best countries to open offshore bank account

Naturally, there is transparency with many countries to prevent tax evasion. This aside, excepting a gross criminal atrocity, money laundering. In some countries, opening an offshore USD account is much easier than doing it you get the best service and advice when you request a USD bank account. The reality of it, though, is that offshore banks provide a HSBC will open an offshore account for most anyone with a minimum of $10,000.

Best countries to open offshore bank account -

Is having An International Bank Account Still Beneficial?

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What is International banking

Simply put, international banking, also known as offshore banking refers to any banking that takes place across international borders.

It dates back to the Renaissance when lenders loaned funds to foreign kings. However, in the contemporary world, international banking is used by companies and individuals seeking favorable banking conditions in a global marketplace.


From another perspective, international banking is viewed as when a bank headquartered in a country extends credit to residents of another country.

For example, when American banks lend money to Canadians. Besides, international banking also includes any domestic loans made in foreign currencies.

For example, when an American bank gives a loan to American residents in Euros rather than U.S. dollars. It also includes any deposits made to foreign banks. For example, when Americans keep money in a bank in Bahamas or Switzerland.

International banking

What is an International bank account?

This is a bank account opened in another country other than that you are a citizen of. It can either be an individual account or a company account. The account might be different from the ones in your jurisdiction, and they might have more requirements and different terms and conditions from the one in your country.

However, international offshore bank accounts come with some advantages such as flexibility of operation, tax advantages, and a possibility of more interesting investment services and solutions due to less government intervention.


Advantages of an international bank account

There must be some benefits of an international bank account otherwise people and companies would not be going for them. Below are some of these benefits:

If you have an international bank account, you can bank in different currencies or even multi-currencies. This is advantageous to those with financial commitments in more than one nation or currency for example.

An international bank account enables one to avoid the risks that come with unfavorable economic climate such as currency devaluation, high inflation, war or coup in the nation in which they live.

You can save on tax. If the nation you live in requires you only to pay tax on the money you remit into that country, you will get some tax benefits by keeping your money in an international bank account.

International bank accounts come with maximum flexibility for their owners in terms of usage. This means that you can access your money from ATMs, phone or just online at any time, any country you are in. You can also get any amount you require as there are no limitations on withdrawal.

Still on tax, an international account saves you the tax deductions as any interests earned are paid free from the deduction of taxation. With this, you are guaranteed greater returns immediately and no need to apply for a rebate.

International bank account, International company set up, Corporate prepaid debit card slutions.

Greater account privacy is the other advantage of international bank accounts. For example, Switzerland among other jurisdictions put greater emphasis on maintaining their clients’ confidentiality always. You can protect your assets from speculative or unfair litigious behavior, an international bank account can be a great consideration.

International bank accounts charge less while some pay more interests than local bank accounts. However, this has changed with time, but it’s worth looking into and do some careful comparisons when going for a new international bank account.

There is a high potential for an expat to retain their current banking providers even after expatriating because most high street banks are connected to the international banks. You can just swap to an international account.

With fewer government interventions in the international financial centers, international banks can offer more impressive investment services plus solutions to their clients.



Disadvantages of an international bank account

Here are some of the disadvantages that come with having an international bank account that will help you decide whether international bank account is worth having:

Historically, international banking/offshore is arguably more risky than onshore banking. If anything happens, compensation from international banks is almost impossible while for onshore, full compensation is never an issue.

The claim can be easily demonstrated by examining the fallout from Friedlander collapse on the Isle of Man. Here, those who had offshore accounts in the Isle of Man had a rough time to get the compensation guaranteed by the depositor protection scheme.

On the other hand, the onshore in the UK that were affected locally by the nationalization of this bank’s parent company received full compensation.

“International bank accounts” are now synonymously viewed as illegal or immoral money laundering or tax evasion activity. Anyone with an account like that; therefore, risks being seen in such a manner even when their international bank account is legitimate.

Choosing an international bank account jurisdiction takes much more than it would when choosing a local bank account. One may well be aware of how his nation’s banking industry operates and its regulations plus the rules, but these differ massively with other jurisdictions. Also, to note, some international banking havens are less stable than others.

The terms and conditions of an international bank account might be more demanding than that of a local bank account. They might charge higher if one fails to maintain a minimum balance. Their fees and charges for the services and account you wish to use might be different. Always do a thorough check up before the final decision.

When it comes to solving issues that arise with international accounts, it may take more time and money than it would for an onshore account. A simple explanation is that you cannot be there physically nor speak to someone in person.

In a nutshell. International banking is not what it used to be ten years ago. The only significant advantage is its flexibility otherwise it can be overkill for your financial circumstances.

International banking Berlin


Best countries to get an international bank account

The greatest consideration for those looking forward to having international bank accounts is the bank safety. There has been this propaganda that have led most people to believe that their money will vanish if they move it overseas.

This type of propaganda is only nullified by the fact that every developed country has a deposit insurance for their banking clients solely for their money safety.

The next consideration is on interest rates and the stability of the jurisdictions. Some emerging international banking jurisdictions are offering higher interest rates and are thus more likely to attract more clients.

Banks operating under an open door policy are also more preferred. Below are the five best countries to get an international banking account. However, one should always do their research prior to making a decision.

1. Germany. The number one safest bank in the world, KfW (according to Global Finance), is in Germany. Besides, the world’s fifty safest banks are also found in Germany.

Being one of the Europe’s stronger economies, this country takes its banking system seriously. The bank secrecy in Germany cannot even be compared to that in other German-speaking countries such as Switzerland or Austria. It is far better. 2. Singapore.Singapore is home to many of the world’s best international banks. Singapore is home to three of the world’s safest banks (according to Global Finance): (#12) DBS, (#13) OCBC, (#14) UOB. Note: OCBC is the World’s strongest bank.

The highest single thing that has put Singapore on the forefront is the acknowledgment of the fact that capital goes where it’s treated best. By virtue of the above understanding, Singapore is the richest country in the world, thus making it a great country to bank in. However, it is now getting harder to get an international bank account in Singapore, but it is still possible. The truth is, most wealthy Asians are now ignoring Switzerland for Singapore showing that it is a great country to the bank. 3. Netherlands. This country is one of the safest to have an international bank account. The Netherlands bank accounts are protected by bank deposit insurance for up to 100.000 euros; the EU minimum. This gives any client total safety for their money. Besides, this country is home to three top international banks in the world: (#2)Nederlandse Gemeenten, (#6) Nederlandse Waterschapsbank, and (#10) Rabobank. 4. Australia. It is not uncommon that Australia is referred to as the “Switzerland of the South Pacific”. Most wealthy Asians are now moving their money to Singapore and Australia. This is for the simple reason of bank safety in this country. Australia controls four positions, on the 50 safest banks survey. (#16) National Australia Bank, (#17) Commonwealth Bank of Australia, (#18) Westpac, and (#19) ANZ. This has resulted in many people moving their money to the country, and the good news is, opening a bank account in Australia is possible. 5. Canada. You will be surprised to find out that Canada is home to some of the safest banks in the world. These banks include (#11) TD Bank, (#16) RBC, (#21) the Bank of Montreal, among others.

Calgary Canada

Is it easy to get an international bank account

The ease of getting an international bank account is determined by the country that one chooses to open in.

Some countries such as Singapore operate under the “open door policy” and thus they welcome just anyone. However, other banks in countries such as Qatar will be hesitant to open a bank account for Americans or American companies and some other foreigners.

This is because they are always in the fear of them plunking a few bucks in their accounts then disappearing never to return. The following three factors play a significant role in determining how easy it will be for you to get the international bank account:

Your willingness to travel to your country of choice to open the account. The fact is, most reputable banks will want to see you in person for them to open for you the bank account.

The requirement is based on the enhanced regulations in such countries. If you can’t visit in person, you will either be denied the account or your options be more limited.

Your citizenship. For example, US citizens are highly disadvantaged due to FATCA. Even the non-US citizens spending time or living there suffer the same disadvantages.

The amount of money you have. Some banks require you to plunk in high amounts when opening an international bank account. This can be a limitation if you don’t have as much as they require.

Opening an international bank account can be so easy if you do your research well. You can even seek an expert’s help if need be.

Can companies benefit from having an international bank account?

The answer is YES. If your company has financial commitments in more than one country or currency, an international bank account comes in handy as it allows you to bank in different currencies or even multi-currencies.

International banks can offer their clients more interesting investment services plus solutions due to fewer government interventions.

Your company will also get tax benefits if the country you are living in expects you only to pay tax on the money you remit them. You benefit more by keeping your money in an international bank account.

Companies also take advantage of the flexibility offered by international bank accounts. You can withdraw any amount and at any time of the day or night. You also have the option to withdraw online, from ATMs or phones.

Your company will reap more returns as the interest earned from these banks are paid free from taxation deductions. You will have no need to apply for a rebate.

Your company’s account will enjoy greater privacy as the international bank accounts offer the most account privacy.

Can Individuals benefit from having an international bank account?

Again, the answer is YES. You can benefit from having a private bank account manager or relationship manager if you choose a private international bank account or premier account. Such a service is beneficial to anyone desiring a more hands-on approach to their account’s management from their bank.

Your individual account will enjoy greater privacy as the international bank accounts offer the most account privacy.

Your will reap more returns as the interest earned from these banks are paid free from taxation deductions. You will have no need to apply for a rebate.

You also benefit from the flexibility offered by international bank accounts. You can withdraw any amount and at any time of the day or night. You also have the option to withdraw online, from ATMs or phones.

Your will also get tax benefits if the country you are living in expects you only to pay tax on the money you remit there. You benefit more by keeping your money in an international bank account.

International banks can offer their clients more interesting investment services plus solutions due to fewer government interventions.

You may also be interested in:
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What is an International Business Company (IBC)? Can it help you?

We would love to hear what you think. Leave your thoughts in the comment section.
Источник: https://www.worldoffshorebanks.com/is-having-an-international-bank-account-still-beneficial.php
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Please Note

We are currently providing support for Opening Bank Account Opening for Individuals and Companies Corporate bank account and personal bank account in following Countries:

NEED TO KNOW Our Services and Requirements to open bank account

New Bank accounts opening procedure includes:

  • Verifying personal and corporate documentation.
  • Completion of the bank forms which will be forwarded to you for signing with relevant instructions.
  • Sending the full package to the bank for final approval.
  • Monitoring the account opening process until account allocation and banking package is received.

We also provide assistance for International Company Formation

Banks are entitled at their sole discretion to accept or reject applications to open an account, as such we will introduce you to the bank and guide you through the whole account opening process; however we cannot guarantee that your account will be approved by the bank and successfully opened.

That is why our step by step approach is needed!

REQUIREMENTS FOR PERSONAL BANK ACCOUNT OPENING

  • Notarized copy of valid passport.
  • Original or Certified copy of utility bill / bank statement (must not be older than 3 months).
  • Original or certified copy of Banker’s reference letter (must not be older than 3 months).
  • An Application Form
  • Personal CV
  • * There are few countries where only passport and physical presence / Power of Attorney is required.

Please note:

  • Documents that are not in English must be accompanied by a certified translation.
  • Once all documentation is available please email electronic copies to our representative for review, incomplete or unexecuted forms can create delays in the account opening process.
  • * There are few countries where only passport and physical presence / Power of Attorney is required.
  • That is why our step by step approach is needed!

    REQUIREMENTS FOR CORPORATE BANK ACCOUNT OPENING

    For Company:

    Set of legalized company documents consisting of:

    • Certificate of Incorporation
    • Memorandum and Articles of Associations, documents confirming the appointment of company directors and secretary (if any), a document confirming the location of the registered office, Share Certificate(s), Certificate of Good Standing if the company is more than 12 months old.(Not Applicable for New Company)
    • Copy of the Corporate Structure, identifying the ultimate beneficial owner(s)
    • Valid License (if applicable)

    For each director, shareholder, secretary, authorised signatory and ultimate beneficial owner, Please Provide:

    • Notarized copy of valid passport
    • The passport must be signed and signature must match the signature in the application form.
    • The photograph must be clear and of good quality.
    • Original or notarized copy of utility bill / bank statement dated within 3 months as verification of residential address.
    • Original or notarized copy of Banker's reference letter, dated within 3 months
    • Power of Attorney (where applicable)
    • Personal CV

    For each corporate officer (Where the company directors or shareholders are legal entities), Please Provide:

    Set of legalized company documents consisting of:

    • Copy of constitutional documents (Certificate of Incorporation, Articles, etc.).
    • Copy of Corporate Register (which shall include Register of Shareholders, Directors and Secretary).
    • Copy of the Corporate Structure.
    • Certificate of Good Standing

    Please note:

    There are few Countries where only Passport Copy and Translation of Passport in required.

    That is why most of the Clients require a Customised solutions, that is where, WE COME IN!

    We operate across a wide range of business activities however, several types of businesses currently are not approved for Company Formation or Starting Business Activities

    • Licensable Activities: If you conduct any activity without required license or authorization granted by a relevant authority in any jurisdiction, International Goals will not be able to assist you with either company formation or bank account opening related to such unlicensed activity.
    • Licensable activities include, but not limited to: provision of financial services involving trading/brokerage in foreign exchange, financial and commodity-based derivative instruments and other securities. offering investment advice to public; insurance and banking business. operation and administration of collective investment schemes and mutual funds; payment processing services. money exchange, money transmission or money brokering; asset management; safe custody services; gaming, gambling and lotteries.

    Please note:

    Our Company is totally against Money Laundering, Drug Trade and Human Trafficking, hence, We do not support such clients.

    The following categories of businesses are prohibited from using Our Business Services:

    • Any illegal or criminal activities or individuals that black listed under the laws of any country.
    • Trade, distribution or manufacturing of arms, weapons, munitions, mercenary or contract soldiering.
    • Any device that could lead to the abuse of human rights or be utilized for torture.
    • Technical surveillance or bugging equipment or industrial espionage.
    • Dangerous or hazardous biological, chemical or nuclear materials including equipment or machinery used to manufacture, handle or dispose of such materials.
    • Human or animal organs, the abuse of animals or use of animals for any scientific or product testing.
    • Genetic material.
    • Adoption agencies, including surrogate motherhood; the abuse of human rights.
    • Pornography.
    • Drug paraphernalia
    • Pyramid sales.
    • Religious cults and their charities.
    • Business activities, which by the laws and regulations of the country of formation of the Entity are subject to licensing and which are conducted without obtainment of a license.
    • Any other activity, which, in the opinion of Starting Business, may damage the reputation of international goals or that of the country of formation of the Entity.

    Please note:

    To mention a few countries that we provide bank account opening services:

    bank account in South Africa, bank account in Croatia, bank account in San Marino, bank account in Montenegro, bank account in Thailand, bank account in Vanuatu, bank account in Guatemala, bank account in Bulgaria, bank account in Albania, bank account in Georgia, bank account opening Sweden, bank account opening Cuba, bank account opening Liechtenstein, bank account opening Saudi Arabia, bank account opening Taiwan, open bank account Canada, open bank account Switzerland, open bank account Azerbaijan, open bank account Marshall Islands, open bank account Mexico, open bank account Malaysia, open bank account Spain, open bank account Ukraine, open bank account Saint Kitts and Nevis, open bank account Dominican Republic, open bank account Venezuela, corporate bank account Romania, corporate bank account Belize, corporate bank account United States of America - USA, corporate bank account Cayman Islands, corporate bank account Monaco, corporate bank account Argentina, corporate bank account Austria, corporate bank account Malta, corporate bank account Fiji, corporate bank account Italy, corporate bank account Ireland, business bank account Sri Lanka, business bank account Macedonia, business bank account Tajikistanbusiness bank account Czech Republic, business bank account Chile, business bank account Qatar, business bank account Micronesia, business bank account Panama, personal bank account Poland, personal bank account Kuwait, personal bank account BVI, personal bank account Turkey and

    Our working is very different, we take a step by step approach because we know that everybody has a different requirement and expectations.

    Our Offices:

    bank account opening 120 High Road, East Finchley, N2 9ED London, United Kingdom

    open bank account Ul. Chmielna 73B /14, 00-801 Warsaw, Poland.

    bank account opening servicesMoscow House, 7 Argisthi Street, 0015 Yerevan, Armenia.

    Источник: https://internationalgoals.com/bank_account_opening.html

    Offshore bank

    An offshore bank is a bank regulated under international banking license (often called offshore license), which usually prohibits the bank from establishing any business activities in the jurisdiction of establishment. Due to less regulation and transparency, accounts with offshore banks were often used to hide undeclared income. Since the 1980s, jurisdictions that provide financial services to nonresidents on a big scale, can be referred to as offshore financial centres. OFCs often also levy little or no corporation tax and/or personal income and high direct taxes such as duty, making the cost of living high.

    With worldwide increasing measures on CFT (combatting the financing of terrorism) and AML (anti-money laundering) compliance, the offshore banking sector in most jurisdictions was subject to changing regulations. Since 2000 the Financial Action Task Force issues the so-called FATF blacklist of "Non-Cooperative Countries or Territories" (NCCTs), which it perceived to be non-cooperative in the global fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.

    An account held in a foreign offshore bank, is often described as an offshore account. Typically, an individual or company will maintain an offshore account for the financial and legal advantages it provides, including but not limited to:

    While the term originates from the Channel Islands being "offshore" from the United Kingdom, and while most offshore banks are located in island nations to this day, the term is used figuratively to refer to any bank used for these advantages, regardless of location. Thus, some banks in landlocked Andorra, Luxembourg, and Switzerland may be described as "offshore banks".

