By Luigi Wewege, Senior Vice President, and Head of Private Banking of Belize based Caye International Bank
Have you been mulling over the idea of establishing an offshore checking or savings account? Maybe the idea of having an investment account with an offshore bank has been on your mind. If so, now is the time to explore these options more fully.
You’ll find that the features and functions of offshore banks have quite a bit to offer. Here are just a few examples to keep in mind.
Account Types That Are Familiar Plus More
One of the first things you’ll notice is that all of the domestic account types you’re familiar with are also available internationally. Along with those, you’ll find accounts that have some features that aren’t found at home. Some of them will help you grow your accounts or save money faster.
From time deposit accounts to special retirement funds, there’s something for just about everyone. Bank officials are happy to explain how each account type works and what it can do for you.
Competitive Interest Rates
Depending on how much you can deposit into an account, the interest rate that applies can be higher than what you receive at home. This is especially true if you opt for accounts that come with tiered interest rates. As you exceed and maintain certain balance levels, it’s possible to lock in higher interest rates.
Think of what this could mean if the plan is to save money for your retirement years. As you add to the balances and let them remain in the account, more interest is earned. Start that when you still have at least a couple of decades left to work full time, and the result could be a significant nest egg to use during those retirement years.
Easy Online Management
The days when managing offshore accounts required the post or some other slower method are gone. The best offshore banks provide online management to their clients. That means you can transfer funds between accounts with ease.
Think of how nice it would be to initiate a funds transfer that moves money from a domestic account to an international one. This can be done any time of the day or night. You will know when it posts to the account, often on the next business day. How much simpler could it be to get money in those accounts?
With the Best in Security Measures
Security is a priority with offshore banks. Data is encrypted correctly, account access is monitored, and there are plenty of safeguards in place. Other than authorized bank personnel and yourself, no one is getting into your accounts.
Top offshore banks evaluate and update security measures regularly. This makes it possible to remain ahead of the most recently launched threats and prevent hackers from accessing your funds.
Protection From Political and Market Upheavals
It’s no secret that political shifts and marketing changes impact the financial world. One way you can minimize the effect on your wealth is to house part of it in offshore accounts. Whatever is happening at home will not impact the funds you have placed in offshore accounts.
No matter what happens to your domestic assets, your offshore funds and holdings remain intact. Regardless of the losses you might incur at home, you’ll still have your offshore balances to help you get back on your feet.
Safeguard Against Legal Troubles at Home
No one is immune from being the defendant in a lawsuit. It could be a personal injury suit or a civil action against you. It could even be problems with a tax agency that leads to seizing your bank accounts or garnishing your wages. While it would be impossible to protect your domestic assets from these types of issues, your offshore assets are different.
In most instances, a judgment in a civil suit or a tax garnishment will not result in the seizure of any of your offshore accounts. They remain outside the jurisdiction of a domestic court.
A Wider Range of Investment Opportunities
Setting up accounts in the right offshore location allows you to take advantage of many investment opportunities that aren’t available at home. It’s not just the possibility of greater returns that captures your interest. The options themselves are broader than what you can access using any domestic banking or investment firm.
From real estate to currency trading, some options are likely to be of interest. Many of them can be managed through one or more arms of your international bank. Since many offshore banks have personnel who can provide information about investment opportunities, it’s easy to access factual data to help you decide if a particular investment fits in with your overall financial goals.
Possibly Superior Rates of Exchange When You Travel
Here’s something to consider if you tend to travel abroad regularly. When it comes to the exchange rate between different currencies, using your offshore checking account balance rather than a domestic one may be a better choice. That’s because there may be a more favorable exchange rate between your offshore account and the nation where you’re visiting.
A better exchange rate increases your buying power and lessens the overall cost of your trip. You’ll spend less on big-ticket items like hotels, air or rail travel, and meals.
Benefit from Opening an Offshore Bank Account
You don’t have to be rich to establish and grow offshore bank accounts. You’ll find banks that allow you to open an account with relatively modest balances and add to them with ease.
Over time, these balances help you achieve greater financial stability and ensure a more secure future.
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Luigi Wewege is the Senior Vice President, and Head of Private Banking of Belize based Caye International Bank, a FinTech School Instructor and the published author of The Digital Banking Revolution – now in its third edition.
You can follow his posts on trends shaping the banking and financial services industry on Twitter: @luigiwewege