Friday, September 7, 2007

Offshore Banking - What Are The Benefits?

Some of the best tourist destinations of the world also offer offshore banking opportunities. There was a time when Switzerland was the world leader in offshore banking but today the market has widened and opened up. Some of the islands in the Caribbean’s offer offshore banking opportunities; Panama & Belize in South America are also hot spots for offshore banking. One may wonder why go so far off to do banking? Offshore banking is a small part of the bigger and broader wealth management market.

There are certain advantages of offshore banking that makes it a lucrative and economically viable option.What offshore banking really offers is Security, Privacy and a tax shelter. Banking offshore can be accomplished by individuals as well as corporations. The best way to choose the country for banking is by getting information about its economy and asset protection laws. Most of the offshore banking countries provide a strong asset protection law under which no one can get any information about your assets or investments. There are times when you need to hide your assets and money from lawyers and other people who claim a stake in your assets. In such a scenario they will require proof of your existing wealth, which when kept in an offshore bank will not be on records for people to see.

The assets that you have domestically can be subject to bad to worse political and social factors and these are the ones that you can’t really control. So if your asset is under protection from offshore banks then they will not be affected by these factors.Some of the other advantages include tax shelter. A country with a good economy will offer you tax shelter if you open an account in their country. There will not be any taxes unless you are running a business there.

Some of the facilities provided by these banks are equivalent to actually having an account in your home country. You can have an ATM card to withdraw money. You can wire transfer to and from anywhere in the world and in any currency. As a corporation this is an extremely good feature because if your company is based in the US and you are doing business in Europe then having a Swiss bank account makes a lot of economic sense.There is a strong code of secrecy followed by these banks to protect your account. In Switzerland for example, the banks don’t employ people who can’t follow their confidentiality code. Moreover, all employees have to sign a document stating this code of confidentiality and it is a mandatory employment requirement.

The bottom line is that your money is in safe hands and you can imagine how strict these codes of conduct are. Another major advantage is for increasing savings. Now you may ask that the same is possible in your home country too. But then how many people are actually able to save money in their bank accounts.

There is always a reason to withdraw money and there are always unexpected expenses. The good thing about keeping your money in offshore banks is that you wouldn’t want to withdraw them whenever you choose. It is like a fixed deposit and you can let it accumulate interest.There was a time when offshore banking was the domain of the rich and the famous but today the scenario has changed considerably.

People from any background or segment can open an account in an offshore bank. The only drawback as seen by individuals is the amount of money required to open an account, which is mostly on the higher side. Although, the deposit amount varies from bank to bank and country to country. Offshore banking is not just an option or opportunity, it is the fastest and one of the most popular investment tools in the world today.

By: Simon Finnan

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Simon is a leading expert in Offshore Banking and Offshore Incorporations. He owns a company dedicated to helping people set up affordable and watertight offshore banking and business solutions. You can find out more about the services he offers at

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