    Offshore banking has previously been associated with the underground economy[1] and organized crime,[2]tax evasion[3] and money laundering;[4] however, legally, offshore banking does not prevent assets from being subject to personal income tax on interest. Except for certain people who meet fairly complex requirements (such as perpetual travelers), the personal income tax laws of many countries (e.g., France, and the United States)[5] make no distinction between interest earned in local banks and that earned abroad. Persons subject to US income tax, for example, are required to declare, on penalty of perjury, any foreign bank accounts—which may or may not be numbered bank accounts—they may have. Offshore banks are now required to report income to many other tax authorities, although Switzerland and certain other jurisdictions retain bank secrecy regimes that can be more difficult to deal with. This does not make the non-declaration of the income by the taxpayer or the evasion of the tax on that income legal and many OFCs have recently been important colleagues to onshore tax authorities and law enforcement against wrongdoers. Following the 9/11 attacks, there have been many calls to increase regulation on international finance, in particular concerning offshore banks, OFCs, crypto currency and clearing houses such as Clearstream, based in Luxembourg, which are possible crossroads[citation needed] for major illegal money flows. Most criminality involving the banking system has happened because of the regulations and controls being circumvented.

    Offshore banking comparison by jurisdictions[edit]

    The most popular offshore financial centres are in jurisdictions with a history of political and economic stability. In terms of offshore banking centres and in terms of total deposits, the global market is dominated by the USA, Switzerland and the Cayman Islands. A letter by the District Attorney of New York, Robert M. Morgenthau, published by The New York Times, states that the Cayman Islands has US$1.9 trillion on deposit in 281 banks, including 40 of the world's top 50 banks,[6] although official statistics published by the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority suggest the amounts held on deposit are actually around US$1.5 trillion.[7] Numerous other offshore jurisdictions also provide offshore banking to a greater or lesser degree. In particular, Jersey, Guernsey, and the Isle of Man are also known for their well regulated banking infrastructure.[8] Some offshore jurisdictions have steered their financial sectors away from offshore banking, thinking it was difficult to properly regulate and liable to give rise to financial scandal.[9]

    Weakened bank secrecy[edit]

    Since starting to survey offshore jurisdictions on April 2, 2009, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) at the forefront of a crackdown on tax evasion, will not object to governments using stolen bank data to track down tax evasion using offshore centers, such as in the 2008 Liechtenstein tax affair. The recent sharing of confidential UBS bank details about 285 clients suspected of willful tax evasion by the United States Internal Revenue Service was ruled a violation of both Swiss law and the country's constitution by a Swiss federal administrative court. Nevertheless, OECD has removed 18 countries, including Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Luxembourg, from a so-called "grey list" of countries that did not offer sufficient tax transparency, and has re-categorized them as "white list" countries. Countries that do not comply may face sanctions.

    A notable exception is Panama, whose canal provides it with a unique type of immunity to international pressure.[citation needed] Given the enlargement of the canal to accommodate larger shipping, it is unlikely that Panama would succumb in the foreseeable future to international pressure toward transparency.[citation needed]

    List of offshore financial centres[edit]

    Main article: List of offshore financial centres

    Scope of offshore banking[edit]

    Offshore banking constitutes a sizable portion of the international financial system. Some experts believe that as much as half the world's capital flows through offshore centers. OFCs are said to have 1.2% of the world's population and hold 26% of the world's wealth, including 31% of the net profits of United Statesmultinationals. A group of activists state that £13-20 trillion is held in offshore accounts yet the real figure could be much higher when taking into account Chinese, Russian and US deployment of capital internationally .[10] These often regurgitated figures have not stood up to scrutiny however,[11] and nor has the black hole theory that capital is hoarded away from the financial and tax systems in OFCs. Much like a criminal using a wallet identified and seized as proceeds of crime, it would be counterintuitive for anyone to hold assets unused. Moreover, much of the capital flowing through vehicles in the OFCs is aggregated investment capital from pension funds, institutional and private investors which has to be deployed in industry around the World.

    Trillions in deposits and securities are held in offshore banks, mostly by international business companies (IBCs) and trusts. Among offshore banks, Swiss banks hold an estimated 35% of the world's private and institutional funds (or 3 trillion Swiss francs), and the Cayman Islands (over 2 trillion US dollars in deposits) are the fifth largest banking centre globally in terms of deposits. However, data by the Swiss National Bank show that the assets held by foreign persons in Swiss bank accounts declined by 28.1% between January 2008 and November 2009.[12]

    Banking advantages[edit]

    • Offshore banks provide access to politically and economically stable jurisdictions. This will be an advantage for residents of areas where there is a risk of political turmoil, who fear their assets may be frozen, seized or disappear (see the corralito for example, during the 2001 Argentine economic crisis). However, it is also the case that onshore banks offer the same advantages in terms of stability.
    • Some offshore banks may operate with a lower cost base and can provide higher interest rates than the legal rate in the home country due to the narrow range of services provided and technological advancements along similar lines to challenger banks such as Revolut and Starling. Advocates of offshore banking often characterize government regulation as a form of tax on domestic banks, reducing interest rates on deposits. However, this is scarcely true now; most offshore countries offer very similar interest rates to those that are offered onshore and the offshore banks now have considerable compliance requirements making certain categories of customers (those from the USA or from higher risk profile countries) unattractive for different reasons.
    • Offshore finance is one of the few industries, along with tourism, in which geographically remote island countries can competitively engage. It can help developing countries source investment and create growth in their economies, and can help redistribute world finance to and from the developed and developing worlds. Equally, well-resourced and developed OFC countries such as New Zealand and Singapore offer a safe and reasonably-well administered background for these similar financial services.
    • Interest is generally paid by offshore banks without tax being deducted. This is an advantage to individuals who do not pay tax on worldwide income, or who do not pay tax until the tax return is agreed, or who feel that they can illegally evade tax by hiding the interest incomes. FATCA and CRS and other reporting mechanisms make the latter more difficult other than for the most blatant criminals.
    • Some offshore banks offer banking services that may not be available from domestic banks such as anonymous bank accounts, higher or lower rate loans based on risk and investment opportunities not available elsewhere. The number of jurisdictions offering anonymous accounts (or bearer shares) has fallen considerably in the last 20 years.
    • Offshore banking is often linked to other corporate structures, such as offshore companies, trusts or foundations, which may have specific uses and may still have tax advantages and bank security solutions incorporated in particular jurisdictions.

    Banking disadvantages[edit]

    • Offshore bank accounts are sometimes less financially secure than domestic ones.[citation needed] For example, in the banking crisis which swept the world in 2008, some savers lost funds that were not insured by the country in which they were deposited. Those who had deposited with the same banks onshore[where?] received all of their money back.[citation needed] In 2009, The Isle of Man authorities were keen to point out that 90% of the claimants were paid,[13] although this only referred to the number of people who had received money from their depositor compensation scheme and not the amount of money refunded. In reality, only 40% of depositor funds had been repaid: 24.8% in September 2009 and 15.2% in December 2009.[14] In reality. Switzerland, Luxembourg and other offshore jurisdictions now often have some form of compensation scheme.

    Both offshore and onshore banking centres often have depositor compensation schemes. For example: The Isle of Man compensation scheme[15] guarantees £50,000 of net deposits per individual depositor, or £20,000 for most other categories of depositor. Potential depositors should be aware that any deposits over the guaranteed amount are at risk. However, only offshore centres such as the Isle of Man have refused to compensate depositors 100% of their funds following bank collapses. Onshore depositors have been refunded in full, regardless of what the compensation limit of that country has stated.[16] Thus, banking offshore is historically riskier than banking onshore.

    • Offshore banking has been associated in the past with the underground economy and organized crime, thanks to movies such as the Firm through money laundering.[17] Following September 11, 2001, offshore banks, onshore banks along with clearing houses, have been accused of helping various organized crime gangs, terrorist groups, and other state or non-state actors. However, offshore banking is a legitimate financial service used by many expatriate and international workers.[18]
    • Offshore jurisdictions can be remote, and therefore costly to visit, so physical access can be difficult.[citation needed] This problem has been alleviated to a considerable extent with the advent and realization of online banking as a practical system.[citation needed]
    • Offshore private banking is usually more accessible to those with higher incomes, because of the costs of establishing and maintaining offshore accounts. However, simple savings accounts can be opened by anyone and maintained with scale fees equivalent to their onshore counterparts. The tax burden in developed countries thus falls disproportionately on middle-income groups.[citation needed] Historically, tax cuts have tended to result in a higher proportion of the tax take being paid by high-income groups, as previously sheltered income is brought back into the mainstream economy.[19] The Laffer curve demonstrates this tendency.
    • The US Bank Secrecy Act requires U.S. Taxpayers to file a Department of the Treasury Form 90–22.1 Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR: Each person or entity (including a bank) subject to the jurisdiction of the United States having an interest in, signature, or other authority over one or more bank, securities, or other financial accounts in a foreign country must file an FBAR if the aggregate value of such accounts at any point in a calendar year exceeds $10,000. (31 CFR 103.24). A recent[when?] District Court case in the 10th Circuit may have significantly expanded the definition of "interest in" and "other Authority".[citation needed]
    • Offshore bank accounts are sometimes touted as the solution to every legal, financial, and asset protection strategy, but the benefits are often exaggerated as in the more prominent jurisdictions, the level of Know Your Customer evidence required underplayed.[citation needed]

    European crackdown[edit]

    Ambox current red.svg

    This section's factual accuracy may be compromised due to out-of-date information. Please help update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information.(February 2013)

    In their efforts to stamp down on cross border interest payments EU governments agreed to the introduction of the Savings Tax Directive in the form of the European Union withholding tax in July 2005. A complex measure, it forced EU resident savers depositing money in any country other than the one they are resident in to choose between forfeiting tax at the point of payment, or allowing notification by the offshore banks to tax authorities in their country of residence. This tax affects any cross border interest payment to an individual resident in the EU.

    Furthermore, the rate of tax deducted at source has risen, making disclosure increasingly attractive. Savers' choice of action is complex; tax authorities are not prevented from enquiring into accounts previously held by savers which were not then disclosed.

    In 2013, the European Union's Economic and Financial Affairs Council passed new European Union (EU) directives that bankers in EU member states will share their clients' identities and transaction records automatically. This action was also encouraged by other important countries such as Australia and the US. This has been reported by most offshore service providers offering services outside of the European Union.

    On 27 May 2015, Switzerland signed an agreement with the EU that will align Swiss bank practices with those of EU countries, and in effect will end the special secrecy that EU-resident clients of Swiss banks had enjoyed in the past. Under the agreement, both Switzerland and EU countries will automatically exchange information on the financial accounts of each other's residents from 2018.[20]

    Banking services[edit]

    It is possible to obtain the full spectrum of financial services from offshore banks, including:

    Not every bank provides each service. Banks tend to polarise between retail services and private banking services. Retail services tend to be low-cost and undifferentiated, whereas private banking services tend to bring a personalised suite of services to the client.

    Scale of potential tax revenue[edit]

    Activists has stated that even just the lower estimate of £13 trillion on deposit in offshore accounts, if these assets earned an average 3% a year in income for their owners taxable at 30%, then the offshore funds would generate £121 billion in tax revenues,[10] on the unrealistic assumption that no tax is paid (i.e. no one pays any tax on offshore holdings), and the equally curious narrative that 100% of those deposits would otherwise have been liable to tax.[further explanation needed] Projections are often predicated upon levying tax on the capital sums held in offshore accounts, whereas most national systems of taxation tax income and/or capital gains rather than accrued wealth.[21] Much of the capital held in offshore banks is taxed already at source and where the capital represents profits, is reportable by the beneficial owner and will be taxed according to that owner’s tax residence. Capital is always deployed in investments which also then generates further tax revenue on those activities that have been invested in onshore.

    Ownership[edit]

    According to Merrill Lynch and Capgemini's “World Wealth Report” for 2000, one third of the wealth of the world's “high-net-worth individuals” — nearly $6 trillion out of $17.5 trillion — may now be held offshore. A large portion, £6.3tn, of offshore assets, is owned by only a tiny sliver, 0.001% (around 92,000 super wealthy individuals) of the world's population. In simple terms, this reflects the inconvenience associated with establishing these accounts, not that these accounts are only for the wealthy. Most all individuals can take advantage of these accounts.

    Money laundering[edit]

    The IMF has said that between $600 billion and $1.5 trillion of illicit money is laundered annually, equal to 2% to 5% of global economic output. Today, most of the world's drug money is allegedly laundered through offshore and lesser regulated jurisdictions such as Paraguay and the UAE and even the USA,[citation needed] estimated at up to $500 billion a year, more than the total income of the world's poorest 20%. Add the proceeds of tax evasion and the figure increases significantly. Another few hundred billion may come from fraud and corruption. "These offshore centers awash in money are the hub of a colossal, underground network of crime, fraud, and corruption" commented Lucy Komisar quoting these statistics.[1] In cases such as the 1MDB scandal the HSBC scandal and a host of Ponzi schemes including Bernard L Madoff Investment Securities, it has been demonstrated that a mixture of onshore and offshore individuals conspiring together to either turn a blind eye or actively collaborate in order for large scale fraud and money laundering to succeed. Some have been jailed and fined, some banks have closed yet other key actors remain relatively unscathed. Large fraud cases invariably involved the major global retail banks and real estate in the major onshore or mid shore financial centres in order for the criminals to launder the proceeds of crime into safer jurisdictions and the global financial system as a whole.

    The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Los Angeles Times revealed that the United States government, specifically the US Treasury Department and the CIA, had a program to access the SWIFT transaction database after the September 11 attacks (see the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program) further diminishing the value of offshore banking for keeping Illicit activity secret.

    Regulation of international banks[edit]

    In the 21st century, regulation of offshore banking has increased exponentially but not evenly, although critics usually focus on the wrong areas. The quality of the regulation is monitored by supra-national bodies such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Banks are generally required to maintain capital adequacy in accordance with international standards. They must report at least quarterly to the regulator on the current state of the business.

    Since the late 1990s, especially following September 11, 2001, there have been a number of initiatives to increase the transparency of offshore banking, although critics such as the Association for the Taxation of Financial Transactions for the Aid of Citizens (ATTAC) non-governmental organization (NGO) maintain that they have been insufficient. A few examples of these are:

    • The tightening of anti-money laundering regulations in many countries including most popular offshore banking locations means that bankers and other service providers are required by law to report suspicion of money laundering to the local police authority, regardless of banking secrecy rules. There is more international co-operation between police authorities.
    • In the US the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) introduced Qualifying Intermediary requirements, which mean that the names of the recipients of US-source investment income are passed to the IRS.
    • Following 9/11 the US introduced the USA PATRIOT Act, which authorizes the US authorities to seize the assets of a bank, where it is believed that the bank holds assets for a suspected criminal. Similar measures have been introduced in some other countries.
    • The European Union has introduced sharing of information between certain jurisdictions, and enforced this in respect of certain controlled centers, such as the UK Offshore Islands, so that tax information is able to be shared in respect of interest.
    • The Bank Secrecy Act requires that Taxpayers file an FBAR for accounts outside of the United States that have balances in excess of $10,000
    • FATCA (the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act) became law in 2010 and "targets tax non-compliance by US taxpayers with foreign accounts [and] focuses on reporting by US taxpayers about certain foreign financial accounts and offshore assets [and] foreign financial institutions about financial accounts held by U.S. taxpayers or foreign entities in which U.S. taxpayers hold a substantial ownership interest."[22]

    Joseph Stiglitz, 2001 Nobellaureate for economics and former World Bank Chief Economist, told to reporter Lucy Komisar, investigating on the Clearstream scandal:

    "You ask why, if there's an important role for a regulated banking system, do you allow a non-regulated banking system to continue? It's in the interest of some of the moneyed interests to allow this to occur. It's not an accident; it could have been shut down at any time. If you said the US, the UK, the major G7 banks will not deal with offshore bank centers that don't comply with G7 banks regulations, these banks could not exist. They only exist because they engage in transactions with standard banks."[1]

    This viewpoint did not age well in the wake of scandals at Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, Barclays, HSBC, and others.

    It is possible to own your own personal offshore bank which are in a different regulatory class to those that may offer services to the public, so they are really only used by medium to large multinational corporations or large family offices.

