
Accounts offered by our preferred partner, because they are guaranteed, allow for asset protection, enable you to undertake international transactions with confidentiality, come in 3 currencies (USD, GBP and EUR) and all you have to provide is a copy of your passport and a home utility bill to be guaranteed one, come with a fee attached. The fee structure differs depending on the type of account you want and the features you require, from a debit card to a credit card for example, and an average cost is in the region of £2250.
Whether such an account could be of use to you, and whether you are eligible to apply will need to be determined on a case-by-case basis – so if you would like to speak to an adviser about your own personal requirements, feel free to get in touch and we will have an adviser call.