10 Reasons Why You Need an Offshore Bank Account

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Nick Giambruno, Senior Editor, International Man
Casey Research

You may have wondered: “What’s the difference between having a bank account at Bank of America and having an offshore bank account?”

The truth is, there’s possibly all the difference in the world.

Here are the top 10 reasons why you need an offshore bank account.

Reason #1: Dilute Your Political Risk

Doug Casey has said over and over that the biggest risk you face today is not market or financial risk—as big as those risks are—but rather the risk from your own government.

There’s no doubt this kind of risk is rising in most parts of the West. Governments are hopelessly sinking deeper into insolvency. They’re turning to the same desperate measures they always have throughout history, and it’s a big threat to your savings.

It’s only prudent to expect more bail-ins (as we’ve seen in Cyprus), bank deposit taxes (as we’ve seen in Spain), retirement savings nationalizations (as we’ve seen in Poland, Hungary, Portugal, and Argentina), and capital controls (as we’ve seen in Cyprus and Iceland), among other destructive actions. And these are just a few recent examples.

If you think these kinds of things can’t happen in your country, think again.

According to Judge Andrew Napolitano: “People who have more than $100,000 in the bank are targets for any government that’s looking for money to shore up its own inability to manage its finances.”

A big part of any strategy to reduce your political risk is to place some of your savings outside the immediate reach of the thieving bureaucrats in your home country. Obtaining an offshore bank account is a convenient way to do just that.

That way your savings cannot be easily confiscated, frozen, or devalued at the drop of a hat or with a couple of taps on the keyboard. In the event capital controls are imposed, an offshore bank account will help ensure that you have access to your money when you need it the most.

In short, your savings in an offshore bank will largely be safe from any madness in your home country.

Reason #2: Sounder Banking Systems and Banks

Almost all of the banking systems in Western countries are fundamentally unsound—leveraged to the hilt and backed by the promises of insolvent governments. Worse, most of these banks only keep a tiny fraction of cash on hand to meet customer withdrawal requests. This means that in the event of a financial shock like another Lehman-style event, you could have trouble accessing your money.

If you look to bank in a jurisdiction with low debt and a history of a stability, you can find banks that don’t gamble with customer deposits (i.e., your money), are much better capitalized, keep more cash on hand, and are otherwise much more conservatively run than those in the US.

Offshore banks are almost always more responsible custodians of your hard earned-savings.

Reason #3: Asset Protection

Maybe you think it’s just other people who live on the lawsuit firing line… and you live somewhere else. Think again.

The Legal Resource Network reports that 15 million lawsuits are filed in the US every year.

That works out to a new lawsuit for one out of every 12 adults each year… year after year. Unless you’re exceptionally lucky, sooner or later your turn will come. You’re not going to like it.

It’s no fluke that 80% of the world’s lawyers—over 1.2 million of them—work in the US. That’s where the action is. Your money is the trophy they’re competing for.

While there is no such thing as 100% protection, an offshore bank account can help make you a hard target.

An offshore bank account also protects you from being paralyzed by a lightning seizure by any government agency armed with a summary power to freeze your assets, since such summary powers can’t reach beyond the US. If you ever find yourself in a wrestling match with a government agency or with a frivolous lawsuit, you’ll have resources you can count on.

Reason #4: Currency Diversification

Holding foreign currencies is a great way to diversify the risk in your portfolio, protect your purchasing power, and internationalize some of your savings.

Chances are though, that your domestic bank offers few—if any—options to hold foreign currencies.

Offshore banks, on the other hand, commonly offer convenient online platforms for you to hold foreign currencies.

Reason #5: Higher Interest Rates for Your Deposits

In what amounts to a war on savers, the European Central Bank and the Fed have manipulated interest rates to near historical lows. These artificially low interest rates amount to a wealth transfer from savers—who would otherwise enjoy higher returns on their deposits—to borrowers. In fact, if you live in the West, there’s a good chance that the interest you’re earning on your savings isn’t even keeping pace with the real rate of inflation.

If you look abroad, though, you can find banks that pay interest rates significantly higher than what you’d find at home.

Reason #6: Ensure Access to Medical Care Abroad

In the case you’re denied or delayed treatment in your home country—an increasing possibility with the disastrous Obamacare—you may want to seek medical care abroad.