    See also[edit]

    References[edit]

    1. ^"Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-09-01. Retrieved 2017-09-06.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
    2. ^Natarajan, Mangai (2010-11-15). International Crime and Justice. Cambridge University Press. ISBN .
    3. ^"Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-05-15. Retrieved 2017-08-10.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
    4. ^Unger, Brigitte (2014-01-01). "Money Laundering". In Bruinsma, Gerben; Weisburd, David (eds.). Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice. Springer New York. pp. 3137–3144. doi:10.1007/978-1-4614-5690-2_439. ISBN .
    5. ^In other countries no difference as long as you are resident and domiciled there (for example, the United Kingdom)[citation needed]
    6. ^"Havens for Tax Evasion". The New York Times. 2008-03-11. Archived from the original on 2013-12-05. Retrieved 2012-02-20.
    7. ^"Banking Statistics (Cayman)". Cayman Islands Monetary Authority. Archived from the original on 20 October 2014. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
    8. ^Trust Law in Wealth Management and Estate Planning, p.429
    9. ^For example, despite being the largest offshore jurisdiction by some distance in terms of number of incorporated offshore vehicles, the British Virgin Islands has only ever licensed seven banks and they focus on local business. This compares against hundreds in Switzerland, the Cayman Islands, and (third in number of total banking licences) the Bahamas.
    10. ^ abThe Guardian (UK), 21 July 2012, "£13tn: Hoard Hidden from Taxman by Global Elite," http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/jul/21/global-elite-tax-offshore-economyArchived 2012-07-23 at the Wayback Machine
    11. ^https://www.ifcreview.com/articles/2020/february/the-cayman-islands-and-offshore-finance-where-are-we-headed/
    12. ^"Are Private Foreign Assets Fleeing From Switzerland?". MyPrivateBanking.com. Archived from the original on 2012-03-28. Retrieved 2012-02-20.
    13. ^"Isle of Man Depositors' Compensation Scheme". Dcs.im. Archived from the original on 2015-10-04. Retrieved 2012-02-20.
    14. ^"Kaupthing Singer & Friedlander (Isle of Man) Limited (In Liquidation)". Kaupthingsingers.co.im. Archived from the original on 2012-03-06. Retrieved 2012-02-20.
    15. ^"FSC - Depositors' Compensation Scheme - Financial Supervision Commission". Gov.im. Archived from the original on 2012-03-16. Retrieved 2012-02-20.
    16. ^"Business | Icelandic bank savers bailed out". BBC News. 2008-10-08. Archived from the original on 2013-12-30. Retrieved 2012-02-20.
    17. ^Joseph Stiglitz (2008-10-22). "A crisis of confidence - Letting financial markets run wild was risky business indeed. Transparency, oversight and fair competition are becoming more commonplace now albeit until onshore jurisdictions also have verified beneficial ownership regimes, which appear to be under review in the USA and UK in 2021, criminals will not find it difficult to exploit the international financial systems". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 2013-09-03. Retrieved 2008-11-24.
    18. ^"Important things You Must Learn about Offshore Banking". World News. 2017-05-27. Archived from the original on 2017-09-06. Retrieved 2017-09-06.
    19. ^[1]Archived January 12, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
    20. ^"Fighting tax evasion: EU and Switzerland sign historic tax transparency agreement". Archived from the original on 7 September 2015.
    21. ^"Tax Wealth Not Work". Archived from the original on 7 July 2016. Retrieved 8 July 2016.
    22. ^"Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act". www.irs.gov. Archived from the original on 2017-06-12. Retrieved 2016-02-23.

    External links[edit]

    Источник: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Offshore_bank

    Offshore Bank Accounts

    In the UK, the first £85,000 of savings per person is protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. Some banking brands share the same banking licence which means your deposit protection is across all brands sharing the licence. The deposits of most businesses are covered up to the £85,000 limit, but businesses should check with their bank before they apply as there are exclusions.

    This bank/building society shares its compensation limit with no other bank or building society.

    In Jersey and the Isle of Man, the first £50,000 per person, per bank/building society, is protected. Deposits held by charities are also covered in Jersey but deposits of companies or partnerships are not covered. Deposits held by companies, partnerships and charities are covered in the Isle of Man up to a maximum of £20,000 per bank/building society.

    In the UK and Jersey, if you have also borrowed from the failed bank/building society, the compensation will not be reduced to repay your debt, separate arrangements will be made for this. Under the Isle of Man scheme, your savings may be used to repay your debt, before any remaining balance is compensated.

    Источник: https://moneyfacts.co.uk/current-accounts/offshore-bank-accounts/

    Nevis: how the world’s most secretive offshore haven refuses to clean up

    Tax havens hate attention. Places such as Jersey, Switzerland and the British Virgin Islands made a handsome living from helping their clients break other countries’ laws for decades, without anyone really noticing. And they liked it that way. Then came the 2007-8 financial crisis, and the good times ended. Rich nations, angry over the loss to their budgets caused by tax dodging, put diplomatic pressure on the havens. Activists, furious over the theft of hundreds of billions of pounds from poor countries, exposed them in the press. The release of vast troves of confidential information – SwissLeaks, the HSBC files, the Panama Papers, the Paradise Papers – cemented a public perception that offshore financial centres exist to help the powerful dodge their obligations to the rest of us, and governments have queued up to punish them. In May, when Britain’s parliament voted to force transparency on its Caribbean islands, it was just the latest blow to the offshore havens.

    This concerted campaign has threatened the tax haven business model. Since Swiss banks were forced to open up by the US Department of Justice in 2010, their share of the world’s offshore wealth has dropped from almost half to less than a third. In the British Virgin Islands (BVI), where UK investigators now have access to corporate ownership information, the number of new companies created annually has fallen by more than 50% since 2012. Jersey’s banking sector is barely half the size that it was in 2007.

    Although cooperating with outsiders in this way has proven expensive, the havens clearly concluded there was little choice. If denied access to the global financial system, or sanctioned by Brussels or Washington, an offshore centre could be put out of business altogether.

    This is good. Tax havens have helped the world’s wealthiest and most powerful keep a disproportionate share of the benefits of globalisation, by preventing the rest of us from seeing how much they own. This, in turn, has eroded trust in democracy and capitalism all over the world. Restricting the operations of tax havens, and enforcing true transparency on the ownership of property, is crucial if citizens are truly to take back control of their countries’ destinies.

    Yet, at the heart of this increasingly encouraging picture, there remain a few holdouts – places that have stuck to the old habit of keeping the secrets of the powerful. Foremost among them is Nevis, a solitary volcano in the Caribbean with a population of just 11,000, which has been implicated in some of the most sordid financial scams of modern times, from Britain’s biggest-ever tax fraud to the fleecing of 620,000 vulnerable Americans in a $220m payday loan scam. The story of Nevis reveals the difficulties the world faces in trying to put an end to tax evasion, fraud and kleptocracy.

    While Nevis’s rivals have lost business by opening up, Nevis has doubled down on secrecy. Not long ago, I spoke to a lawyer with extensive experience of the island, who asked not to be identified because he still needs to work with Nevisian officials. “The only good thing that Donald Trump could do, if he was ever so inclined,” he said, “is take a battleship and roll it up to Nevis, and literally train the guns and say: ‘Get rid of these bullshit laws or I’ll blow you to kingdom come.’”

    In short, he said, “A bright light needs to be shone on this cockroach.”


    Tax havens are often lumped together as if they all do the same job. In reality, they are distinctive and highly specialised predators in the financial shark tank. At the top of the food chain – as far as the western world goes, anyway – are places such as London, Switzerland and New York. These apex predators are surrounded by clouds of pilot fish that snap up the scraps: places such as Monaco, Jersey and the Cayman Islands.

    These smaller centres all play different aspects of the offshore game: Jersey specialises in trusts, the BVI in incorporation, Liechtenstein in foundations. They also differ in their tolerance for criminality. Among the British territories: Gibraltar is dodgier than Guernsey, but cleaner than Anguilla. And they serve different geographical regions: Mauritius for Africa and India; Cyprus for the former Soviet Union; the Bahamas for the US.

    In the world of offshore, Nevis is a bottom-feeder. It specialises inletting its clients create corporations with greater anonymity than almost anywhere else on earth. Last year, information on 70,000 Nevisian companies was leaked as part of the Paradise Papers investigation, but that didn’t help us find out who owns them: ownership information is so secret there that even the island’s own corporate registry doesn’t know. In other words, there was nothing substantial to leak.

    “We feel very strongly that people are entitled to some semblance of financial privacy,” the Nevis premier, Mark Brantley, himself an offshore lawyer, told me when we met in his office in January. “Why shouldn’t you be entitled to a secret?”

    The secrets don’t belong to residents of Nevis, of course: it would be hard to keep anything quiet for long on an island this size. The secrets belong to foreigners and are being kept from other foreigners, with Nevis getting paid to protect them.

    We can see that these secrets exist thanks to the UK’s Land Registry, which releases spreadsheets listing all offshore-owned property in the country, along with the registered address of the company that owns it. Some of the secrets are mundane and could be entirely innocent. For instance, who is behind Shi Li Gao Trustees Ltd, the Nevis-incorporated company that owns 13 Brunswick Gardens, a handsome terrace a short walk from Kensington Palace? Some of them are intriguing: for what reason would a Catholic primary school in Liverpool be held via this little Caribbean volcano? And some are decidedly weird: who on earth decided to structure their ownership of a room in a hotel on Llandudno’s North Parade through Caribbean Establishment LLC?

    But all of these questions are impossible to answer since the secrets are sealed away in Nevis. If these properties were owned via a British company, the true owner of that company would have to be declared to Companies House, and would be visible to anyone with access to the internet. If they were owned via a BVI company, that information would be available to the British police. But a Nevisian company is a closed book, and some people really like it that way.

    While the BVI has seen the number of companies created there each year collapse, the number created in Nevis has stayed stable. Since 2012, the island’s financial services sector has grown by more than a quarter, as people with secrets have moved to a place that still keeps them. That is a pretty good argument for Brantley’s government not to follow the BVI in opening up its corporate registries to foreigners. Secrecy pays.

    “The numbers are relatively small, compared to other financial services industries around, but bear in mind the size of Nevis,” Brantley said. “We get direct revenues of $5m-$5.5m, simply from renewal fees.” Renewal fees are what you pay to maintain your company’s registration; the more companies there are, the more fees you get. “When that is extrapolated outwards – in terms of rental of office space, employment – we recognise that it does have a multiplier effect on the economy.”

    It is this provision of secrecy that makes Nevis such an obstacle to law-enforcement investigators. If police can’t prove who owns something, they can’t prove it was criminally acquired, say, or that tax was avoided on the profits from it. This is what crooks are looking for when they send their business offshore. Around 300 British properties are owned in Nevis, and Brantley was unrepentant in defending the secrecy his island provides to those properties’ owners.

    “Why should a bureaucrat in London, or wherever, curious about his neighbour’s financial situation, pick up the phone and say, ‘You know what, I need to know if Mr John Smith, who’s my neighbour down the road, has an account or a company in Nevis.’ Why’s that his business?” Brantley asked. “Why are Mr John Smith’s financial affairs any business of a bureaucrat in London, unless there’s an allegation against Mr John Smith that he’s somehow contravening some law somewhere?”

    It is an interesting philosophical question, but it is also a major problem. Countries recognise and respect each other’s laws and sovereignty, so Nevis corporations have as much international validity as anyone’s. So, as long as Nevis persists in denying foreigners access to the ownership information of its companies – no matter how hard other places work to open up – scoundrels can keep routing their business via Nevis, breaking the chain of traceable ownership, and hiding themselves and their crimes from discovery. That means crooked politicians, tax dodgers and fraudsters in Ukraine, Nigeria, Malaysia, the US or anywhere else get to mismanage their country’s finances for their own benefit.

    And, thanks to Nevis’s curious constitutional situation – it is neither an independent country nor can it be controlled by any other country – there doesn’t appear to be anything we can do about it.


    From the sea, Nevis (pronounced “knee-vis”) resembles a green nipple. It is elegantly symmetrical, a tropical volcano ringed with golden beaches. By surface area, it is roughly the same size as Bristol, yet its peak is taller than any mountain in England, so the whole island slopes upwards, starting gently where the beach bars shelter among the palm trees, then steadily steepening, while the tree cover gets denser. If you hike up the peak, you are in true rainforest, and will find yourself scrutinised by monkeys in the overhanging greenery.

    It is a gorgeous place, much frequented by famous people. Earlier this week, John Cleese told Newsnight he was so fed up with how Britain is run that he is moving to Nevis for good. “It’s one of the nicest islands I’ve ever been to,” he said. “The children and adults are extraordinarily well-educated, the weather’s good the whole time, I’m very lucky.”

    The island was once a major centre for Britain’s sugar growers and slave traders, but it slipped into obscurity in the 18th century, when it was out-competed by larger and more fertile rivals. In the 19th century, Britain added it to neighbouring St Kitts for administrative purposes, and it was as the junior half of the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis that it became independent in 1983.

    The 80s were a bonanza period for Caribbean islands, as the global economy opened up and law enforcement was caught flat-footed. Tax evaders and drug dealers from North and South America flew planeloads of dollar bills into places such as Cayman and Anguilla, stashed them in bank accounts owned by untraceable shell companies, then invested them in property in Florida, the south of France or New York.

    In 1984, Bill Barnard, an American lawyer who had taken to vacationing on Nevis, asked the island’s premier if he would be interested in getting into the offshore game. Thanks to the almost complete autonomy Nevis enjoys under the federal constitution of St Kitts and Nevis, its first premier, Simeon Daniel, was free to do what he liked. He approved Barnard’s suggestion, passed the incorporation and secrecy laws the American lawyer drafted and awarded Barnard’s company, Morning Star Holdings, the right to act as exclusive agent for creating the companies. It was a win for both of them. (Neither Morning Star Holdings nor Barnard wished to comment for this piece.)

    At first, Nevis struggled to compete with already-established rivals, partly because it had no particular advantage of its own. Barnard and his team of American lawyers had borrowed their legislation from Delaware, which acts as a sort of tax haven within the US by offering laxer regulations and lower taxes than the other states, so there wasn’t much reason to look to a remote island for products you could already buy elsewhere. “It was certainly successful,” says David Neufeld, a New Jersey lawyer and an expert on company structuring and international tax. “But it was never at the level of BVI or Cayman.”

    When Barnard’s monopoly expired in 1994, Nevis took the opportunity to reboot. Neufeld already worked with Barnard, and was asked to help Nevis diversify its offering. Tax havens are always borrowing ideas from each other, seeking to improve on laws that are proving popular – and this process has led to progressively greater secrecy, fewer taxes and lighter regulations. Neufeld looked to the USnited States for inspiration, and specifically to Wyoming, which had invented the limited liability company (LLC), a useful hybrid structure that allowed people to avoid identification and taxes at the same time, as well as offering other benefits.

    LLCs make it hard for your creditors to find your assets, which also helps rich people avoid paying damages if they lose a lawsuit. Your creditors may have a court judgment against you, but if they can’t find your stuff, they will settle for perhaps 50 cents on the dollar to get the legal wrangling over with. Lawyers call this asset protection.

    But in the US, it is hard to hide property, since courts can order disclosure of information. Handily, those courts have no jurisdiction in Nevis, which made the idea of a Caribbean version of the LLC very attractive. “In my mind, I was trying to create an LLC for the 51st state,” Neufeld told me. “If you see yourself as someone who could be exposed to some kind of predatory lawsuit where people feel you have assets that are exposed, this gives you an opportunity to protect that.”

    In simple terms, Nevis’s laws allow rich people to put ramparts around their property, to protect it from someone who might want to use the courts to take it away, whether that be a business partner, a spouse, an estranged child, or indeed anyone. All tax havens do this, but Nevis turned the ratchet many clicks further than its rivals, in its efforts to tempt business away from its rivals.

    To bring legal proceedings on Nevis, you have to file a bond of $100,000 with the court as proof that your case isn’t frivolous. If you win, that is only the beginning of your quest for the assets. Nevis’s regulator holds no information on either the ownership of the company or its assets. Nevis’s LLCs – Neufeld’s innovation – can’t be wound up, meaning you won’t be able to confiscate any assets they own, and you would have to seek redress elsewhere. If you seek to challenge the legality of a property being put in a Nevis-registered trust – for example, if you thought the property actually belonged to you – you have to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the trust’s creation was fraudulent, and you would have to begin that legal challenge within a year of its creation. This is tricky, since Nevis law requires all information on the trust to be confidential, so you would be unlikely to know it even existed.

    These ludicrously formidable defences are not really intended to be used, but instead – like the bright colouring of a poisonous tree frog – they exist to warn you off attacking in the first place. If they can persuade a plaintiff to settle out of court for less than is owed, then, for a rich person with vulnerable assets, they are well worth paying for.

    “I don’t like the word ‘hidden’,” says Laurie Lawrence, who retired a couple of years ago after two decades as permanent secretary to the Nevis government. “It’s protected, not hidden. There’s nothing to hide. Look at it from the other way: a lot of females are gold-diggers. You are married to a man; you don’t really love him, but he has money. People find ways and means to protect their assets.”

    This is perhaps why a wealthy person might want to own a Kensington house (or, indeed, a Llandudno hotel room) via a Nevisian company or other structure: it prevents a divorced spouse, or any other creditor, from accessing that property, without a tortuous legal process. “Nevis structures started coming up about 12 years ago, and they’re coming around with increasing prevalence,” Jeffrey Fisher, one of America’s leading divorce lawyers, told me by telephone from West Palm Beach in Florida.

    “I’m a former prosecutor, and I know about the ways people hide money, and what they’ll do,” said Fisher. “My approach to getting assets that are in asset protection entities like a Nevis LLC, is that you don’t go to Nevis and try to get the money out – that is a foolhardy enterprise. They passed laws and they set up structures to stop us and to make it expensive and to make it take years and years and years. What we do here is we use some more creative approaches to, for lack of a better term, make them cough up the dough.”

    Fisher’s approach is to target property and bank accounts in the US, to make his opponents’ lives so onerous that they eventually beg to settle – and he’s extremely good at it. The trouble is that anyone who cannot afford to employ highly expensive specialists such as Fisher has no prospect of even finding where their spouse has put their property, let alone wrestling a fair share away from them. They have to accept what they’re given – there’s no court that can help them.

