Offshore banking takes place anywhere but your own country, usually in jurisdictions that specialise in attracting offshore clients. Here is an explanation of how and why you would choose to bank offshore:
Tax - Why pay tax on interest if you have no legal obligation to?
Expediency – Why bank in sterling if you are spending in dollars?
Expat-focused products and services – A package designed specifically for Expats.
Protecting your money – Many expats live in politically volatile places. Banking in a widely recognised safe haven will address this issue.
One of the most pressing issues when keeping a bank account in Britain is your tax liability on interest payments. It might be prudent to keep a small amount of cash in a UK account just in case but if you are living and working overseas you should seek to minimise your tax liability as much as possible. Offshore accounts are generally based in Tax Havens and offer little or no tax burden.
Offshore accounts offer a convenient way of managing your money in different currencies and from different countries. In fact many offshore banks offer multi-currency accounts. Of course, internet and telephone banking allows 24 hour access to all your banking facilities.
Expat-focused products and services
Banks understand that non-residents of the UK, be they workers or retirees, have different needs and expectations. Products and services have been created with the expat in mind. Multi-currency bank accounts are a very useful tool; you might be paying bills in Yen but getting paid in Dollars, and you need to know how this translates to Sterling. Customer service is generally excellent and tailored to the needs of expats, with a focus on giving you the benefits of all their knowledge and experience in international living.
Protecting your money
Some expats will be working in volatile regions with volatile economies. Certain places have dubious or unregulated banking standards so an offshore account is a superb way of protecting your money. The laws of the country where the bank is based, not your country of residence, governs offshore bank accounts. Most of the well known tax havens are heavily regulated and safe; hence their good reputation for security and privacy.
Offshore accounts are available in many forms including a basic current account (with standard debit and credit cards), savings accounts, fixed interest deposits and more. For further information please contact an IFA, who can provide impartial bespoke advice on which offshore account is best suited to your needs.