Offshore Banking: How it Can Benefit You as an Expat

Laura Harrison, 04 September, 2014

In and amongst all the stresses that come with moving abroad, opening an offshore bank account is likely to be at the bottom of most people's to-do lists. Instead many juggle between bank accounts back in the UK whilst opening up a new bank account in their new country of residence and tend to continually move money between the two, racking up large transfer fees.

Many might be put off offshore investment because of the bad reputation that anything offshore has attracted, however, offshore banking actually has many benefits and can be essential to anyone who is regularly transferring money between international accounts or currencies. So if you are contemplating whether to invest in offshore banking, take a read of some of the benefits it can bring you…

Save Money - An offshore bank account allows you to save in the currency that you are paid in and means you won’t lose out on any exchange rate fluctuations. Furthermore, you won’t have to worry about transfer fees when you move money around from different bank accounts.

Tax saving - Most offshore banks are located in something called  a 'Tax Haven' where you can gain more money in interest as you have to pay less tax. In addition, if you have a UK non-resident status, then it means you can benefit from having to not pay UK income tax on interest from your savings.

No need to change banks - Offshore banking is a service offered by most UK banks, so you won’t have to deal with the hassle of changing what bank you use. So whatever country you move to and however many times you decide to move, you can stay with the same bank.

Expat expertise - Banks that offer offshore banking are used to working with people from many different countries and therefore they often have specialists who have lot of experience when it comes to working with expats and advising them on the best way to manage money when abroad.

Multiple currency accounts- Depending on the bank, you will often have access to accounts in various different currencies. So for example, with this service you can easily set up accounts to cover any payments that you may need to make back in the UK, everyday expenses in your new country of residence and any kind of travelling elsewhere that you may do overseas, without having to lose any money through currency conversions.

Convenience - Banking offshore provides a link between all your banking arrangements, giving you easy international access to your finances and a central home for your money. Offshore banking also makes it easier to manage property payments, rent and any other fees in you new country of residence without having the problems of trying to reach your home bank.

Flexible - With online banking, no matter where you are living in the world, or no matter where your offshore bank account may be located, you can easily access your finances. Furthermore, offshore bank accounts have less government interventions and are therefore able to offer more inventive investment services to their clients.

Safe and Secure - Offshore banks are more often than not located in major financial centres and therefore you can guarantee that your money will be safe and secure.

If you are still unsure about whether offshore banking is for you, then there are alternative financial routes that you can consider. For instance, discretionary investment management could be an option, which is essentially putting your money into the hands of the experts and allowing them to monitor the holdings and make decisions on your behalf. However whatever option that you decide is for you, it is vital to complete in-depth research including looking at all of the legal requirements and tax obligations. And if you can, try and organise your finances before you book your removal company and make the move – while it might seem like an added stress among all the other things that you have to complete before you move, it will relieve a lot of extra stress when you are in your new country of residence.

Tags: interest | Banking | Tax | currency | Offshore | investment | offshore banking | offshore | services | banking | fees | tax |



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