    “You’ve got to realise that the asset protection industry is trillions of dollars, not billions of dollars, it’s trillions of dollars,” said Fisher. “Essentially, it’s: we’re going to find a way to screw legitimate creditors out of collecting a legitimate debt. That’s the business these people are in.”


    Brantley, the Nevis premier, is fluent and passionate in his defence of the ramparts that Nevis builds for rich people looking to protect their assets from creditors. “All it does is say that you’re creating a locked box, so to speak, if you want to protect assets,” Brantley said, when we met in his office up the hill from Charlestown, Nevis’s capital village. “And people protect assets for a variety of reasons. It’s not always to get away from a pending divorce.”

    The trouble is that when you cast your eye beyond the divorce cases, Nevis’s business model begins to looks even worse. The Nevis financial system is rudimentary compared to the large tax havens – places such as Jersey, or the Cayman Islands, which have major accountancy firms, fund managers, large banks and other global behemoths. In Nevis, there’s precious little money for anyone to avoid tax on. But then, it isn’t really a haven from taxes at all, so much as a haven from scrutiny of any kind. The same laws that appeal to the kind of nervous and wealthy men who want to hide their assets from their wives, have been regularly exploited by crooks from all over the world.

    Britain’s biggest-ever tax fraud – for which five men were jailed in November, after attempting to scam the Treasury out of £107m in tax – involved Nevis-registered companies, which were helping to hide the identity of the fraudsters. The family of a former president of Taiwan used a Nevis trust to help to hide its ownership of corruptly acquired US property. Ukraine’s deposed president, Viktor Yanukovych, used Nevis structures to hide his stolen assets, as did corrupt Russian officials who stole $230m from the budget in 2007. (When the accountant Sergei Magnitsky uncovered the scam, they arrested him and left him to die in jail.) British trader Navinder Sarao, who pleaded guilty to fraud for helping cause 2010’s flash crash, diverted some of his profits to a Nevis structure called the NAV Sarao Milking Markets Fund.

    According to the independent advocacy group Tax Justice Network, Nevis out-obscures all the traditional offshore centres: BVI, Switzerland, Guernsey, the Isle of Man, Luxembourg, and even fellow bottom-feeders such as Belize and the Cook Islands. And its enthusiasm for secrets impedes other countries’ efforts to enforce transparency.

    To see how, just look at the UK. In theory, it has always been possible to find out who a British company’s shareholders are, but until recently there was a loophole. If a company was owned offshore, shareholders could preserve their anonymity. To combat this, in 2016, the government brought in a law that requires UK companies to declare the identity of their true owner or owners: any person with significant control (PSC). (Defined thus: “A person of significant control is someone that holds more than 25% of shares or voting rights in a company, has the right to appoint or remove the majority of the board of directors or otherwise exercises significant influence or control.”) This new system is imperfect, not least because Companies House doesn’t check the information provided to it, but it’s a step towards full transparency, and part of the UK’s commitment to stop its companies being used to enable tax dodging and kleptocracy.

    But a search of the Companies House website reveals how Nevis is able to defang Britain’s attack on secrecy. For instance, I recently came across three LLPs, all of which are owned by the same two Nevis companies: Tallberg and Uniwell. According to data gathered by the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, one of these LLPs controlled a Latvian bank account used in a money-laundering scheme; the other two have not been implicated in any wrongdoing (and neither have Tallberg and Uniwell). According to Companies House, the three LLPs have the same ownership structure, which means that their person or persons with significant control should be the same. Mysteriously, however, each of the LLPs is listed as having a different PSC. This is technically possible, but highly unlikely. But we have no way of finding out the truth, since Nevis does not cooperate with the UK in allowing law enforcement officers to see who really owns Nevisian companies such as Tallberg and Uniwell. These three LLPs are not isolated examples – Tallberg and Uniwell alone have owned dozens of British companies, and there are many more Nevisian corporations like them.

    The new UK law requiring disclosure of true owners is useless if that ownership can just be hidden in Nevis. And this is why Nevis-controlled but British-registered companies, whose ownership is unclear, have been involved in many of the massive eastern European money-laundering scams collectively known as the “laundromats”, which have moved tens of billions of dollars out of the former Soviet Union. Nevis ownership can transform a supposedly transparent British company into a secrecy vehicle as iniquitous as anything on earth.

    In the words of Jack Blum, a veteran investigator of corruption who has worked for the UN and the US senate: “If somebody finds out that there’s a Nevis corporation involved [in a scam], and they go to Nevis, they could waterboard the entire board of directors and nobody would know anything.”


    Charlestown is a handsome place, consisting of a long street of two-storey buildings parallel to the shore, many with first-floor balconies for catching the sea breeze. Its most striking feature, however, is the truly remarkable number of signs advertising lawyers, accountants and administrators. The Devon town of Ilfracombe, with its 11,000 inhabitants, has two lawyers’ offices, an insurance company and two sets of accountants, as well as a branch of Lloyds and a Nationwide. The 11,000 Nevisians, by contrast, host six domestic banks, one international bank, 18 insurance managers, seven international insurance entities, four money service businesses and 58 registered agents, many of them law firms. Nevis may be the most over-lawyered place on earth.

    When you get off the ferry, almost the first house you see is the Henville building, nominal home to the Azerbaijan first family’s business empire. If you then turn right at the T-junction, you see the Edith Solomon building (although it has lost two of the letters from its name), which hosted an Idaho payday loan company that was shut down by the state government in 2012, for operating without a license. Barely 100 metres in the opposite direction on Main Street, meanwhile, is the office of Morning Star Holdings, pioneers of the Nevis offshore industry.

    I was keen to find the registered address of Tallberg and Uniwell, the two Nevisian companies that had so successfully outmanoeuvred UK company law, in the – admittedly, rather forlorn – hope that I could find someone who would give me information about them. Their registered address was the same as that of the Nevis International Trust Company (NITC), which, according to its website, will supply you not only with a shell company, but also with nominee directors and shareholders, which will further obscure your involvement in it, as well as a bank account, a credit card and a stock trading account. “Nevis is an excellent location for: privacy, estate planning, asset protection, tax reduction planning, holding investments, royalty and licensing ownership,” the website states.

    I had an address for the NITC’s office, but no one on the island was able to tell me where it was. I spent a frustrating, hot and thirsty morning searching for it and, when I finally got through on the phone, was brushed off. “I’m not a robber,” I told the woman who answered the phone, after she had refused to help me. “I don’t know that, do I?” she replied.

    In fairness, she had a good reason not to talk. According to a 1985 law, anyone on Nevis disclosing financial information without a court order is liable to a prison term of up to a year, as well as a fine of $10,000. (This is another area where Nevis is resisting the trend towards openness. Cayman previously had a similar law against breaching confidentiality, but decriminalised the offence in 2016.)

    When I tried phoning the registered office of Tallberg and Uniwell, the receptionist refused to even tell me where the office was, so I couldn’t visit. When I emailed the NITC, there was no reply. Eventually I had to accept that it was not going to be possible to make contact with them, which meant the true ownership information for the three LLPs was undiscoverable.

    And it is not just journalists who are unable to check the reliability of Nevis’ financial information for themselves; foreign police can’t either. That means we are all reliant on the Nevis financial services regulatory commission to do it for us. The commission is based in an office in the centre of Charlestown, and is run by Heidi-Lynn Sutton, its chief regulator, who works in an office on the first floor.

    Sutton started off unfriendly, and became less friendly as our 45-minute chat progressed, her manner becoming increasingly exasperated. She flatly dismissed the US state department’s description of Nevis as “a desirable location for criminals to conceal proceeds”. It was simply untrue, she said, that Nevis had anonymous bank accounts, bank secrecy and an opaque corporate register.

    This was odd, since her regulator’s own website states that bank account holders on the island have no obligation to provide any “statement, return or information (to) … the regulator or the minister”. However, Sutton defended Nevis against all allegations, no matter how serious. The heavy cost of bringing proceedings in Nevis court, for example, was simply to protect the justice system from being “bombarded with frivolous lawsuits”, rather than to protect the wealthy. “That is our weeding-out mechanism,” she said. “Some countries are very litigious. If you get a little burn on your hand because you spill a McDonald’s coffee, somebody will sue you.”

    When I explained the difficulty I had faced in even finding NITC, Sutton laughed, asking why I was looking for it. I explained that I had hoped to discover who actually owned the limited partnerships on the British registry. When I asked about whether the regulator she runs might have failed to notice a number of serious money-laundering schemes, she simply said: “I can’t speak to that, I really cannot speak to that.”

    What about the fact that the former ruling families of Taiwan and Ukraine, as well as lower-profile crooks from all over the world, had used Nevis vehicles to obscure the ownership of their stolen assets? Sutton laughed again. “I can’t accept that there has been multiple usage of our structures to facilitate whatever. I can’t accept hearing it from you. I won’t be able to speak to that.”

    If the island is so clean, why did online trolls looking to smear Emmanuel Macron before the 2017 French presidential election create fake documents supposedly showing he had a shell company in Nevis? Isn’t that a sign that the industry Sutton oversees has an image problem? “People make things up all the time,” she replied. “Once you are an international financial centre, and provide certain services, you will always be a target, it doesn’t mean that it’s true.”

    I have spent most of the last four years researching financial crimes, and have spoken to dozens of regulators and investigators in multiple jurisdictions, but never before had I met one who responded in such a way to allegations of grand corruption, money laundering and fraud that I was making against their jurisdiction.

    Like any financial centre, Nevis must choose between turning away dirty money, or attracting as much business as it can. I did not find my visit to Nevis reassuring.


    Since Nevisian officials appear happy with the current situation, it is up to outsiders to force change on the island, and sadly – thanks to the constitutional peculiarities of the federation – this is all but impossible. We know this because it has been tried.

    In 1995, in federation-wide elections, the St Kitts and Nevis Labour party swept to power with seven of the 11 federal seats, and its leader, Denzil Douglas, became prime minister. He had no seats on Nevis, but did not need any to pass laws for the whole federation. Among his priorities was restricting Nevis’ sordid financial sector. “We were aware that the international community had begun to frown upon Nevis, and on the international financial services that were poorly regulated, not supervised, etc,” said Douglas when we met in his office in Basseterre, the federal capital, which is on St Kitts. “And we sought to bring in new legislation. So they had their referendum.”

    The federal constitution allows Nevis to hold a referendum on secession whenever it wants to, and so, in 1998, annoyed by Douglas’s attempt to rein in its lawyers, it did. And 62% of Nevisians voted to break free of their neighbours, which was not quite enough to reach the two-thirds super-majority that the constitution demanded, but enough to make Douglas and his government back down. “The government has no choice,” Douglas said, “because we’ve tried.”

    In 2000, the Financial Action Task Force – a Paris-based group created by the G7 to develop policies against money-laundering – blacklisted the whole of St Kitts and Nevis, as one of 15 countries deemed to be non-cooperative. That forced Nevis to agree to federal legislation, but did not change the basic dynamic that it has significantly more autonomy than Scotland has within the UK, and in some ways more than individual US states. One financial professional in Basseterre described the relationship between Nevis and St Kitts as like that of a teenager with access to his big brother’s credit card.

    Even if Premier Brantley were not ideologically committed to selling privacy to wealthy foreigners, his government’s statistics provide plenty of reasons for him to favour maintaining the country’s opaque company-registration system on purely pragmatic grounds. Fees from incorporating companies and renewing their registration made up more than 16% of Nevis’s government revenue in 2015, up from less than 12% in 2014.

    None of the tools that large countries have used against tax havens such as Switzerland or Jersey – diplomatic pressure, legal proceedings against banks, and so on – are applicable to Nevis. It is part of a fully independent country (unlike the BVI or Gibraltar) and the companies providing its services (unlike the Swiss banks targeted by the US Department of Justice) are not large enough to fear losing their offices in the US.

    Major western countries will have to make their criticism of Nevis via diplomatic channels, if they want it to change its ways. Brantley got his retaliation in first, however, accusing the British government of hypocrisy.

    “It is no secret that the UK, and London in particular, has a disproportionate number of wealthy Russians, for example, and wealthy oligarchs from all around the world, and the question is: why? It can’t be for the weather. So, why are people flocking to London? So, if the United Kingdom can do that, then what is the issue with other countries, not as endowed as the UK, trying to stand on their own two feet?”

    The issue is that if every jurisdiction thinks only of how to stand on its own two feet – whether that’s post-Brexit Britain, Nevis or Wyoming – we will all be pushed over separately by the world’s crooks and thieves. Brantley is right that we all need to do more to fight kleptocrats and fraudsters, but by keeping their secrets and making money from it, Nevis is stopping the rest of us from moving forward.

    This article was amended on 12 July 2018 to correct an error. An earlier version stated that it was impossible for the three LLPs mentioned in the text to have three different persons with significant control. It is, in fact, technically possible.

    Follow the Long Read on Twitter at @gdnlongread, or sign up to the long read weekly email here.

    Источник: https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/jul/12/nevis-how-the-worlds-most-secretive-offshore-haven-refuses-to-clean-up

    Offshore Bank Account: Everything You Need to Know

    5minutes read

    India has a robust banking system for you to carry out your banking transactions. However, there may arise a need for which you will have to open a bank account in a country other than your own. For such purposes, you would have to open an offshore bank account.

    There are a few myths around overseas bank accounts in India:

    The moment you hear ‘foreign bank account’, your mind first wavers to Swiss bank accounts. Swiss bank accounts have a tarnished reputation in India due to their association with tax evasion and privacy. In reality, Swiss banks are some of the safest in the world.

    Another common belief is that only the rich can open offshore bank accounts. That’s not the case either. Any Indian resident can open an offshore bank account.

    What is an Offshore Bank Account?

    An offshore account is one that is opened by a citizen outside her home country. This does not apply only to Indian citizens. A citizen of the US, opening a bank account in Canada has also opened an offshore bank account.

    Does RBI allow Indian residents to open a foreign bank account?

    Yes. RBI permits Indians to open and maintain a bank account overseas. Under the Liberalized Remittance Scheme of the RBI, sending money to your account overseas is a legitimate purpose. RBI revised the LRS purpose code S0023 to ‘Opening of foreign currency account abroad with a bank’ in Feb 2016. 

    Now that we are clear that opening a foreign bank account from India is legal, it’s time to come to the operational aspect of opening an account.

    How Can You Open an Offshore Bank Account from India?

    Let’s consider foreign accounts in two categories

    1. Traditional Offshore Accounts

    There is a reason the myth – ‘only for the rich’ – exists. It’s because of  the tedious process of opening a foreign currency account with a traditional bank. In many countries, including the US, you can only open an account by physically visiting a bank branch with all your documents. Many other banks need you to maintain a very high minimum balance in the account.

    Just like a bank account in your home country, to open an offshore bank account you will also require your personal information and identification documents. 

    Some documents that the bank may need are a passport, driver’s license, or other national ID. To verify your physical address, you can submit a utility bill, bank statement, or Aadhaar card. 

    To open the account remotely, banks usually require notarized copies of documents. However, many offshore banks prefer an apostilles stamp. An apostilles stamp is a special certification mark used overseas. Such stamps are not available everywhere. You may have to visit a government office authorized to issue such stamps.

    The list doesn’t end here. There are additional requirements too to open a bank account. These include financial reference documents from your current bank, source of funds,  employment or business records, and more. Such norms are put in place to discourage money laundering, tax fraud, and other illegal activities often associated with offshore banking.

    2. Multi-Currency Account with UK financial institutions

    Multi-Currency Account with E-Money Institutions in the UK is a preferred alternative to traditional banks for many Indians. Winvesta is the first financial platform to bring multi-currency accounts to India, enabling you to receive, hold and spend in 30+ currencies.

    So why is a multi-currency account better than a traditional foreign bank account? Well, here are a few reasons

    1. Quick digital onboarding: It takes only minutes to sign up for an account. 
    2. 30+ Currencies: Winvesta MCA offers individual accounts in 30+ currencies, including USD, GBP, and EUR. All on one platform. You can convert and transfer money between accounts free of cost.
    3. Your own foreign accounts: The accounts are in your name, and come with details like sort code, IBAN, routing number, and more.
    4. Low, transparent FX costs: Convert between currencies without any fixed fee. See the FX rate before conversion. 
    5. Local payments to 17 countries including India: Save money on international wire transfers by using our local remittance capabilities. You won’t get that with a traditional bank.
    6. Local receipts: Receive money locally in USD, GBP, and EUR. This means an easy collection for you, and less hassle for the sender.
    7. Secure and safeguarded: Your money is safeguarded with a large financial institution like Barclays. Unlike traditional banks, the E-Money Institution cannot use your money for lending or operations.
    Advantages of Multi Currency Account over Offshore Accounts

    In Which Countries Can You Open an Offshore Bank Account?

    Winvesta Multi-Currency Accounts are domiciled in the UK and regulated by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority. You get the protection of a strong regulator, and the flexibility to get accounts in 30+ currencies of your choice in one place.

