Offshore Banking Tips

Having an offshore bank account is appealing - some would even argue vital - for keeping your funds safe, improving asset protection, and gaining far higher interest rates than you would with a US bank. That’s not to say all offshore banks are equal — some are even worse than their domestic counterparts. You need to know exactly what you’re looking for.

What the Best Offshore Banks Offer

The last thing you want is an account that increases risk and lacks privacy protections. As there are a variety of options on the market, this is also completely unnecessary. The best offshore bank accounts provide more transparency, are subject to fewer regulations, and offer greater security.

The main thing to look for in an offshore bank is the ability to survive a serious financial downturn. Part of this is down to the liquidity and solvency of the bank, but you also need to consider the financial security of the country as a whole.

When you bear this criteria in mind, the top countries for offshore banking are:

  • Hong Kong
  • Georgia
  • Panama
  • Lichtenstein
  • United Arab Emirates

How to Open an Offshore Bank Account

The exact process for opening your offshore bank account will depend on the financial institution. In any case, you have two options: you can visit the branch in person or you can open an account remotely.

If you go in person, don’t give up on the bank if you are initially denied. Head to another branch and try again. Just make sure that you research what documents you need before and that you have everything in order when you arrive.

If you decide to open an account remotely, you will have fewer options, as most banks do require an in-person visit. However, this makes it less complicated if you are rejected, as you can find something else online. Note that you will need to mail the bank notarized copies of all your documents.

Yes, the process for opening a bank account abroad is now more difficult (you have the Obama-era Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act to blame for that), but don’t let this put you off. Just remember, once you have your account set up, you can enjoy all the benefits of offshore banking — it’s impossible to receive anything close to such advantages with a domestic account.