Factors to Consider When Choosing an Offshore Bank

offshore bank account

A war is going on in Europe and nobody knows when it is going to end. Most countries on the continent are affected by the sanctions to this or that degree. Tens of thousands of people are on strike in Great Britain. The country hasn’t seen such extensive strikes since Margaret Thatcher’s times. The current Prime Minister doesn’t have so much experience in politics and it’s unclear how he is going to solve the conflict. President Biden may well face impeachment soon. Or he may not. In any case, the political situation in the United States is highly unstable at the moment.

If you have been in doubt as far as setting up an offshore bank account is concerned, just take a look at what’s happening in the world. If you take a close look, all your doubts will be gone: you do need a bank account in a foreign country just to be safe. It doesn’t matter where you live as no national state can guarantee everlasting stability. Russia, Great Britain, and the United States of America are long-standing superpowers. Simply look at what’s going on in these superpowers now! An offshore bank account is not a whim or luxury. It is a necessity these days.

Below we will discuss the factors that you have to take into consideration when setting up an offshore bank account. These factors are multiple and the choice of foreign countries where you can open a bank account is wide. Thus, it may not be so easy to decide what country of the world you should choose to bank there. From the discussion that follows, you will see that Swiss banks in particular are advantageous along many lines.

Political and economic stability of the foreign country

When choosing a foreign country to bank, you have to make sure that it’s a stable country both politically and economically. This is a crucial factor indeed. Imagine that you open a bank account in a foreign country and a revolution occurs there. Is the money that you keep in your foreign bank account going to be safe? Who knows! It depends on how greedy the revolutionists are. Have you heard what’s going on in Haiti these days? Bandits have taken control over the country. The President has called upon international peacemakers to interfere and that has caused protests in the capital city. At the same time, there’s peace and quiet in the neighboring Dominican Republic. The only thing is that they have started building a wall on the border with Haiti.

Switzerland is one of the most stable countries in the world and it has been stable – both politically and economically – for centuries. It’s a federal state, each of the cantons has great autonomy and great powers to make its own decisions in many spheres including the banking sphere. So please bear in mind that you will find somewhat dissimilar banking opportunities depending on which Swiss canton you choose for banking.

Banking privacy laws and practices

The times when you could have a numbered, that is, an anonymous bank account are gone. Switzerland was especially popular with wealthy individuals opening ‘secret’ bank accounts there. However, it has become impossible to open such an account due to the international AML and CTF efforts. Even in Switzerland.

At the same time, banking secrecy is still at a very high level in Switzerland. If a bank officer reveals a client’s private information to an unauthorized party, he or she will face severe punishment. They may even go to jail! So, banks are legally prohibited to disclose their clients’ banking information without an official request from an official body. Please mind, however, that Switzerland is part of the CRS group and the information about your Swiss bank account will be disclosed to a government agency if it makes an official request for that.

The quality of banking services available in the foreign country

You have to realize that the quality of banking services that you can find in different banks and different jurisdictions is going to be… different. Swiss banks generally provide services of superb quality. Not just of high quality but superb. Switzerland is famous for adhering to its centuries-long traditions but you must know that its banks are modern advanced financial institutions. All the state-of-the-art banking-related amenities are readily available in Switzerland. This includes online banking opportunities and other conveniences of modern life.

We must note, however, that some large Swiss banks will provide superb services to large clients only. The quality of services that a small client can find there is going to be simply high but probably not superb. As far as small private Swiss banks are concerned, they are beyond comparison in terms of the services that they provide to every single client.

The amount of the initial and the security deposit required in the foreign bank

Overseas bank account opening is an exciting procedure indeed. You will be amazed to find out how different the banking requirements are in different national states. If you want to open a bank account in Serbia or Georgia, for example, you can easily find banks there that require no initial/ security deposits at all. Yes, you can open a bank account in some places putting no money there, not even a cent.

This is not how things are in Switzerland, however, and you should make a note of this fact. How much money should you bring to Switzerland if you want to open a bank account there with ease? One million Swiss francs (the Swiss franc costs a bit less than the Euro and a bit more than the US dollar). You can find a Swiss bank where half a million will suffice. Theoretically, you can open a bank account in Switzerland with five thousand francs only but its functionality is going to be limited then.

Banking in Switzerland is not for everybody but wealthy individuals will certainly find several important advantages there that are hardly available in other foreign countries.

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The World Financial Review.