    There are several countries where you can open traditional bank accounts. The five top countries are:

    • Cayman Islands: Known for being a tax haven for people across the globe. Along with negligible taxes, Cayman Islands also have confidentiality clauses that protect investor privacy. It is usually suitable for businesses however as the purpose of the account is to compliment a business established in Cayman.
    • Switzerland: The synonym for foreign bank accounts, Switzerland banking also offers strict confidentiality services to their clients. Along with privacy, the financially stable economic system also makes it safe to invest in that country. Swiss banks are notoriously difficult to open however with high minimum balances.
    • Singapore: Opening your account in Singapore is also another option, especially if you want to hold funds in Singapore dollars.
    • Germany: Known to be among the safest to open an account, Germany offers financial stability and strict safety protocols to retail clients. It is not easy for Indian residents to get an account in Germany, however.
    • Belize: The financial sector in Belize is one of the major contributors to the country’s exchequer. The major use of an account in Belize is asset protection and tax-free status on investment income. The upfront cost of getting an account in Belize can run into a few thousand dollars.

    In Which Currencies Can You Open an Offshore Account?

    Again, with Winvesta, you can get access to accounts in 30+ currencies in one place. This includes USD, GBP, EUR, SGD, AUD, CAD, JPY, and CHF. You can find the full list here.

    Traditional banks need you to select a currency in which you wish to open the account. The list is usually restricted to USD, GBP, EUR, and JPY.

    How Do You Deposit Funds in Offshore Accounts?

    International wire transfers are the most common methods to make deposits in your offshore bank account. And no, these are not the RTGS, IMPS, NEFT facilities that you make use of while transferring funds domestically. 

    All the banks charge an international wire transfer fee to send or receive funds. The fee differs based on the bank you use. The wire transfer is the most reliable source to send or deposit funds. Banks don’t accept checks generally and depositing funds in person is not practical.

    How Can You Withdraw Funds?

    There are a number of ways through which you can withdraw your funds. Many offshore banks issue a debit card through which you can access your funds in any part of the world. You need to be aware of the fees that are imposed on using the cards. Larger the withdrawal, the lesser the fee.

    With Winvesta, you can avoid the high fees associated with the withdrawal of funds to your Indian bank. You can make local transfers to India from your MCA for just $1, and avoid both the high sending and receiving fees associated with wire transfers.

    You can now get an overseas account in minutes with Winvesta. Receive, hold and spend in 30+ currencies including USD, GBP, and EUR.

    Related Posts

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    In these challenging times of lockdown and quarantine, everything around us is at a literal standstill, including our stock market. It’s not a surprise that the Indian markets are currently witnessing massive volatility due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Many of us now wish they had diversified their portfolio, or are looking for efficient ways to diversify it now.

    Why is Portfolio Diversification Important?

    Diversification is an investment strategy that recommends owning several investments that tend to perform well at different times to reduce the effects of market fluctuations. In simple terms, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. But then how do you choose different baskets?

    Источник: https://www.winvesta.in/blog/offshore-bank-account/

    Is having An International Bank Account Still Beneficial?

    ▶️ Do you know you can pay with Bitcoins for flight and hotel booking?


    What is International banking

    Simply put, international banking, also known as offshore banking refers to any banking that takes place across international borders.

    It dates back to the Renaissance when lenders loaned funds to foreign kings. However, in the contemporary world, international banking is used by companies and individuals seeking favorable banking conditions in a global marketplace.


    From another perspective, international banking is viewed as when a bank headquartered in a country extends credit to residents of another country.

    For example, when American banks lend money to Canadians. Besides, international banking also includes any domestic loans made in foreign currencies.

    For example, when an American bank gives a loan to American residents in Euros rather than U.S. dollars. It also includes any deposits made to foreign banks. For example, when Americans keep money in a bank in Bahamas or Switzerland.

    International banking

    What is an International bank account?

    This is a bank account opened in another country other than that you are a citizen of. It can either be an individual account or a company account. The account might be different from the ones in your jurisdiction, and they might have more requirements and different terms and conditions from the one in your country.

    However, international offshore bank accounts come with some advantages such as flexibility of operation, tax advantages, and a possibility of more interesting investment services and solutions due to less government intervention.


    Advantages of an international bank account

    There must be some benefits of an international bank account otherwise people and companies would not be going for them. Below are some of these benefits:

    If you have an international bank account, you can bank in different currencies or even multi-currencies. This is advantageous to those with financial first national bank of omaha credit card phone number in more than one nation or currency for example.

    An international bank account enables one to avoid the risks that come with unfavorable economic climate such as currency devaluation, high inflation, war or coup in the nation in which they live.

    You can save on tax. If the nation you live in requires you only to pay tax on the money you remit into that country, you will get some tax benefits by keeping your money in an international bank account.

    International bank accounts come with maximum flexibility for their owners in terms of usage. This means that you can access your money from ATMs, phone or just open houses near me today and tomorrow at any time, any country you are in. You can also get any amount you require as there are no limitations on withdrawal.

    Still on tax, an international account saves you the tax deductions as any interests earned are paid free from the deduction of taxation. With this, you are guaranteed greater returns immediately and no need to apply for a rebate.

    International bank account, International company set up, Corporate prepaid debit card slutions.

    Greater account privacy is the other advantage of international bank accounts. For example, Switzerland among other jurisdictions put greater emphasis on maintaining their clients’ confidentiality always. You can protect your assets from speculative or unfair litigious behavior, an international bank account can be a great consideration.

    International bank accounts charge less while some pay more interests than local bank accounts. However, this has changed with time, but it’s worth looking into and do some careful comparisons when going for a new international bank account.

    There is a high potential for an expat to retain their current banking providers even after expatriating because most high street banks are connected to the international banks. You can just swap to an international account.

    With fewer government interventions in the international financial centers, international banks can offer more impressive investment services plus solutions to their clients.



    Disadvantages of an international bank account

    Here are some of the disadvantages that come with having an international bank account that will help you decide whether international bank account is worth having:

    Historically, international banking/offshore is arguably more risky than onshore banking. If anything happens, compensation from international banks is almost impossible while for onshore, full compensation is never an issue.

    The claim can be easily demonstrated by examining the fallout from Friedlander collapse on the Isle of Man. Here, those who had offshore accounts in the Isle of Man had a rough time to get the compensation guaranteed by the depositor protection scheme.

    On the other hand, the onshore in the UK that were affected locally by the nationalization of this bank’s parent company received full compensation.

    “International bank accounts” are now synonymously viewed as illegal or immoral money laundering or tax evasion activity. Anyone with an account like that; therefore, risks being seen in such a manner even when their international bank account is legitimate.

    Choosing an international bank account jurisdiction takes much more than it would when choosing a local bank account. One may well be aware of how his nation’s banking industry operates and its regulations plus the rules, but these differ massively with other jurisdictions. Also, to note, some international banking havens are less stable than others.

    The terms and conditions of an international bank account might be more demanding than that of a local bank account. They might charge higher if one fails to maintain a minimum balance. Their fees and charges for the services and account you wish to use might be different. Always do a thorough check up before the final decision.

    When it comes to solving issues that arise with international accounts, it may take more time and money than it would for an onshore account. A simple explanation is that you cannot be there physically nor speak to someone in person.

    In a nutshell. International banking is not what it used to be ten years ago. The only significant advantage is its flexibility otherwise it can be overkill for your financial circumstances.

    International banking Berlin


    Best countries to get an international bank account

    The greatest consideration for those looking forward to having international bank accounts is the bank safety. There has been this propaganda that have led most people to believe that their money will vanish if they move it overseas.

    This type of propaganda is only nullified by the fact that every developed country has a deposit insurance for their banking clients solely for their money safety.

    The next consideration is on interest rates and the stability of the jurisdictions. Some emerging international banking jurisdictions are offering higher interest rates and are thus more likely to attract more clients.

    Banks operating under an open door policy are also more preferred. Below best countries to open offshore bank account the five best countries to get an international banking account. However, one should always do their research prior to making a decision.

    1. Germany. The number one safest bank in the world, KfW (according to Global Finance), is in Germany. Besides, the world’s fifty safest banks are also found in Germany.

    Being one of the Europe’s stronger economies, this country takes its banking system seriously. The bank secrecy in Germany cannot even be compared to that in other German-speaking countries such as Switzerland or Austria. It is far better. 2. Singapore.Singapore is home to many of the world’s best international banks. Singapore is home to three of the world’s safest banks (according to Global Finance): (#12) DBS, (#13) OCBC, (#14) UOB. Note: OCBC is the World’s strongest bank.

    The highest single thing that has put Singapore on the forefront is the acknowledgment of the fact that capital goes where it’s treated best. By virtue of the above understanding, Singapore is the richest country in the world, thus making it a great country to bank in. However, it is now getting harder to get an international bank account in Singapore, but it is still possible. The truth is, most wealthy Asians are now ignoring Switzerland for Singapore showing that it is a great country to the bank. 3. Netherlands. This country is one of the safest to have an international bank account. The Netherlands bank accounts are protected by bank deposit insurance for up to 100.000 euros; the EU minimum. This gives any client total safety for their money. Besides, this country is home to three top international banks in the world: (#2)Nederlandse Gemeenten, (#6) Nederlandse Waterschapsbank, and (#10) Rabobank. 4. Australia. It is not uncommon that Australia is referred to as the “Switzerland of the South Pacific”. Most wealthy Asians are now moving their money to Singapore and Australia. This is for the simple reason of bank safety in this country. Australia controls four positions, on the 50 safest banks survey. (#16) National Australia Bank, (#17) Commonwealth Bank of Australia, (#18) Westpac, and (#19) ANZ. This has resulted in many people moving their money to the country, and the good news is, opening a bank account in Australia is possible. 5. Canada. You will be surprised to find out that Canada is home to some of the safest banks in the world. These banks include (#11) TD Bank, (#16) RBC, (#21) the Bank of Montreal, among others.

    Calgary Canada

    Is it easy to get an international bank account

    The ease of getting an international bank account is determined by the country that one chooses to open in.

    Some countries such as Singapore operate under the “open door policy” and thus they welcome just anyone. However, other banks in countries such as Qatar will be hesitant to open a bank account for Americans or American companies and some other foreigners.

    This is because they are always in the fear of them plunking a few bucks in their accounts then disappearing never to return. The following three factors play a significant role in determining how easy it will be for you to get the international bank account:

    Your willingness to travel to your country of choice to open the account. The fact is, most reputable banks will want to see you in person for them to open for you the bank account.

    The requirement is based on the enhanced regulations in such countries. If you can’t visit in person, you will either be denied the account or your options be more limited.

    Your citizenship. For example, US citizens are highly disadvantaged due to FATCA. Even the non-US citizens spending time or living there suffer the same disadvantages.

    The amount of money you have. Some banks require you to plunk in high amounts when opening an international bank account. This can be a limitation if you don’t have as much as they require.

    Opening an international bank account can be so easy if you do your research well. You can even seek an expert’s help if need be.

    Can companies benefit from having an international bank account?

    The answer is YES. If your company has financial commitments in more than one country or currency, an international bank account comes in handy as it allows you to bank in different currencies best countries to open offshore bank account even multi-currencies.

    International banks can offer their clients more interesting investment services plus solutions due to fewer government interventions.

    Your company will also get tax benefits if the country you are living in expects you only to pay tax on the money you remit them. You benefit more by keeping your money in an international bank account.

    Companies also take advantage of the flexibility offered by international bank accounts. You can withdraw any amount and at any time of the day or night. You also have the option to withdraw online, from ATMs or phones.

    Your company will reap more returns aaa credit card sign in the interest earned from these banks are paid free from taxation deductions. You will have no need to apply for a rebate.

    Your company’s account will enjoy greater privacy as the international bank accounts offer the most account privacy.

    Can Individuals benefit from having an international bank account?

    Again, the answer is YES. You can benefit from having a private bank account manager or relationship manager if you choose a private international bank account or premier account. Such a service is beneficial to anyone desiring a more hands-on approach to their account’s management from their bank.

    Your individual account will enjoy greater privacy as the international bank accounts offer the most account privacy.

    Your will reap more returns as the interest earned from these banks are paid free from taxation deductions. You will have no need to apply for a rebate.

    You also benefit from the flexibility offered by international bank accounts. You can withdraw any amount and at any time of the day or night. You also have the option to withdraw online, from ATMs or phones.

    Your will also get tax benefits if the country you are living in expects you only to pay tax on the money you remit there. You benefit more by keeping your money in an international bank account.

    International banks can offer their clients more interesting investment services plus solutions due to fewer government interventions.

    You may also be interested in:
    Bitcoin, its safety, future and role in international banking
    The Importance Of Big Data In International Banking
    What is an International Business Company (IBC)? Can it help you?

    We would love to hear what you think. Leave your thoughts in the comment section.
    Источник: https://www.worldoffshorebanks.com/is-having-an-international-bank-account-still-beneficial.php
    Our Services and Requirements to open bank account

    New Bank accounts opening procedure includes:

    • Verifying personal and corporate documentation.
    • Completion of the bank forms which will be forwarded to you for signing with relevant instructions.
    • Sending the full package to the bank for final approval.
    • Monitoring the account opening process until account allocation and banking package is received.

    We also provide assistance for International Company Formation

    Banks are entitled at their sole discretion to accept or reject applications to open an account, as such we will introduce you to the bank and guide you through the whole account opening process; however we cannot guarantee that your account will be approved by the bank and successfully opened.

    That is why our step by step approach is needed!

    REQUIREMENTS FOR PERSONAL BANK ACCOUNT OPENING

    • Notarized copy of valid passport.
    • Original or Certified copy of utility bill / bank statement (must not be older than 3 months).
    • Original or certified copy of Banker’s reference letter (must not be older than 3 months).
    • An Application Form
    • Personal CV
    • * There are few countries where only passport and physical presence / Power of Attorney is required.

    Please note:

  • Documents that are not in English must be accompanied by a certified translation.
  • Once all documentation is available please email electronic copies to our representative for review, incomplete or unexecuted forms can create delays in the account opening process.
  • * There are few countries where only passport and physical presence / Power of Attorney is required.
  • That is why our step by step approach is needed!

    REQUIREMENTS FOR CORPORATE BANK ACCOUNT OPENING

    For Company:

    Set of legalized company documents consisting of:

    • Certificate of Incorporation
    • Memorandum and Articles of Associations, documents confirming the appointment of company directors and secretary (if any), a document confirming the location of the registered office, Share Certificate(s), Certificate of Good Standing if the company is more than 12 months old.(Not Applicable for New Company)
    • Copy of the Corporate Structure, identifying the ultimate beneficial owner(s)
    • Valid License (if applicable)

    For each director, shareholder, secretary, authorised signatory and ultimate beneficial owner, Please Provide:

    • Notarized copy of valid passport
    • The passport must be signed and signature must match the signature in the application form.
    • The photograph must be clear and of good quality.
    • Original or notarized copy of utility bill / bank statement dated within 3 months as verification of residential address.
    • Original or notarized copy of Banker's reference letter, dated within 3 months
    • Power of Attorney (where applicable)
    • Personal CV

    For each corporate officer (Where the company directors or shareholders are legal entities), Please Provide:

    Set of legalized company documents consisting of:

    • Copy of constitutional documents (Certificate of Incorporation, Articles, etc.).
    • Copy of Corporate Register (which shall include Register of Shareholders, Directors and Secretary).
    • Copy of the Corporate Structure.
    • Certificate of Good Standing

    Please note:

    There are few Countries where only Passport Copy and Translation of Passport in required.

    That is why most of best countries to open offshore bank account Clients require a Customised solutions, that is where, WE COME IN!

    We operate across a wide range of business activities however, several types of businesses currently are not approved for Company Formation or Starting Business Activities

    • Licensable Activities: If you conduct any activity without required license or authorization granted by a relevant authority in any jurisdiction, International Goals will not be able to assist you with either company formation or bank account opening related to such unlicensed activity.
    • Licensable activities include, but not limited to: provision of financial services involving trading/brokerage in foreign exchange, financial and commodity-based derivative instruments and other securities. offering investment advice to public; insurance and banking business. operation and administration of collective investment schemes and mutual funds; payment processing services. money exchange, money transmission or money brokering; asset management; safe custody services; gaming, gambling and lotteries.

    Please note:

    Our Company is totally against Money Laundering, Drug Trade and Human Trafficking, hence, We do not support such clients.

    The following categories of businesses are prohibited from using Our Business Services:

    • Any illegal or criminal activities or individuals that black listed under the laws of any country.
    • Trade, distribution or manufacturing of arms, weapons, munitions, mercenary or contract soldiering.
    • Any device that could lead to the abuse of human rights or be utilized for torture.
    • Technical surveillance or bugging equipment or industrial espionage.
    • Dangerous or hazardous biological, chemical or nuclear materials including equipment or machinery used to manufacture, handle or dispose of such materials.
    • Human or animal organs, the abuse of animals or use of animals for any scientific or product testing.
    • Genetic material.
    • Adoption agencies, including surrogate motherhood; the abuse of human rights.
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    • Pyramid sales.
    • Religious cults and their charities.
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    • Any other activity, which, in the opinion of Starting Business, may damage the reputation of international goals or that of the country of formation of the Entity.

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    To mention a few countries that we provide bank account opening services:

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    NEED TO KNOW

    Information about the benefits of offshore banking and how to go about setting up an account.

    What is Offshore Banking?

    An offshore bank refers to a bank located outside of the investor's country of residence or domicile. It provides banking services mainly for clients who are not physically residing in the country of the bank.

    To Whom Does Offshore Banking Apply?

