Offshore Bank Accounts

Offshore bank account is the phrase used to describe a bank account which is established at a bank which is outside of the bank account holder’s country of residence. At present there are approximately one hundred (100) countries offering the services of offshore banking in the world. Most offshore bank accounts are created in countries called tax havens or offshore jurisdictions for the many benefits that they offer.

International wealth management is a vital element of the any international business endeavor. There is so much more to learn about foreign bank accounts within a wider context of estate and inheritance planning. An interesting aspect of international trade, technical exchanges and banking has been how second citizenships have been used to access other sources for financing. Second citizenship programs are internet based services, regulated and are used as a multi-jurisdictional investment strategy.

Offshore bank accounts can be created for both business corporations and individuals. Business entities open what is called corporate offshore bank accounts whilst private individuals open personal offshore bank accounts. A common characteristic of both types of offshore bank accounts and offshore banking itself is the level of confidentiality and privacy which is presented. In fact most offshore banking jurisdictions have bank secrecy legislation in place which is modeled after the Swiss Banking Laws to protect their clients. A common stipulation in banking secrecy legislation is that information in an offshore bank account s private and disclosure of such information is considered a criminal offence. Information in offshore bank accounts in those jurisdictions with banking secrecy laws in place can only be given out if a court/judge’s order is issued.

An offshore banking account can also be in the form of a numbered offshore bank account. It has been stated that the numbered offshore bank account is the closest to an anonymous bank account that persons can obtain in the world of offshore banking today. A numbered offshore bank account provides added security for its owners since no names appears on bank transactions or the bank’s computer system. The offshore numbered bank account will instead be identified by a numbered code. Since banks must know the identity of its customers senior officials at the bank will know the identity of the numbered account holder. Offshore numbered bank accounts can be obtained by business corporations and individuals.

Offshore bank accounts have proven to be very advantageous. Offshore bank accounts set up in tax havens generally pay zero taxes on interest earned in the account. There are tax havens which impose taxes on interest generated in offshore bank accounts but it is normally at extremely low rates. Offshore bank accounts are used as a means of reducing tax liabilities.

Offshore bank accounts are known to generate very high interest rates and they can be utilized as asset protection tools. Offshore banks offers quality services which are unsurpassed by the services given at local (onshore) banks. Services which offshore bank holders receive are the following: internet banking, wire transfers, banking via telephone and fax, chequing accounts and credit cards among others. Some offshore banks allow clients to establish multi currency accounts. Such offshore bank accounts can be set up using major currencies such as the British Pound, Euro and the USD among others.

Jurisdictions in which to set up offshore bank accounts are many. Good offshore banking jurisdictions include Nevis, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Republic of Panama, Mauritius, Anguilla, Seychelles, and Belize among others.

An offshore bank account is very easy to maintain. Some offshore banks offer services such as account and financial management. Opening an offshore bank account is quite simple and the procedure can be completed online. Offshore banks require photograph identification for clients along with bank references, signatures of the signatories and business entities need to submit a copy of their registration certificate. There are jurisdictions which have mandatory due diligence investigations carried out for new customers before an account can be set up. The minimum initial deposit depends on the bank chosen.

Offshore banks provide security and a legal means to invest capital. Offshore bank accounts continue to increase on a global scale. Offshore banks have become some of the most trusted financial institutions providing excellent services.

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