Offshore banking can benefit expats in that no matter where an expat works, their money can be safe in a well-regulated jurisdiction. Equally, expats’ wealth can be kept in a tax efficient environment so that, as a non-resident in their home country, they are not unfairly taxed.
Multi-currency banking is normally available, including for cards. Private banking offshore is surprisingly accessible for expats, with many benefits over and above standard current accounts in your home or work jurisdiction.
Standard Bank’s international bank account enables people who live or work abroad to manage their finances in a central location.
The account is based in the Isle of Man, generally considered a safe and stable offshore jurisdiction regulated by the Isle of Man Financial Services Authority.
The account provides benefits such as payments and transfers in multiple currencies, global online banking and withdrawals, and security in a Moody’s Aa1 jurisdiction.
The Isle of Man also has a Depositors’ Compensation Scheme up to £48,000.
Standard Bank’s core account offering is called the Optimal Account, and has been designed to support everyday transactional banking requirements.
A minimum deposit of £4,000 is required to open an account. Exchange rates are clearly demarked before you accept or decline. They incur a commission of 2.75%.
The account’s Visa card will incur charges on transactions amounting to 1.75% (minimum £2.00 | US$3.00 | €3.00 | AU$3.50 as applicable). A maximum amount of £2,000 (£600 in cash) can be withdrawn within any 24 hour period.
Other charges can be fairly high. For instance, Sterling or non-Sterling electronic transfers overseas costs £40 or £20 online.
In contrast to some competitor accounts, Standard Bank charges £60 per quarter if your balance falls below the £4,000 minimum.
The Platinum Optimum account is exclusively available to Standard Bank Group Private Banking clients, and provides a number of extra features.
Standard Bank provides a number of offshore savings accounts as well.
The Offshore Moneymarket Call Account – an instant access savings account.
The Offshore Reserve Account – an interest bearing account that offers you access to your money 4 times a year.
The Fixed Term Deposit Account – the account offers a guaranteed fixed rate of interest for agreed periods up to one year.
Notice Account – interest bearing accounts that offer you access to your money after 36, 96, 196 and 396 days notice, depending on option selected.
Standard Bank provides a range of other services – offering investment soutions, structured products (beware of these!), lending and UK mortgage solutions.