    Offshore Banking generally applies to any investor who is interested in setting up an overseas bank account. This could be an investor looking to diversify and keep their investments in more than one place, to invest in financial products not available in their home country, or to invest in a more favorable tax environment to protect their assets.

    What are The Main Benefits of Offshore Banking?

    Diversification of investments internationally

    Diversification is key in wealth management. Investments in an individual’s home country are subjected to various regulatory, geopolitical and social conditions that mini atm savings bank beyond the individual’s control. Offshore Banking allows investors to move some investable assets offshore, where the financial infrastructure, stability and security are beyond that offered by the home country. As a result, the risk of the combined investments is reduced.

    Favorable tax environment

    This is one of the main reasons for banking offshore, especially if the offshore bank is in a “tax haven”. One of the benefits is that an offshore bank account could be set up in a country of lower tax jurisdiction than that of their home countries. For countries which do not tax income earned outside of home countries, an additional advantage for investors would be that investment interests paid by offshore banks are non tax deductible – which is advantageous to investors who are not taxed on international income.

    Heightened banking confidentiality

    A major advantage promised by offshore banks is the privacy of its client's financial matters. Almost every offshore bank is established in a jurisdiction that promises to provide a higher than usual level of financial privacy into the affairs of their clientele.  In most circumstances, these banks are under no chase bank fraud email to reveal details of clients’ investments if requested by their home countries.

    Access to foreign investments and products

    Offshore banks are well-positioned compared to local banks in that they allow investors to gain access to banking products that may not be available in their country of residence. For example, in a local market, Foreign Exchange (FX) products could be limited, but in another country a wider range of FX products could be available, especially if the market is very sophisticated in FX.

    Can Anyone open an Offshore Bank Account?

    This is very much dependent on the country in which the investor is resident. There are some countries whose Offshore Wealth Policies mandate that their residents are not legally permitted to set up an offshore account. Offshore banks are set up to be in compliance with various countries’ Offshore Wealth Policies.

    It is therefore important to consult the various offshore banks for advice.

    Opening an Offshore Bank Account

    How do I start?

    Banks have their own account opening processes. It is important to contact the bank for detailed instructions. Most banks would have an enquiry or application form on their website. If possible, visit the branch personally to find out more.

    Required documents

    When opening an offshore account the following documents and pieces of information are typically required by most banks:

    • Passport
    • National ID
    • Bank Statement (where fund will be taken from)
    • Information on: basic personal background, source of funds, purpose of setting up account (all these are commonly required information as part of the bank’s set-up process for investments)

    How to Use an Offshore Bank Account

    Offshore accounts should come with the following basic features, which should be accessible online:

    • Savings account
    • Multi-currency account
    • Time deposit
    • Global fund transfers

    All offshore bank account holders have access to the following advisory services, be it in person or via phone/online:

    • Relationship manager to advise and manage investments
    • Product specialist to advise on specific investment products
    • Portfolio counselor to advise on balancing across the different investments in a portfolio

    Investment services

    Below is a list of investment products commonly available for most offshore accounts. These products are mostly available online, by phone banking and via a relationship manager. It is best to consult the individual offshore banks for their detailed product offering.

    • Bonds
    • Stocks brokerage
    • Foreign exchange
    • Investment funds
    • Equity-linked products
    • Mortgages and lending
    • Insurance
    • Financial products not available in home country

    Information provided by Citibank IPB Singapore Tel: +65 6224 5757 Copyright © 2012 Citibank All Rights Reserved

    Источник: https://www.angloinfo.com/how-to/brazil/money/banking/offshore-banking

    You may have wondered: “What can an offshore bank account give me that an account at Bank of America can’t?”

    The answer is: A wide range of benefits you absolutely need.

    An offshore (or foreign) bank account is simply a bank account you have outside best countries to open offshore bank account your country of residence.

    Here are the top 10 reasons why you should open one now.

    Reason #1: Dilute Your Political Risk

    Today, the best countries to open offshore bank account threat to your savings isn’t market risk. It’s your own government.

    There’s no doubt government poses an increasing risk to your savings. Governments are sinking hopelessly deeper into insolvency. Predictably, they are turning to the same desperate measures they’ve used throughout history.

    It’s only prudent to expect more bail-ins (as we’ve seen in Cyprus), bank deposit taxes (as we’ve seen in Spain), retirement savings nationalizations (as we’ve seen in Poland, Hungary, Portugal, and Argentina), and capital controls (as we’ve seen in Cyprus and Iceland), among other destructive actions. And these are just a few recent examples.

    If you think these kinds of things can’t happen in your country, think again.

    According to Judge Andrew Napolitano:

    .people who have more than $100,000 in the bank are targets for any government that’s looking for money to shore up its own inability to manage its finances.

    A big part of any strategy to reduce your political risk is to place some of your savings outside of the immediate reach of thieving bureaucrats in your home country. Setting up a foreign bank account in the right jurisdiction is a convenient way to do just that.

    That way your home government can’t easily confiscate, freeze, north texas orthopedics and spine center keller devalue all of your money with a couple of taps on the keyboard. If your home government imposes capital controls, an offshore bank account would help ensure you could access your money when you need it most.

    In short, keeping some of your savings in the right foreign bank can largely protect you from madness in your home country.

    Reason #2: Sounder Banking Systems and Banks

    Almost all of the banking systems in Western countries are fundamentally unsound. They’ve leveraged themselves to the hilt. The promises of insolvent governments are all that back them. Worse, most of these banks only keep a tiny bit of cash on hand to meet customer withdrawal requests. This means, in the event of another Lehman-style financial shock, you could have trouble accessing your money.

    Many people put more thought into what reality show they are going to watch on TV tonight than which bank they choose to be custodians of their savings. Many don’t even realize they have other practical options.

    There are banks in stable jurisdictions with low debt that don’t gamble with customer deposits (i.e. your money). Many of these banks are much better capitalized, keep best countries to open offshore bank account cash on hand, and are otherwise much more conservatively run than those in the U.S.

    These offshore banks are almost always more responsible custodians of your hard earned savings.

    Reason #3: Asset Protection

    Maybe you think it’s just other people who live on the lawsuit firing line…and you live community financial credit union novi mi else. Think again.

    The Legal Resource Network reports that 15 million lawsuits are filed in the U.S. every year.

    That works out to a new lawsuit for one out of every 12 adults each year…year after year. Unless you’re exceptionally lucky, sooner or later your turn will come. You’re not going to like it.

    It’s no fluke that 80% of the world’s lawyers, over 1.2 million of them, work in the U.S. That’s where the action is. Your money is the trophy they’re competing for.

    While there is no such thing as 100% protection, a foreign bank account can help make you best countries to open offshore bank account less attractive target.

    An offshore bank account also protects you from overzealous government agencies armed with the summary power to freeze your assets. That’s because their reach doesn’t extend beyond the U.S.

    If you ever find yourself in a wrestling match with a government agency or a frivolous lawsuit, a foreign bank account give you resources you can count on.

    Reason #4: Currency Diversification

    Holding foreign currencies is a great way to diversify your portfolio risk, protect your purchasing power, and internationalize some of your savings.

    Chances are, though, your domestic bank offers few, simmons bank atm locations any, options for holding foreign currencies.

    Offshore banks, on the other hand, commonly offer convenient online platforms for holding foreign currencies.

    Reason #5: Higher Interest Rates for Your Deposits

    In what amounts to a war on savers, the European Central Bank and the Fed have manipulated interest rates to near historic lows. These artificially low interest rates effectively transfer wealth away from savers, who would otherwise enjoy higher returns on their deposits, to borrowers.

    In fact, if you live in the West, there’s a good chance the interest you’re earning on your savings isn’t even keeping pace with the real rate of inflation.

    If you look abroad, though, you can find banks that pay significantly higher interest rates than what you’d find at home.

    Reason #6: Ensure Access to Medical Care Old milwaukee na near me you’re unable to receive timely treatment in your home country, an increasing possibility with the disastrous Obamacare, you may want to access medical care abroad.

    In the worst-case scenario, this could mean the difference between life and death.

    Suppose, for whatever reason, you cannot get the medical care you need in your home country and you have to go abroad. You would have to transfer money abroad to pay for it. However, if your home government has already imposed capital controls, it could be difficult or impossible to pay for the medical care you need.

    This is where having a foreign power ranger toys at walmart account, which isn’t hostage to capital controls in your home country, can help ensure you can always pay for the medical care you need.

    Reason #7: The Ability to Act Quickly

    When it comes to international diversification, it’s always better to be a year early than a minute too late. Once a government has imposed capital controls or levied bank accounts, it’s too late to protect your money.

    If you don’t already have one, you should open an offshore bank account now, even if it’s a small one. Just having one available, regardless of how much money you initially put in it, gives you meaningful benefits. It gives you the option to act quickly and transfer more money abroad in the future, should the situation warrant it.

    Reason #8: Maintain Limited Privacy

    Americans who have an aggregate of $10,000 or more in foreign financial accounts at any time during the year must report it. However, if the aggregate total of your foreign financial accounts remains under $10,000 for the year, and you are not using a trust, LLC, or other structure, you don’t necessarily have to report it. Always consult with your tax advisor on these matters.

    Reason #9: Peace of Mind

    An offshore bank account is like an insurance policy. It helps protect you from unsound banks and banking systems and the destructive actions of a bankrupt government. It also makes you a hard target for frivolous lawsuits and ensures you can pay for medical care abroad. Knowing that you’ve taken a big step to protect yourself should give you more peace of mind.

    Reason #10: Maximize Your Personal Freedom

    Having a foreign bank account gives you more options. More options means more freedom.

    It’s a crucial step in freeing yourself from absolute dependence on any one country.

    Achieve that freedom, and it becomes very difficult for any government to control your destiny.

    Is Having an Offshore Bank Account Legal?

    Despite what you may hear, offshore banking is completely legal. It’s not about tax evasion or other illegal activities. It’s simply about legally diversifying your political risk by putting your liquid savings in sound, well-capitalized institutions where they are treated best.

    It’s no secret that it is becoming harder and harder to open a foreign bank account. Soon it could be impossible. This is a comenity bank nyc incentive to act sooner rather than later - even if you don’t plan to use the account immediately.

    Even if your home government doesn’t slap on capital controls or confiscate deposits, you’re no worse off for having moved your savings to a safer home. In fact, you’re far better off for the goodwill central texas austin described above. Obtaining an offshore bank account is a prudent step that makes sense no matter what.

    Offshore Banking Guide

    Be sure to check out our comprehensive offshore banking guide where we share our favorite banks and offshore banking jurisdictions. It includes crucial information on the limited jurisdictions that still accept American clients and allow them to open accounts remotely with small minimums.

    The New York Times best-selling author Doug Casey and his team describe how you can do it all from home. And there’s still time to get it done without extraordinary cost or effort, but you need to act quickly.

    It’s an A-Z guide with information you won’t find anywhere else. And, for a limited time, we’re giving it away for free. Click here to download the PDF.

    Источник: https://internationalman.com/articles/offshore-banking/

    Offshore bank

    An offshore bank is a bank regulated under international banking license (often called offshore license), which usually prohibits the bank from establishing any business activities in the jurisdiction of establishment. Due to less regulation and transparency, accounts with offshore banks were often used to hide undeclared income. Since the 1980s, jurisdictions that provide financial services to nonresidents on a big scale, can be referred to as offshore financial centres. OFCs often also levy little or no corporation tax and/or personal income and high direct taxes such as duty, making the cost of living high.

    With worldwide increasing measures on CFT (combatting the financing of terrorism) and AML (anti-money laundering) compliance, the offshore banking sector in most jurisdictions was subject to changing regulations. Since 2000 the Financial Action Task Force issues the so-called FATF blacklist of "Non-Cooperative Countries or Territories" (NCCTs), which it perceived to be non-cooperative in the global fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.

    An account held in a foreign offshore bank, is often described as an offshore account. Typically, an individual or company will maintain an offshore account for the financial and legal advantages it provides, including but not limited to:

    While the term originates from the Channel Islands being "offshore" from the United Kingdom, and while most offshore banks are located in island nations to this day, the term is used figuratively to refer to any bank used for these advantages, regardless of location. Thus, some banks in landlocked Andorra, Luxembourg, and Switzerland may be described as "offshore banks".

    Offshore banking has previously been associated with the underground economy[1] and organized crime,[2]tax evasion[3] and money laundering;[4] however, legally, offshore banking does not prevent assets from being subject to personal income tax on interest. Except for certain people who meet fairly complex requirements (such as perpetual travelers), the personal income tax laws of many countries (e.g., France, and the United States)[5] make no distinction between interest earned in local banks and that earned abroad. Persons subject to US income tax, for example, are required to declare, on penalty of perjury, any foreign bank accounts—which may or may not be numbered bank accounts—they may have. Offshore banks are now required to report income to many other tax authorities, although Switzerland and certain other jurisdictions retain bank secrecy regimes that can be more difficult to deal with. This does not make the non-declaration of the income by the taxpayer or the evasion of the tax on that income legal and many OFCs have recently been important colleagues to onshore tax authorities and law enforcement against wrongdoers. Following the 9/11 attacks, there have been many calls to increase regulation on international finance, in particular concerning offshore banks, OFCs, crypto currency and clearing houses such as Clearstream, based in Luxembourg, which are possible crossroads[citation needed] for major illegal money flows. Most criminality involving the banking system has happened because of the regulations and controls being circumvented.

    Offshore banking comparison by jurisdictions[edit]

    The most popular offshore financial centres are in jurisdictions with a history of political and economic stability. In terms of offshore banking centres and in terms of total deposits, the global market is dominated by the Watch married at first sight season 9 free, Switzerland and the Cayman Islands. A letter by the District Attorney of New York, Robert M. Morgenthau, published by The New York Times, states that the Cayman Islands has US$1.9 trillion is ebc brakes good deposit in 281 banks, including 40 of the world's top 50 banks,[6] although official statistics published by the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority suggest the amounts held on deposit are actually around US$1.5 trillion.[7] Numerous other offshore jurisdictions also provide offshore banking to a greater or lesser degree. In particular, Jersey, Guernsey, and the Isle of Man are also known for their well regulated banking infrastructure.[8] Some offshore jurisdictions have steered their financial sectors away from offshore banking, thinking it was difficult to properly regulate and liable to give rise to financial scandal.[9]

    Weakened bank secrecy[edit]

    Since starting to survey offshore jurisdictions on April 2, 2009, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) at the forefront of a crackdown on tax evasion, will not object to governments using stolen bank data to track down tax evasion using offshore centers, such as in the 2008 Liechtenstein tax affair. The recent sharing of confidential UBS bank details about 285 clients suspected of willful tax evasion by the United States Internal Revenue Service was ruled a violation of both Swiss law and the country's constitution by a Swiss federal administrative court. Nevertheless, OECD has removed 18 countries, including Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Luxembourg, from a so-called "grey list" of countries that did not offer sufficient tax transparency, and has re-categorized them as "white list" countries. Countries that best countries to open offshore bank account not comply may face sanctions.

    A notable exception is Panama, whose canal provides it with a unique type of immunity to international pressure.[citation needed] Given the enlargement of the canal to accommodate larger shipping, it is unlikely that Panama would succumb in the foreseeable future to international pressure toward transparency.[citation needed]

    List of offshore financial centres[edit]

    Main article: List of offshore financial centres

    Scope of offshore banking[edit]

    Offshore banking constitutes a sizable portion of the international financial system. Some experts believe that as much as half the world's capital flows through offshore centers. OFCs are said to have 1.2% of the world's population and hold 26% of the world's wealth, including 31% of the net profits of United Statesmultinationals. A group of activists state that £13-20 trillion is held in offshore accounts yet the real figure could be much higher when taking into account Chinese, Russian and US deployment of capital internationally .[10] These often regurgitated figures have not stood up to scrutiny however,[11] and nor has the black hole theory that capital is hoarded away from the financial and tax systems in OFCs. Much like a criminal using a wallet identified and seized as proceeds of crime, it would be counterintuitive for anyone to hold assets unused. Moreover, much of the weather radar mankato mn flowing through vehicles in the OFCs is aggregated investment capital from pension funds, institutional and private investors which has to be deployed in industry around the World.

    Trillions in deposits and securities are held in offshore banks, mostly by international business companies (IBCs) and trusts. Among offshore banks, Swiss banks hold an estimated 35% of the world's private and institutional funds (or 3 trillion Swiss francs), and the Cayman Islands (over 2 trillion US dollars in deposits) are the fifth largest banking centre globally in terms of deposits. However, data by the Swiss National Bank show that the assets held by foreign persons in Swiss bank accounts declined by 28.1% between January 2008 and November 2009.[12]

    Banking advantages[edit]

    • Offshore banks provide access to politically and economically stable jurisdictions. This will be an advantage for residents of areas where there is a risk of political turmoil, who fear their assets may be frozen, seized or disappear (see the corralito for example, during the 2001 Argentine economic crisis). However, it is also the case that onshore banks offer the same advantages in terms of stability.
    • Some offshore banks may operate with a lower cost base and can provide higher interest rates than the legal rate in the home country due to the narrow range of services provided and technological advancements along similar lines to challenger banks such as Revolut and Starling. Advocates of offshore banking often characterize government regulation as a form of tax on domestic banks, reducing interest rates on deposits. However, this is scarcely true now; most offshore countries offer very similar interest rates to those that are offered onshore and the offshore banks now have considerable compliance requirements making certain categories of customers (those from the USA or from higher risk profile countries) unattractive for different reasons.
    • Offshore finance is one of the few industries, along with tourism, in which geographically remote island countries can competitively engage. It can help developing countries source investment and create growth in their economies, and can help redistribute world finance to and from the developed and developing worlds. Equally, well-resourced and developed OFC countries such as New Zealand and Singapore offer a safe and reasonably-well administered background for these similar financial services.
    • Interest is generally paid by offshore banks without tax being deducted. This is an advantage to individuals who do not pay tax on worldwide income, or who do not pay tax until the tax return is agreed, or who feel that they can illegally evade tax by hiding the interest incomes. FATCA and CRS and other reporting mechanisms make the latter more difficult other than for the most blatant criminals.
    • Some offshore banks offer banking services that may not be available from domestic banks such as anonymous bank accounts, higher or lower rate loans based on risk and investment opportunities not available elsewhere. The number of jurisdictions offering anonymous accounts (or bearer shares) has fallen considerably in the last 20 years.
    • Offshore banking is often linked to other corporate structures, such as offshore companies, trusts or foundations, which may have specific uses and may still have tax advantages and bank security solutions incorporated in particular jurisdictions.