In a dramatic scenario, this could be the difference between life and death. Suppose that for whatever reason, you cannot get the medical care you need in your home country and have to go abroad. That means you’ll have to transfer money abroad to pay for it. But if capital controls are imposed, it could be difficult or impossible to transfer funds abroad to pay for the medical care you need.

This is where having an offshore bank account—which isn’t held hostage to capital controls in your home country—can help ensure that you always have access to medical care abroad.

Reason #7: The Ability to Act Quickly

When it comes to international diversification, it’s always better to be a year early than a minute too late. Once a government has imposed capital controls or levied bank accounts, it will be too late to take protective action.

If you don’t already have one, you should open an offshore bank account now—even if it’s a small one. Just having one available—regardless of how much money you initially put in it—gives you meaningful benefits. Namely the option to act quickly and transfer more money abroad in the future, should the situation warrant it.

Reason #8: Maintain Limited Privacy

Americans who have an aggregate of $10,000 or more in foreign financial accounts at any time during the year must file an FBAR (FinCEN Form 114). However, if the aggregate total of your foreign financial accounts remains under $10,000 for the year, and they are not held in a trust, LLC, or other structure, you can legally maintain your privacy.

Reason #9: Peace of Mind

An offshore bank account is like an insurance policy. It helps protect you from unsound banks and banking systems and the destructive actions of a bankrupt government. It also makes you a hard target for frivolous lawsuits and allows you to pay for medical care abroad. Knowing that you have taken a strong measure to protect yourself from these things should give you a degree of mental comfort.

Reason #10: Maximize Your Personal Freedom

Having an offshore bank account gives you more options. More options means more freedom.
It’s a crucial step in freeing yourself from absolute dependence on any one country.

Achieve that freedom, and it becomes very difficult for any government to control your destiny.


It’s no secret that it is becoming harder and harder to open an offshore bank account. Soon it could be impossible. This is a strong incentive to act sooner rather than later to get one—even if you don’t plan to use it immediately.

Even if your home government doesn’t slap on capital controls or confiscate deposits, you’re no worse off for having moved your savings to a safer home. In fact, you’re far better off for the reasons described above. Obtaining an offshore bank account is a prudent step that makes sense no matter what.

Despite what you may hear, offshore banking is completely legal and is not about tax evasion or other illegal activities. It’s simply about legally diversifying your political risk by putting your liquid savings in sound, well-capitalized institutions where they’re treated best.

Companion Article: 
How to Find the Best Offshore Banks 

Now that you know the reasons why you need to open an offshore bank account, the next question is “how.” It can be a daunting task… but it needn’t be. There are experts who know the ins and outs, from the best countries to set up your account to what to say and how much money to have ready—and you can get all that information and much more in Going Global 2015. It’s the ultimate primer in going international and will save you not only cash, but a lot of hassle. Check it out and get started today… while it’s still possible.

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10 Comments on "10 Reasons Why You Need an Offshore Bank Account"

  1. Here’s 1 GREAT reason to not put money in any bank, ANYWHERE. Reason # 1 , If it’s not in your pocket then it’s in somebody elses. Why would any sane person keep money in a bank where you don’t have access to if they close for all and any reason , cyber attack , bank failure whatever. You make ZERO intrest and take all the risk as a deposit is a non collateral loan to the bank. The FDIC stickers have been removed off the front doors of ALL banks , you get nothing. Take everything out now and leave enough to pay bills so when the bail in’s come you don’t have to be bailed out. Offshore accounts , think how much harder it will be to get your money from another country when dollar hit’s the fan.

  2. Is the person who wrote this article even aware of FATCA, (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act) ? I don’t see it mentioned one time. Because of this your money is not any safer overseas than it is here in the states.

  3. “Offshore”?
    Well first of all, anything is better than keeping your money in an American bank. But this article keeps repeating the “offshore” mantra without even beginning to address the multitude of options.
    (Many of which are also going to take the plunge at the same time and steal your money.)
    Do NOT trust banks!
    They are all criminals and are part of an organized crime syndicate. (Often referred to by some as a “government”.)
    The only difference is that one syndicate will steal your money and retirement funds a bit quicker than another syndicate will.
    If you keep your hard-earned money at home it makes it much much harder for them to steal it from you.
    (There is a reason that very old people used to keep their money under their mattresses. It was because they remembered the time when everything that people had that was kept at a bank was taken from them).

