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Should I bank offshore?

An offshore private bank account is important for those with £250,000 of investable assets or more. Emerging wealth above this level means services such as lending, foreign exchange, investment services, mortgages and personalised service will play a critical role in wealth development.

Download this guide to learn more

The expat guide to offshore banking

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Benefits of offshore banking

Features of a private bank

  • Multi-currency accounts
  • Platinum Visa cards (£,€, $)
  • International pensions
  • Fixed term deposits
  • Mortgages and lending
  • Non-contractual savings
  • Investment management
  • Insurance wrappers / offshore bonds (tax deferment vehicles)
  • Trusts

“Integrating banking and investing saves your time - and cuts out the requirement for separate, inflexible and expensive investment accounts”

Stuart Ritchie
Chartered Financial Planner, AES International

“As an expat myself, getting the right offshore banking relationship was perhaps the single most important factor in my own financial structuring”

Sam Instone
CEO, AES International

“Completely stress free with totally professional & friendly people on the phone, the speed, ease & conduct of AES International was a like a breath of fresh air.”

Frank Kearney

    Frequently asked questions

    What is offshore banking?

    Offshore banking simply means you have a bank account located outside your country of residence.

    Why should I bank offshore?

    We always recommend our clients around the world follow the “ABC” rule when it comes to keeping their money safe.

    This means that if you are from country “A” and you live in country “B”, then you should bank in country “C”.

    There are many different reasons for this, including taxation, security and accessibility.

    The right type of offshore bank account can play a critical role in wealth creation because of the facilities which become available. 

    Is offshore private banking right for me?

    If you're an expat looking for a safe, accessible way to build and protect your wealth, then offshore banking could be the right solution for you.

    We believe retail banks such as HSBC Expat, Standard Bank, Lloyds and Citibank are adequate for many expats.

    But once your asset base begins to grow to over £250,000 and you require a higher level of service, relationship based banking, better facilities and more technically proficient services - then an offshore private banking relationship is more appropriate.

    What are the benefits of offshore banking?

    There are many, and the following are just a few examples: -

    Security: in many countries, bank deposits do not have the same protection as you may have been used to at home.

    Cyprus, Argentina and Greece have all provided examples of banking crises.  By using an offshore bank, based in a highly regulated, transparent jurisdiction with statutory protections for investors, you can feel secure in the knowledge that your money is safe.

    Service: offshore bank accounts provide a highly personalised service, giving you around-the-clock access to your money through online and telephone banking, seven days a week, 365 days of the year.

    A relationship manager will always provide a personal point of contact who should take the time to understand you and your needs.

    Convenience: as an expat, being able to keep your bank account in one place, no matter how many times you move countries, is a major benefit.

    You also know, no matter where you are in the world, you will have access to your money.

    Tax: there are a number of tax advantages to using an offshore bank.  These range from keeping your money outside the tax net of your home country, to protecting it from taxes in the country you're currently living in.

    It can also be useful when it comes to estate planning as, depending on your nationality and tax status, assets that sit in your offshore bank account might not be subject to inheritance tax.

    Investing: an offshore bank will provide you with a wide choice of funds and investments that may not available either in your home country or where you are currently living.

    Investing through an offshore bank is straightforward and there is usually advice or tools on hand to help you create an investment portfolio appropriate to your risk profile and the outcomes you want to achieve.

    Investing with an offshore bank account is normally much more flexible and transparent than the alternatives that are conventionally used.

    Foreign exchange services: with multi-currency accounts usually coming as standard, transferring money between accounts is fast and free. And, if you need to transfer money between currencies, offshore banks will normally provide a competitive foreign exchange rate, compared to a regular banking service.

    This is one of the biggest advantages of offshore banking.

    Lending and credit: because this is effectively a private banking service, lending and credit facilities are often much more flexible and tailored to your needs.

    For example, you will often find very competitive mortgage rates are available for property, particularly if you are considering investing in, or mortgaging a property in a mainstream market like the UK.

    You can take advantage of these benefits by opening an offshore bank account.  It is a simple and quick process.

    Some financial advisory firms, like AES International, can open an offshore private bank account for you within 48 hours, provided that all the requirements are met.

    Where is your preferred offshore banking solution based?

    Generally, we favour banks in the UK Crown Dependancies such as the Isle of Man, Guernsey or Jersey because these jurisdictions provide a high standard of investor protection, and are reputable, tax efficient locations.

    What other services can an offshore private bank offer?

    This will depend on the bank you choose, but one of the banks most popular with our clients offers you the ability to allocate up to 16 different currencies, and gives you the following too: -

    Transactional online banking platform

    Debit visa cards in EUR/USD/GBP

    Open architecture investment platform

    Lombard lending, mortgages and structured finance

    What documents do I need to provide you with in order to open an offshore bank account?

    Account application form

    Terms of business

    Certified proof of ID

    Proof of address

    Begin getting better results today

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