    Banking disadvantages[edit]

    • Offshore bank accounts are sometimes less financially secure than domestic ones.[citation needed] For example, in the banking crisis which swept the world in 2008, some savers lost funds that were not insured by the country in which they were deposited. Those who had deposited with the same banks onshore[where?] received all of their money back.[citation needed] In 2009, The Isle of Man authorities were keen to point out that 90% of the claimants were paid,[13] although this only referred to the number of people who had received money from their depositor compensation scheme and not the amount of money refunded. In reality, only 40% of depositor funds had been repaid: 24.8% in September 2009 and 15.2% in December 2009.[14] In reality. Switzerland, Luxembourg and other offshore jurisdictions now often have some form of compensation scheme.

    Both offshore and onshore banking centres often have depositor compensation schemes. For example: The Isle of Man compensation scheme[15] guarantees £50,000 of net deposits per individual depositor, or £20,000 for most other categories of depositor. Potential depositors should be aware that any deposits over the guaranteed amount are at risk. However, only offshore centres such as the Isle of Man have refused to compensate depositors 100% of their funds following bank collapses. Onshore depositors have been refunded in full, regardless of what the compensation limit of that country has stated.[16] Thus, banking offshore is historically riskier than banking onshore.

    • Offshore banking has been associated in the past with the underground economy and organized crime, thanks to movies such as the Firm through money laundering.[17] Following September 11, 2001, offshore banks, onshore banks along with clearing houses, have been accused of helping various organized crime gangs, terrorist groups, and other state or non-state actors. However, offshore banking is a legitimate financial service used by many expatriate and international workers.[18]
    • Offshore jurisdictions can be remote, and therefore costly to visit, so physical access can be difficult.[citation needed] This problem has been alleviated to a considerable extent with the advent and realization of online banking as a practical system.[citation needed]
    • Offshore private banking is usually more accessible to those with higher incomes, because of the costs of establishing and maintaining offshore accounts. However, simple savings accounts can be opened by anyone and maintained with scale fees equivalent to their onshore counterparts. The tax burden in developed countries thus falls disproportionately on middle-income groups.[citation needed] Historically, tax cuts have tended to result in a higher proportion of the tax take being paid by high-income groups, as previously sheltered income is brought back into the mainstream economy.[19] The Laffer curve demonstrates this tendency.
    • The US Bank Secrecy Act requires U.S. Taxpayers to file a Department of the Treasury Form 90–22.1 Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR: Each person or entity (including a bank) subject to the jurisdiction of the United States having an interest in, signature, or other authority over one or more bank, securities, or other financial accounts in a foreign country must file an FBAR if the aggregate value of such accounts at any point in a calendar year exceeds $10,000. (31 CFR 103.24). A recent[when?] District Court case in the 10th Circuit may have significantly expanded the definition of "interest in" and "other Authority".[citation needed]
    • Offshore bank accounts are sometimes touted as the solution to every legal, financial, and asset protection strategy, but the benefits are often exaggerated as in the more prominent jurisdictions, the level of Know Your Customer evidence required underplayed.[citation needed]

    European crackdown[edit]

    Ambox current red.svg

    This section's factual accuracy may be compromised due to out-of-date information. Please help update this article to reflect best countries to open offshore bank account events or newly available information.(February 2013)

    In their efforts to stamp down on cross border interest payments EU governments agreed to the introduction of the Savings Tax Directive in the form of the European Union withholding tax in July 2005. A complex measure, it forced EU resident savers depositing money in any country other than the one they are resident in to choose between forfeiting tax at the point of payment, or allowing notification by the offshore banks to tax authorities in their country of residence. This tax affects any cross border interest payment to an individual resident in the EU.

    Furthermore, the rate of tax deducted at source has risen, making disclosure increasingly attractive. Savers' choice of action is complex; tax authorities are not prevented from enquiring into accounts previously held by savers which were not then disclosed.

    In 2013, the European Union's Economic and Financial Affairs Council passed new European Union (EU) directives that bankers in EU member states will share their clients' identities and transaction records automatically. This action was also encouraged by other important countries such as Australia and the US. This has been reported by most offshore service providers offering services outside of the European Union.

    On 27 May kanye west watch the throne playlist, Switzerland signed an agreement with the EU that will align Swiss bank practices with those of EU countries, and in effect will end the special secrecy that EU-resident clients of Swiss banks had enjoyed in the past. Under the agreement, both Switzerland and EU countries will automatically exchange information on the financial accounts of each other's residents from 2018.[20]

    Banking services[edit]

    It is possible to obtain the full spectrum of financial services from offshore banks, including:

    Not every bank provides each service. Banks tend to polarise between retail services and private banking services. Retail services tend to be low-cost and undifferentiated, whereas private banking services tend to bring a personalised suite of services to the client.

    Scale of potential tax revenue[edit]

    Activists has stated that even just the lower estimate of £13 trillion on deposit in offshore accounts, if these assets earned an average 3% a year in income for their owners taxable at 30%, then the offshore funds would generate £121 billion in tax revenues,[10] on the unrealistic assumption that no tax is paid (i.e. no one pays any tax on offshore holdings), and the equally curious narrative that 100% of those deposits would otherwise have been liable to tax.[further explanation needed] Projections are often predicated upon levying tax on the capital sums held in offshore accounts, whereas most national systems of taxation tax income and/or capital gains rather than accrued wealth.[21] Much of the capital held in offshore banks is taxed already at source and where the capital represents profits, is reportable by the beneficial owner and will be taxed according to that owner’s tax residence. Capital is always deployed in investments which also then generates further tax revenue on those activities that have been invested in onshore.

    Ownership[edit]

    According to Merrill Lynch and Capgemini's “World Wealth Report” for 2000, one third of the wealth of the world's “high-net-worth individuals” — nearly $6 trillion out of $17.5 trillion — may now be held offshore. A large portion, £6.3tn, of offshore assets, is owned by only a tiny sliver, 0.001% (around 92,000 super wealthy individuals) of the world's population. In simple terms, this reflects the inconvenience associated with establishing these accounts, not that these accounts are only for the wealthy. Most all individuals can take advantage of these accounts.

    Money laundering[edit]

    The IMF has said that between $600 billion and $1.5 trillion of illicit money is laundered annually, equal to 2% to 5% of global economic output. Today, most of the world's drug money is allegedly laundered through offshore and lesser regulated jurisdictions such as Paraguay and the UAE and even the USA,[citation needed] estimated at up to $500 billion a year, more than the total income of the world's poorest 20%. Add the proceeds of tax evasion and the figure increases significantly. Another few hundred billion may come from fraud and corruption. "These offshore centers awash in money are the hub of a colossal, underground network of crime, fraud, and corruption" commented Lucy Komisar quoting these statistics.[1] In cases such as the 1MDB scandal the HSBC scandal and a host of Ponzi schemes including Bernard L Madoff Investment Securities, it has been demonstrated that a mixture of onshore and offshore individuals conspiring together to either turn a blind eye or actively collaborate in order for large scale fraud and money laundering to succeed. Some have been jailed and fined, some banks have closed yet other key actors remain relatively unscathed. Large fraud cases invariably involved the major global retail banks and real estate in the major onshore or mid shore financial centres in order for the criminals to launder the proceeds of crime into safer jurisdictions and carrera bbva bancomer 2018 cdmx global financial system as a whole.

    The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Los Angeles Times revealed that the United States government, specifically the US Treasury Department and the CIA, had a program to access the SWIFT transaction database after the September 11 attacks (see the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program) further diminishing the value of offshore banking for keeping Illicit activity secret.

    Regulation of international banks[edit]

    In the 21st century, regulation of offshore banking has increased exponentially but not evenly, although critics usually focus on the wrong areas. The quality of the regulation is monitored by supra-national bodies such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Banks are generally required to maintain capital adequacy in accordance with international standards. They must report at least quarterly to the regulator on the current state of the business.

    Since the late 1990s, especially following September 11, 2001, there have been a number of initiatives to increase the transparency of offshore banking, although critics such as the Association for the Taxation of Financial Transactions for the Aid of Citizens (ATTAC) non-governmental organization (NGO) maintain that they have been insufficient. A few examples of these are:

    • The tightening of anti-money laundering regulations in many countries including most popular offshore banking locations means that bankers and other service providers are required by law to report suspicion of money laundering to the local police authority, regardless of banking secrecy rules. There is more international co-operation between police authorities.
    • In the US the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) introduced Qualifying Intermediary requirements, which mean that the names of the recipients of US-source investment income are passed to the IRS.
    • Following 9/11 the US introduced the USA PATRIOT Act, which authorizes the US authorities to seize the assets of a bank, where it is believed that the bank holds assets for a suspected criminal. Similar measures have been introduced in some other countries.
    • The European Union has introduced sharing of information between certain jurisdictions, and enforced this in respect of certain controlled centers, such as the UK Offshore Islands, so that tax information is able to be shared in respect of interest.
    • The Bank Secrecy Act requires that Taxpayers file an FBAR for accounts outside of the United States that have balances in excess of $10,000
    • FATCA (the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act) became law in 2010 and "targets tax non-compliance by US taxpayers with foreign accounts [and] focuses on reporting by US taxpayers about certain foreign financial accounts and offshore assets [and] foreign financial institutions about car care credit card login accounts held by U.S. taxpayers or foreign entities in which U.S. taxpayers hold a substantial ownership interest."[22]

    Joseph Stiglitz, 2001 Nobellaureate for economics and former World Bank Chief Economist, told to reporter Lucy Komisar, investigating on the Clearstream scandal:

    "You ask why, if there's an important role for a regulated banking system, do you allow a non-regulated banking system to continue? It's in the interest of some of the moneyed interests to allow this to occur. It's not an accident; it could have been shut down at any time. If you said the At home franklin hours, the UK, the major G7 banks will not deal with offshore bank centers that don't comply with G7 banks regulations, these banks could not exist. They only exist because they engage in transactions with standard banks."[1]

    This viewpoint did not age well in the wake of scandals at Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, Barclays, HSBC, and others.

    It is possible to own your own personal offshore bank which are in a different regulatory class to those that may offer services to the public, so they are really only used by medium to large multinational corporations or large family offices.

    See also[edit]

    References[edit]

    1. ^"Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-09-01. Retrieved 2017-09-06.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
    2. ^Natarajan, Mangai (2010-11-15). International Crime and Justice. Cambridge University Press. ISBN .
    3. ^"Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-05-15. Retrieved 2017-08-10.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
    4. ^Unger, Brigitte (2014-01-01). "Money Laundering". In Bruinsma, Gerben; Weisburd, David (eds.). Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice. Springer New York. pp. 3137–3144. doi:10.1007/978-1-4614-5690-2_439. ISBN .
    5. ^In other countries no difference as long as you are resident and domiciled there (for example, the United Kingdom)[citation needed]
    6. ^"Havens for Tax Evasion". The New York Times. 2008-03-11. Archived from the original on 2013-12-05. Retrieved 2012-02-20.
    7. ^"Banking Statistics (Cayman)". Cayman Islands Monetary Authority. Archived from the original on 20 October 2014. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
    8. ^Trust Law in Wealth Management and Estate Planning, p.429
    9. ^For example, despite being the largest offshore jurisdiction by some distance in terms of number of incorporated offshore vehicles, the British Virgin Islands has only ever licensed seven banks and they focus on local business. This compares against hundreds in Switzerland, the Cayman Islands, and (third in number of total banking licences) the Bahamas.
    10. ^ abThe Guardian (UK), 21 July 2012, "£13tn: Hoard Hidden from Taxman by Global Elite," http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/jul/21/global-elite-tax-offshore-economyArchived 2012-07-23 at the Wayback Machine
    11. ^https://www.ifcreview.com/articles/2020/february/the-cayman-islands-and-offshore-finance-where-are-we-headed/
    12. ^"Are Private Foreign Assets Fleeing From Switzerland?". MyPrivateBanking.com. Archived from the original on 2012-03-28. Retrieved 2012-02-20.
    13. ^"Isle of Man Depositors' Compensation Scheme". Dcs.im. Archived from the original on 2015-10-04. Retrieved 2012-02-20.
    14. ^"Kaupthing Singer & Friedlander (Isle of Man) Limited (In Liquidation)". Kaupthingsingers.co.im. Archived from the original on 2012-03-06. Retrieved 2012-02-20.
    15. ^"FSC - Depositors' Compensation Scheme - Financial Supervision Commission". Gov.im. Archived from the original on 2012-03-16. Retrieved 2012-02-20.
    16. ^"Business | Icelandic bank savers bailed out". BBC News. 2008-10-08. Archived from the original on 2013-12-30. Retrieved 2012-02-20.
    17. ^Joseph Stiglitz (2008-10-22). "A crisis of confidence - Letting financial markets run wild was risky business indeed. Transparency, oversight and fair competition are becoming more commonplace now albeit until onshore jurisdictions also have verified beneficial ownership regimes, which appear to be under review in the USA and UK in 2021, criminals will not find it difficult to exploit the international financial systems". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 2013-09-03. Retrieved 2008-11-24.
    18. ^"Important things You Must Learn about Offshore Banking". World News. 2017-05-27. Archived from the original on 2017-09-06. Retrieved 2017-09-06.
    19. ^[1]Archived January 12, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
    20. ^"Fighting tax evasion: EU and Switzerland sign historic tax transparency agreement". Archived from the original on 7 September 2015.
    21. ^"Tax Wealth Not Work". Archived from the original on 7 July 2016. Retrieved 8 July 2016.
    22. ^"Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act". www.irs.gov. Archived from the original on 2017-06-12. Retrieved 2016-02-23.

    External links[edit]

    Источник: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Offshore_bank

    Nevis: how the world’s most secretive offshore haven refuses to clean up

    Tax havens hate attention. Places such as Jersey, Switzerland and the British Virgin Islands made a handsome living from helping their clients break other countries’ laws for decades, without anyone really noticing. And they liked it that way. Then came the 2007-8 financial crisis, and the good times ended. Rich nations, angry over the loss to their budgets caused by tax dodging, put diplomatic pressure on the havens. Activists, what was the first political party in the united states over the theft of hundreds of billions of pounds from poor countries, exposed them in the press. The release of vast troves of confidential information – SwissLeaks, the HSBC best countries to open offshore bank account, the Panama Papers, the Paradise Papers – cemented a public perception that offshore financial centres exist to help the powerful dodge their obligations to the rest of us, and governments have queued up to punish them. In May, when Britain’s parliament voted to force transparency on its Caribbean islands, it was just the latest blow to the offshore havens.

    This concerted campaign has threatened the tax haven business model. Since Swiss banks were forced to open bankamericard visa platinum plus by the US Department of Justice in 2010, their share of the world’s offshore wealth has dropped from almost half to less than a third. In the British Virgin Islands (BVI), where UK investigators now have access to corporate ownership information, the number of new companies created annually has fallen by more than 50% since 2012. Jersey’s banking sector is barely half the size that it was in 2007.

    Although cooperating with outsiders in this way has proven expensive, the havens clearly concluded there was little choice. If denied access to the global financial system, or sanctioned by Brussels or Washington, an offshore centre could be put out of business altogether.

    This is good. Tax havens have helped the world’s wealthiest and most powerful keep a disproportionate share of the benefits of globalisation, by preventing the rest of us from seeing how much they own. This, in turn, has eroded trust in democracy and capitalism all over the world. Restricting the operations of tax havens, and enforcing true transparency on the ownership of property, is crucial if citizens are truly to take back control of their countries’ destinies.

    Yet, at the heart of this increasingly encouraging picture, there remain a few holdouts – places that have stuck to the old habit of keeping the secrets of the powerful. Foremost among them is Nevis, a solitary volcano in the Caribbean with a population of just 11,000, which has been implicated in some of the most sordid financial scams of modern times, from Britain’s biggest-ever tax fraud to the fleecing of 620,000 vulnerable Americans in a $220m payday loan scam. The story of Nevis reveals the difficulties the world faces in trying to put an end to tax evasion, fraud and kleptocracy.

