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OPENING AND ACCESSING OFFSHORE BANK ACCOUNTS

When taking part in offshore banking, you do so in a different country to the one you reside in. As such, the term ‘offshore banking’ is typically used to describe overseas investments, companies and banks.

But how do you open one? And how do you deposit or withdraw money? In this short article, we’re covering the basics of opening and accessing offshore bank accounts to give you the confidence to get started.

OPENING AN ACCOUNT: THE BASIC REQUIREMENTS

The process of opening an account in a foreign jurisdiction is just as simple as opening a standard current or savings account. Offshore banks usually require the details on your passport (or other means of identification), such as your name, date of birth and citizenship.

You will also need to provide your proof of address, occupation and source of income, which may be satisfied by presenting your utility bill and payslips. This is to prove that the money you wish to deposit has been acquired legally. And if your money has come from a different source, such as investments, real estate or business, you will need to provide the relevant documentation.

Most offshore bank accounts will require a minimum deposit. The amount can range from as low as £1 to £10,000 or more, depending on your chosen bank and jurisdiction.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT CURRENCY FOR YOU

Unlike standard bank accounts, offshore banking allows you to hold money in different currencies, including dollars, euros and sterling. Choosing the right currency to suit you needs careful consideration, as it is one of the most attractive features of opening an offshore account.

If your home currency is unstable, transferring to a different currency will help shield you from inflation and generate more interest on your deposits. And when you are diversifying your assets across multiple currencies and jurisdictions, you will also ensure greater protection against possible future threats, such as divorce lawyers and creditors.

Some of the most popular places for offshore banking include Switzerland, Bermuda, and The Cayman Islands, among others. When making your choice, you must consider the political and economic stability of a location and be well-versed in its laws to ensure your money is held securely.

DEPOSITING AND ACCESSING YOUR FUNDS

Offshore bank accounts typically feature everything you would get from a standard current account, including online and mobile banking. As such, offshore bank accounts are usually funded electronically through confidential, international wire transfers.

Depositing money through wire transfers is a popular, practical option, as there’s often no limit to the amount you can send. It only takes a few minutes to set up and initiate, and the money moves quickly so your recipient doesn’t have to wait days for the funds to clear.

As well as online banking, offshore accounts often offer debit cards to withdraw your funds from any ATM worldwide. Some offshore banks also allow easy an instant-access to multiple currencies from one debit card, meaning you can save on costly exchange fees.

HAPPY TO HELP

Interested in getting more information about how offshore banking could work for you? We’d love to hear from you. Get in touch with Turner Little today for trusted advice tailored to you and your needs.

Turner Little and its affiliates do not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. Material on this page has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.