Wednesday, July 11, 2012

5 Best Countries for Offshore Banking

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Activist Post

When we hear the term “offshore banking,” it often conjures up images of the overly-wealthy elite or sly, nefarious criminals hiding away millions of dollars from prying government eyes. But the way offshore banking is portrayed in the movies is not the reality.

Opening an account offshore is not illegal, as many people wrongly believe. In fact, many offshore financial institutions are considered safer than many domestic banks. Most foreign banks offer absolute privacy guarantees, as well as security to protect your assets.

Banks in the United States are limited in the amount of the interest they can pay to customers. Many offshore institutions are able to offer higher interest rates to their clients. In many US and European banks, the governments have too much control, to the detriment of the countries’ citizens. Because of this, the government can step in to freeze your bank accounts and assets indefinitely.

Some countries are a better choice for offshore banking than others. Here are the top five countries to consider if you want to put a portion of your money into a foreign account and what you need to open one.

Dubai has a premium banking sector that serves local, expatriate and offshore clients. It is said that the privacy policy for Dubai banks is even better than that of Swiss banks. There are also no taxes in this country. To open an account, you will first need to find what the minimum balance is for each bank. You will need to provide a copy of your passport, a visit visa, proof of address, bank card from your country of residence and maybe a letter of recommendation from a UAE resident.

When you open an account in Singapore, you are investing in one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, while at the same time protecting your money and saving on taxes. This country has the lowest tax rate in Asia. The typical minimum required balance is $1,000. You need to have your passport, proof of address, and maybe even your taxpayer number (SSN) for your country of residence. Accounts can be held in any currency, even gold.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong has a strong banking infrastructure. Banks do not require formal approval from the government for opening accounts. The minimum balance is $3,000. To open an account, you will need your passport, proof of address, and possibly a reference letter from a banker. Sovereign savings accounts in Hong Kong can also be held in any currency including gold.

Swiss banks are best known for their strict privacy policies. Since 1934, laws prevent bankers from divulging any client account information. Only recently have US law enforcement officers been permitted to get information in the course of a criminal investigation (including tax evasion). Some accounts may be opened with as little as $3,500. You need to have a passport, recent utility bill to establish residency, residence permit to set up an account.

Cayman Islands

The Cayman Islands have no direct taxation. The minimum balance is usually $5,000 to open an account. You will need a letter of reference from your home banker and deposits cannot be made with cash, but with check, wire transfer or bank draft. You need proof of identity and a notarized copy of your passport, character reference and any additional documents requested by the bank.

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Anonymous said...

Wow, great information! Any place but the U.S. at this point.

Anonymous said...

Switzerland offshore banking is not open to US residents. If you are a US citizen, you are not going to be opening an offshore bank account in this country. They shut down offshore banking to US citizens since sometime around 2006, after US officials started detaining Swiss bankers.

The IRS case against the Swiss banking has been decades old, but the tactics from the US became much more aggressive. For switzerland there are travel warning for those who work in the financial sector to avoid the USA. This was in response to those being detained. Also the US and Germany would try bribe and blackmail those that worked in the financial sector. It's actually an interestgin Saga to follow.

The elite do not want any safehavens- that was the problem than ran into in WW2. There will be no safehavens for WW3- You are in either in the club, or not.

In short- You have to be a Swiss resident to have an offshore account in Switzerland if you are a US citizen - or had an account prior to 2006- Most of the legal stuff you hear about stems from this even though it is 6 years ago.

Anonymous said...

What about Brazil and Belize?

Anonymous said...

Speaking from experience, Dubai's financial industry has a long way to go. The banking industry seems to prosper just catering to the rich local market. They do not need/seek foreign investments. They tend to sacrifice on good services. Most of the more-experienced banking personnels are foreigners, but the country does not give permanent resident status to anyone. Therefore, most, if not all of these foreign workers, do not possess long-term commitment/attitude. Meanwhile, the local workers are very well protected and their job secured....this leads to complacency. If frustration is your cup of tea, go ahead, consider Dubai/UAE. I know many more unhappy bank customers than happy ones there.

Singapore, in contrast, has an army of well-trained man-power in most of its financial sectors.

Rady said...

thanks for the info... will definitely look into this

Anonymous said...

It costs the average taxpayer $400+/yr because of this "legal" business/tax practice. Almost like...well...subsidizing?? Granted, any of us can do it; but, as the article points out..they are safer. What happened to Invest in America? What happened to giving back to the country that let you acquire that wealth? Not enough for some people, I guess...or maybe, it's the power and control...It hurts the American system and should be "illegal".

Anonymous said...

Who wrote this? Belize has some of the strictest banking laws in the world. No U.S. government agent has ever been able to get information on a depositor in a Belize bank.

And Brazil? Brazil has no extradition treaty with the U.S. Same goes for banking information. Both countries are a lot closer than all the countries mentioned, except the Cayman Islands.

Anonymous said...

I thought the idea was to get away from the corrupt banking system, not to exploit it for your own ends.

Anonymous said...

The only safe and totally professional banking city/country mentioned here is Hong Kong.
Belize and Brazil are safe from the I.R.S. but not from the local problems of crime and corruption.

Banker Jamie Dimon said...

You see we MUST have your ID, and passport and a letter of reference and your Social Security number so that we can report you to your government.

The letter of reference is especially important because we fine, moral and ethical bankers do not wish to smear our reputation by dealing with a person of questionable character. You understand.

Anonymous said...

HAH, now there's a joke. A banker referring to he and his low-life co-workers as fine, moral, and ethical! Now I've heard it all.

Kyley Watson said...

Your information about need Need to Open an Offshore Banking Account is very useful. Nowadays due to lac of proper information people don't want to invent their money in Offshore Banking sector.But this blog helpful for those who is ready to invest money but steal waiting for proper information. This blog gives complete knowledge to open Offshore Banking Account.

Offshore Company said...

Sounds great..! Actually we provides offshore service specially offshore banking,with fully secure and private manner at best prices.And i must tell you that we deals with the same countries you mentioned above.

Anonymous said...

You have to also consider in the event of a world war, which country is technologically capable of with-standing violent attacks from outside intruders.

Anonymous said...

Brazil is safe for offshore banking?! I don't think so... If you think it is... please explain. Thanks.

Michael Whitaker said...

Belize is an excellent choice.Most crime and corruption is very localized and does not affect the majority of the country.Their banking privacy laws are very strict.

Viannie Montero said...

I would agree with Michael, Belize is one of the best places for offshore banking. They have some very strict laws and privacy and confidentiality is very important. Plus they are closer to the US, Caribbean and Latin America which makes it easily accessible. Belize has a fixed rate currency 1 USD - 2 BZD. There is no language barrier as English is their main language and spanish is also spoken as a second language. In addition to that I must mention that the government of Belize has placed alot of emphasis on the offshore financial Sector to encourage investment. Thus this makes Belize a great place for offshore banking.

Anonymous said...

Don't be naive...USA will eventually intimidate foreign banks in Belize etc. Your money is not safe unless you have a safe full of gold/silver...
peremptory BS...

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I have nothing to hide, my prime need for this type of banking is the ability to have multiple currency accounts. A necessity as a global citizen getting paid different currencies in different countries. Switzerland bank rates are extortionary and no longer safe anyway. UBS is in one scandal after the next for the last 10 years nearly. I need a safe, secure, and technology savvy account for online banking and multiple currencies with reasonable rates. Maybank sg has seemed a good option.

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