Banking Offshore: Offshore Bank Accounts.

Just as the future of doing profitable international business lies in the offshore business company, the future of advantageous banking lies in offshore banking.

Is Offshore Banking For You?

Banking offshore is no longer restricted or limited to individuals or corporations with high net worth. In fact, offshore banking is actually recognized as a necessary tool of the trade for international business and is a very big part of the international financial system. Out of sheer necessity, the accessibility of offshore bank account expanded with globalization and world market trading. Offshore banking is used both by the majority of international corporations and by millions of private individuals daily. The desirability, the accessibility of the offshore bank account has spawned a large international market of offshore financial institutions with specialized offshore banking services catering to companies and individuals alike.

If you wish to access tax free banking facilities, have enhanced privacy in banking, and want to protect your assets from political and economic stability, open an offshore bank account today.

Why Offshore Banking?

Generally, well regulated offshore banks are highly favoured for a few key characteristics:

  • greater privacy and confidentiality;
  • no tax regimes ( or low tax);
  • no currency or foreign exchange tariffs;
  • protection from economic or political instability;
  • competitive interest rates and affordable service fees;
  • customized/developed international banking services;
  • 24 hour internet /online banking;
  • Virtual/Remote/Online bank account opening processes;

Years ago banking offshore was synonymous with Swiss banks, private banks, immense wealth, and not so glorious illegal trade, organized crime and tax evasion. No longer, today, offshore banking is an international tool of the trade, in which hundreds of billions of dollars pass through offshore bank accounts on a daily basis. Offshore financial centres and offshore banks are found in all regions of the world, including the well recognized European, Caribbean and Asian offshore financial centres.

Offshore Banking

Offshore banks come in all shapes and sizes. Some offshore banks provide the full suite of offshore banking services to corporations and individuals, while some offshore banks are exclusive, private and highly specialized catering to only individuals of high net worth; such financial establishments do not have walk in customers, but rather have a pool of customers selected on a preferential referral basis; there are other offshore banks that only offer offshore corporate banking services.

Generally, the retail offshore banks feature both offshore corporate banking services and offshore personal banking services. The wide range of offshore banking services may include:

  • Deposit facilities – short and long term
  • Lending and overdraft facilities
  • Credit facilities
  • A wide range of offshore bank account (savings, checking)
    • Corporate offshore accounts
    • Personal offshore accounts (single or joint)
    • Offshore Merchant accounts
    • Offshore brokerage accounts
  • Wealth and asset management services to include investment and fund management
  • Letter of credits and Trade finance services
  • Brokerage services
  • 24 hour Online banking services
  • Debit and credit cards
  • Wire transfers, international money orders, electronic fund transfer

The cost to open an offshore bank account

The cost for retail offshore banking also varies, and will depend on the type of bank, the level of service offered, the jurisdiction, though the cost of offshore banking in a retail offshore bank is expected to be lower than that of the more exclusive private offshore banks. However, the services at the retail offshore bank will not be as intimate/personal or customized as compared to that of exclusive private offshore banks. It may then boil down to preferences and banking within your expectations.

Offshore accounts can be opened in some offshore banks, (Panama for example) with an initial deposit of as little as US$500. Some European banks require a deposit of US$2,000,000 to open a private personal offshore account. On average, offshore corporate banking accounts are opened with US$10,000. Veritably, the cost to open the offshore account is wide ranging, so it is best to choose a bank and the type of account that is based on your on your confidence in the offshore financial centre and the bank, the services the bank offers, and the rates for services and favourable deposit requirements.

The Privacy and Confidentiality of offshore accounts

The process for to open an offshore bank account varies with jurisdiction and institutions In countries where offshore banks are well regulated and equally stable and secure, you should expect some level of due diligence to be performed by the offshore bank. Beware of offshore banks which have little or no due diligence and Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements. Corporation and personal information is exchanged during the offshore bank account opening process, and such information is private and confidential under law, although the privacy afforded citizens from countries by the EU Savings Tax Directive 2005 may be limited under this Directive as information is automatically exchanged. Obtaining Dominica citizenship can help you increase your privacy.

How to open offshore bank Account?

You will not need to plan a trip to Panama, or Jersey, or the Cayman Islands to open an offshore bank account for your offshore company, such as Panama company. Offshore bank accounts can be formed online, or through a local agent who will provide the necessary documentation and in some cases the required bank introductions. Generally the requirements to open offshore bank account in more commercial offshore banking establishments are: For Offshore Company Accounts

  1. A certified copy of passport for all documented officers, director and shareholders, and assigned signatories if they are different from the officers.
  2. A form of verification of residential address such as a recent utility bill or a bank statement or a credit card statement with home address.
  3. A personal bank reference from a bank where you currently hold and account and have held an account for over 2 years.
  4. A full set of Company documents, including the Certificate of Incorporation, the Memorandum and Articles of Association.
  5. The offshore bank may also ask for more specific details on the company, nature of business, location of business, expected financial activity over a year etc.

For the personal offshore bank account

  1. A certified copy of passport for all assigned signatories.
  2. A form of verification of residential address such as a recent utility bill or a bank statement or a credit card statement with home address.
  3. A personal bank reference from a bank where you currently hold and account and have held an account for over 2 years.

Before you choose you offshore banking company for your offshore corporate banking or personal banking offshore, look into a few of the offshore banks to first establish the deposit qualifications, the minimum deposits requirements as these differ greatly by bank and by country.

Offshore Bank Introductions for Offshore Company accounts, Offshore Service Agents

Bank introduction are important where the bank will only accept clients from a source with which is knows, that being the agent. Some agents will only assist in opening an offshore company account that has been formed though them, we recommend you buy a package where an offshore company and an offshore bank account is bundled together. This increases you chances of successfully opening an offshore bank account for offshore companies.

The local agent will to execute the offshore account application on your behalf without you ever stepping a foot into the country. Most professional offshore service providers use overnight courier services to move documents between the bank and the client, to ensure you confidentiality and security are maintained.

Best offshore accounts

The best offshore banking companies are trusted financial institutions with good reputations and solid backing. Generally an international (publicly traded) bank is more likely to be solvent.

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