    • Agreed! Didn’t the numbered accounts in Switzerland have to pay a fine of $1.8 Billion USD because the IRS, and Fatca required the Swiss to snitch on the owners of those accounts?
      I also wished this article mentioned where THEY thought we should put money offshore!

      • StarFirePrincessWarrior | January 25, 2015 at 11:26 am | Reply

        The reason that there is no mention of WHERE to put your money offshore in this article is because the writer of this article is advertising the book that contains all of this “vital information.”
        And, yes I agree with the comments about why not to trust ANY bank.
        Ever since the November, 2014 G-20 summit, where world leaders (including obummer) signed on to “bail-INS”, nobody’s money is safe in ANY financial vehicle (401K, IRA, Money Market funds, Checking accounts, Savings accounts, etc..).

        The government can now legally (and will) take your money to pay off government debts.

  4. Here is my solution: take your savings and buy real estate. Not in areas (like California, which have already devolved into new bubbles) but in places where prices are so low that they can’t go much lower.

    I have recently, with my meager savings, bought 2 properties near Sedona (average list price: 900,00K): one is a 1600 Sq ft 1980 milled log house which backs to an abandoned golf course on land that is deep and fertile, supporting huge trees (up to 7ft diameters) as an oasis in the rocky desert. I am renting it out, at a very low price, to a large family and getting a 12% return.

    The other property is near by, an older mobile home on a very nice lot with huge trees and shade, a big carport and shed and good privacy. The mobile home is in excellent condition, ready to rent. I am buying for 32K cash and will rent it out cheap for under $500 a month, with only $125 a yr in taxes.

    If I can save some more I am thinking of buying a house in Costa Rica for 30-40K, with very low taxes and in a nation without a military where the police (except in San Jose) do not even carry arms.

    I have already lost a ton on medical marijuana stocks (down 2/3 in the last year) and have no desire to invest in the market or in the California bubble economy (which I cannot afford anyway). I may sell my Santa Cruz Mt home which I built myself if the bubble continues in the near future and re-invest in an area which where real estate is still depressed.

    There may be better solutions but that is my attempt to create a retirement income out of my small savings. In 2007-9, I lost 300K in inflated equity the result of 45 years of sweat equity. Buy low, sell high. Money can be wiped out overnight (I learned quickly), but livable land and homes have a lasting value.

    I welcome constructive disagreement.

    • Rattlebone SJO | January 24, 2015 at 9:04 pm | Reply

      Hi Neighbor: Jeff from SJO here! I went to Costa Rica x1, and I like your idea of a home the same price as a new car here! I found it wonderful there! Thailand would also work for me! I agree with much of what you have said, and I am in a similar dissatisfied funk here in SJO. I would not, for me, go into debt, ever…period. I also know Sedona, and again, I would liquify any debt. You should work on your health, travel, relax, plan ahead. If you do not hold it in your hand, it is not yours. Though your income property sounds productive, I might encourage you to agin, liquidate, and pay cash for a place in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. You also said “money can be wiped out overnight”. I would still liquidate, pay cash for your own mobile home, a comfortable place in Costa Rica and wear a proverbial grin on my face, every time I met the legal ladies of Costa Rica!!! Go have fun, its time Sir! I’m an RN, and those guys who postpone their desires have heart attacks and strokes when they are packing for their “Dream Trip” that then NEVER happens! Good Luck: You have enviable choices!
      BTW:You still trust ANY system that wiped out your 300K???

  5. obama care prevents insurances from denying care. So reason #6 is bullshit.

  6. Padraigin Eagle | January 25, 2015 at 11:25 am | Reply

    The game as played, don’t be afraid, it’s just castles burning

    Just a few moments away from cashless, Cabalian cards then do their trick, you want to purchase groceries, sorry sir, it seems we have a problem, the card issuer has blocked your account. Do you perhaps have another unblocked card; I notice that the code on your declined transaction is 666 – “don’t release goods, call security”. Hmmmm

  7. buy property overseas. no need for fbar. no way uncle sam can take as it has no jurisdiction there. nobody needs even to know it.

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