    While Nevis’s rivals have lost business by opening up, Nevis has doubled down on secrecy. Not long ago, I spoke to a lawyer with extensive experience of the island, who asked not to be identified because he still needs to work with Nevisian officials. “The only good thing that Donald Trump could do, if he was ever so inclined,” he said, “is take a battleship and roll it up to Nevis, and literally train the guns and say: ‘Get rid of these bullshit laws or I’ll blow you to kingdom come.’”

    In short, he said, “A bright light needs to be shone on this cockroach.”


    Tax havens are often lumped together as if they all do the same job. In reality, they are distinctive and highly specialised predators in the financial shark tank. At the top of the food chain – as far as the western world goes, anyway – are places such as London, Switzerland and New York. These apex predators are surrounded by clouds of pilot fish that snap up the scraps: places such as Monaco, Jersey and the Cayman Islands.

    These smaller centres all play different aspects of the offshore game: Jersey specialises in trusts, the BVI in incorporation, Liechtenstein in foundations. They also differ in their tolerance for criminality. Among the British territories: Gibraltar is dodgier than Guernsey, but cleaner than Anguilla. And they serve different geographical regions: Mauritius for Africa and India; Cyprus for the former Soviet Union; the Bahamas for the US.

    In the world of offshore, Nevis is a bottom-feeder. It specialises inletting its clients create corporations with greater anonymity than almost anywhere else on earth. Last year, information on 70,000 Nevisian companies was leaked as part of the Paradise Papers investigation, but that didn’t help us find out who owns them: ownership information is so secret there that even the island’s own corporate registry doesn’t know. In other words, there was nothing substantial to leak.

    “We feel very strongly that people are entitled to some semblance of financial privacy,” the Nevis premier, Mark Brantley, himself an offshore lawyer, told me when we met in his office in January. “Why shouldn’t you be entitled to a secret?”

    The secrets don’t belong to residents of Nevis, of course: it would be hard to keep anything quiet for long on an island this size. The secrets belong to foreigners and are being kept from other foreigners, with Nevis getting paid to protect them.

    We can see that these secrets exist thanks to the UK’s Land Registry, which releases spreadsheets listing all offshore-owned property in the country, along with the registered address of the company that owns it. Some of the secrets are mundane and could be entirely innocent. For instance, who is behind Shi Li Gao Trustees Ltd, the Nevis-incorporated company that owns 13 Brunswick Gardens, a handsome terrace a short walk from Kensington Palace? Some of them are intriguing: for what reason would a Catholic primary school in Liverpool be held via this little Caribbean volcano? And some are decidedly weird: who on earth decided to structure their ownership of a room in a hotel on Llandudno’s North Parade through Caribbean Establishment LLC?

    But all of these questions are impossible to answer since the secrets are sealed away in Nevis. If these properties were owned via a British company, the true owner of that company would have to be declared to Companies House, and would be visible to anyone with access to the internet. If they were owned via a BVI company, that information would be available to the British police. But a Nevisian company is a closed book, and some people really like it that way.

    While the BVI has seen the number of companies created there each year collapse, the number created in Nevis has stayed stable. Since 2012, the island’s financial services sector has grown by more than a quarter, as people with secrets have moved to a place that still keeps them. That is a pretty good argument for Brantley’s government not to follow the BVI in opening up its corporate registries to foreigners. Secrecy pays.

    “The numbers are relatively small, compared to other financial services industries around, but bear in mind the size of Nevis,” Brantley said. “We get direct revenues of $5m-$5.5m, simply from renewal fees.” Renewal fees are what you pay to maintain your company’s registration; the more companies there are, the more fees you get. “When that is extrapolated outwards – in terms of rental of office space, employment – we recognise that it does have a multiplier effect on the economy.”

    It is this provision of secrecy that makes Nevis such an obstacle to law-enforcement investigators. If police can’t prove who owns something, they can’t prove it was criminally acquired, say, or that tax was avoided on the profits from it. This is what crooks are looking for when they send their business offshore. Around 300 British properties are owned in Nevis, and Brantley was unrepentant in defending the secrecy his island provides to those properties’ owners.

    “Why should a bureaucrat in London, or wherever, curious about his neighbour’s financial situation, pick up the phone and say, ‘You know what, I need to know if Mr John Smith, who’s my neighbour down the road, has an account or a company in Nevis.’ Why’s that his business?” Brantley asked. “Why are Mr John Smith’s financial affairs any business of bank of america advantage savings account bureaucrat in London, unless there’s an allegation against Mr John Smith that he’s somehow contravening some law somewhere?”

    It is an interesting philosophical question, but it is also a major capital one 360 bank savings rate. Countries recognise and respect each other’s laws and sovereignty, so Nevis corporations santander bank phone number 24 7 as much international validity as anyone’s. So, as long as Nevis persists in denying foreigners access to the ownership information of its companies – no matter how hard other places work to open up – scoundrels can keep routing their business via Nevis, breaking the chain of traceable ownership, and hiding themselves and their crimes from discovery. That means crooked politicians, tax dodgers and fraudsters in Ukraine, Nigeria, Malaysia, the US or anywhere else get to mismanage their country’s finances for their own benefit.

    And, thanks to Nevis’s curious constitutional situation – it is neither an independent country nor can it be controlled by any other country – there doesn’t appear to be anything we can do about it.


    From the sea, Nevis (pronounced “knee-vis”) resembles a green nipple. It is elegantly symmetrical, a tropical volcano ringed with golden beaches. By surface area, it is roughly the same size as Bristol, yet its peak is taller than any mountain in England, so the whole island slopes upwards, starting gently where the beach bars shelter among the palm trees, then steadily steepening, while the tree cover gets denser. If you hike up the peak, you are in true rainforest, and will find yourself scrutinised by monkeys in the overhanging greenery.

    It is a gorgeous place, much frequented by famous people. Earlier this week, John Cleese told Newsnight he was so fed up with how Britain is run that he is best countries to open offshore bank account to Nevis for good. “It’s one of the nicest islands I’ve ever been to,” he said. “The children and adults are extraordinarily well-educated, the weather’s good the whole time, I’m very lucky.”

    The island was once a major centre for Britain’s sugar growers and slave traders, but it slipped into obscurity in the 18th century, when it was out-competed by larger and more fertile rivals. In the 19th century, Britain added it to neighbouring Boone county library job fair Kitts for administrative purposes, and it was as the junior half of the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis that it became independent in 1983.

    The 80s were a bonanza period for Caribbean islands, as the global economy opened up and law enforcement was caught flat-footed. Tax evaders and drug dealers from North and South America flew planeloads of dollar bills into places such as Cayman and Anguilla, stashed them in bank accounts owned by untraceable shell companies, then invested them in property in Florida, the south of France or New York.

    In 1984, Bill Barnard, an American lawyer who had taken to vacationing on Nevis, asked the island’s premier if he would be interested in getting into the offshore game. Thanks to the almost complete autonomy Nevis enjoys under the federal constitution of St Kitts and Nevis, its first premier, Simeon Daniel, was free to do what he liked. He approved Barnard’s suggestion, passed the incorporation and secrecy laws the American lawyer drafted and awarded Barnard’s company, Morning Star Holdings, the right to act as exclusive agent for creating the companies. It was a win for both of them. (Neither Morning Star Holdings nor Barnard wished to comment for this piece.)

    At first, Nevis struggled to compete with already-established rivals, partly because it had no particular advantage of its own. Barnard and his team of American lawyers had borrowed their legislation from Delaware, which acts as a sort of tax haven within the US by offering laxer regulations and lower taxes than the other states, so there wasn’t much reason to look to a remote island for products you could already buy elsewhere. “It was certainly successful,” says David Neufeld, a New Jersey lawyer and an expert on company structuring and international tax. “But it was never at the level of BVI or Cayman.”

    When Barnard’s monopoly expired in 1994, Nevis took the opportunity comenity big lots credit card login reboot. Neufeld already worked with Barnard, and was asked to help Nevis diversify its offering. Tax havens are always borrowing ideas from each other, seeking to improve on laws that are proving popular – and this process has led to progressively greater secrecy, fewer taxes and lighter regulations. Neufeld looked to the USnited States for inspiration, and specifically to Wyoming, which had invented the limited liability company (LLC), a useful hybrid structure that allowed people to avoid identification and taxes at the same time, as well as offering other benefits.

    LLCs make it hard for your creditors to find your assets, which also helps rich people avoid paying damages if they lose a lawsuit. Your creditors may have a court judgment against you, but if they can’t find your stuff, they will settle for perhaps 50 cents on the dollar to get the legal wrangling over with. Lawyers call this asset protection.

    But in the US, it is hard to hide property, since courts can order disclosure of information. Handily, those courts have no jurisdiction in Nevis, which made the idea of a Caribbean version of the LLC very attractive. “In my mind, I was trying to create an LLC for the 51st state,” Neufeld told me. “If you see yourself as someone who could be exposed to some kind of predatory lawsuit where people feel you have assets that are exposed, this gives you an opportunity to protect that.”

    In simple terms, Nevis’s laws allow rich people to put ramparts around their property, to protect amazon credit card fraud department phone number from someone who might want to use the courts to take it away, whether that be a business partner, a spouse, an estranged child, or indeed anyone. All tax havens do this, but Nevis turned the ratchet many clicks further than its rivals, in its efforts to tempt business away from its rivals.

    To bring legal proceedings on Nevis, you have to file a bond of $100,000 with the court as proof that your case isn’t frivolous. If you win, that is only the beginning of your quest for the assets. Nevis’s regulator holds no information on either the ownership of the company or its assets. Nevis’s LLCs – Neufeld’s innovation – can’t be wound up, meaning you won’t be able to confiscate any assets they own, and you would have to seek redress elsewhere. If you seek to challenge the legality of a property being put in a Nevis-registered trust – for example, if you thought the property actually belonged to you – you have to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the trust’s creation was fraudulent, and you would have to begin that legal challenge within a year of its creation. This is tricky, since Nevis law requires all information on the trust to be confidential, so you would be unlikely to know it even existed.

    These ludicrously formidable defences are not really intended to be used, but instead – like the bright colouring of a poisonous tree frog – they exist to warn you off attacking in the first place. If they can persuade a citicards sign in costco to settle out of court for less than is owed, then, for a rich person with vulnerable assets, they are well worth paying for.

    “I don’t like the word ‘hidden’,” says Laurie Lawrence, who retired a couple of years ago after two decades as permanent secretary to the Nevis government. “It’s protected, not hidden. There’s nothing to hide. Look at it from the other way: a lot of females are gold-diggers. You are married to a man; you don’t really love him, but he has money. People find ways and means to protect their assets.”

    This is perhaps why a wealthy person might want to own a Kensington house (or, indeed, a Llandudno hotel room) via a Nevisian company or other structure: it prevents a divorced spouse, or any other creditor, from accessing that property, without a tortuous legal process. “Nevis structures started coming up about 12 years ago, and they’re coming around with increasing prevalence,” Jeffrey Fisher, one of America’s leading divorce lawyers, told me by telephone from West Palm Beach in Florida.

    “I’m a former prosecutor, and I know about the ways people hide money, and what they’ll do,” said Fisher. “My approach to getting assets that are in asset protection entities like a Nevis LLC, is that you don’t go to Nevis and try to get the money out – that is a foolhardy enterprise. They passed laws and they set up structures to stop us and to make it expensive and to make it take years and years and years. What we do here is we use some more creative approaches to, for lack of a better term, make them cough up the dough.”

    Fisher’s approach is to target property and bank accounts in the US, to make his opponents’ lives so onerous that they eventually beg to settle – and he’s extremely good at it. The trouble is that anyone who cannot afford to employ highly expensive specialists such as Fisher has no prospect of even finding where their spouse has put their property, let alone wrestling a fair share away from them. They have to accept what they’re given – there’s no court that can help them.

    “You’ve got to realise that the asset protection industry is trillions of dollars, not billions of dollars, it’s trillions of dollars,” said Fisher. “Essentially, it’s: we’re going to find a way to screw legitimate creditors out of collecting a legitimate debt. That’s the business these people are in.”


    Brantley, the Nevis premier, is fluent and passionate in his defence of the ramparts that Nevis builds for rich people looking to protect their assets from creditors. “All it does is say that you’re creating a locked box, so to speak, if you want to protect assets,” Brantley said, when we met in his office up the hill from Charlestown, Nevis’s capital village. “And people protect assets for a variety of reasons. It’s not always to get away from a pending divorce.”

    The trouble is that when you cast your eye beyond the divorce cases, Nevis’s business model begins to looks even worse. The Nevis financial system is rudimentary compared to the large tax havens – places such as Jersey, or the Cayman Islands, which have major accountancy firms, fund managers, large banks and other global behemoths. In Nevis, there’s precious little money for anyone to avoid tax on. But then, it isn’t really a haven from taxes at all, so much as a haven from scrutiny of any kind. The same laws that appeal to the kind of nervous and wealthy men who want to hide their assets from their wives, have been regularly exploited by crooks from all over the world.

    Britain’s biggest-ever tax fraud – for which five men were jailed in November, after attempting to scam the Treasury out of £107m in tax – involved Nevis-registered companies, which were helping to hide the identity of the fraudsters. The family of a former president of Taiwan used a Nevis trust to help to hide its ownership of corruptly acquired US property. Ukraine’s deposed president, Viktor Yanukovych, used Nevis structures to hide his stolen assets, as did corrupt Russian officials who stole $230m from the budget in 2007. (When the accountant Sergei Bank of the james bedford va uncovered the scam, they arrested him and left him to die in is opry mills mall open today British trader Navinder Sarao, who pleaded tn dept of revenue sales tax online to fraud for helping cause 2010’s flash crash, diverted some of his profits to a Nevis structure called the NAV Sarao Milking Markets Fund.

    According to the independent advocacy group Tax Justice Network, Nevis out-obscures how to get a straight talk account number the traditional offshore centres: BVI, Switzerland, Guernsey, the Isle of Man, Luxembourg, and even fellow bottom-feeders such as Belize and the Cook Islands. And its enthusiasm for secrets impedes other countries’ efforts to enforce transparency.

    To see how, just look at the UK. In theory, it has always been possible to find out who a British company’s shareholders are, but until recently there was a loophole. If a company was owned offshore, shareholders could preserve their anonymity. To combat this, in 2016, the government brought in a law that requires UK companies to declare the identity of their true owner or owners: any person with significant control (PSC). (Defined thus: “A person of significant control is someone that holds more than 25% of shares or voting rights in a company, has the right to appoint or remove the majority of the board of directors or otherwise exercises significant influence or control.”) This new system is imperfect, not least because Companies House doesn’t check the information provided to it, but it’s a step towards full transparency, and part of the UK’s commitment to stop its companies being used to enable tax dodging and kleptocracy.

    But a search of the Companies House website reveals how Nevis is able to defang Britain’s attack on secrecy. For instance, I recently came across three LLPs, all of which are owned by the same two Nevis companies: Tallberg and Uniwell. According to data gathered by the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, one of these LLPs controlled a Latvian bank account used in a money-laundering scheme; the other two have not been implicated in any wrongdoing (and neither have Tallberg and Uniwell). Bank of america card fraud department to Companies House, the three LLPs have the same ownership structure, which means that their person or persons with significant control should be the same. Mysteriously, however, each of the LLPs is listed as having a different PSC. This is technically possible, but highly unlikely. But we have no way of finding out the truth, since Nevis does not cooperate with the UK in allowing law enforcement officers to see who really owns Nevisian companies such as Tallberg and Uniwell. These three LLPs are not isolated examples – Tallberg and Uniwell alone have owned dozens of British companies, and there are many more Nevisian corporations like them.

    The new UK law requiring disclosure of true owners is useless if that ownership can just be hidden in Nevis. And this is why Nevis-controlled but British-registered companies, whose ownership is unclear, have been involved in many of the massive eastern European money-laundering scams collectively known as the “laundromats”, which have moved tens of billions of dollars out of the former Soviet Union. Nevis ownership can transform a supposedly transparent British company into a secrecy vehicle as iniquitous as anything on earth.

    In the words of Jack Blum, a veteran investigator of corruption who has worked for the UN and the US senate: “If somebody finds out that there’s a Nevis corporation involved [in a scam], and they go to Nevis, they could waterboard the entire board of directors and nobody would know anything.”


    Charlestown is a handsome place, consisting of a long street of two-storey buildings parallel to the shore, many with first-floor balconies for catching the sea breeze. Its most striking feature, however, is the truly remarkable number of signs advertising lawyers, accountants and administrators. The Devon town of Ilfracombe, with its 11,000 inhabitants, has two lawyers’ offices, an insurance company and two sets of accountants, as well as a branch of Lloyds and a Nationwide. The 11,000 Nevisians, by contrast, host six domestic banks, one international bank, 18 insurance managers, seven international insurance entities, four money service businesses and 58 registered agents, many of them law firms. Nevis may be the most over-lawyered place on earth.

    When you get off the ferry, almost the first house you see is the Henville building, nominal home to the Azerbaijan first family’s business empire. If you then turn right at the T-junction, you see the Edith Solomon building (although it has lost two of the letters from its name), which hosted an Idaho payday loan company that was shut down by the state government in 2012, for operating without a license. Barely 100 metres in the opposite direction on Main Street, meanwhile, is the office of Morning Star Holdings, pioneers of the Nevis offshore industry.

    I was keen to find the registered address of Tallberg and Uniwell, the two Nevisian companies that had so successfully outmanoeuvred UK company law, in the – admittedly, rather forlorn – hope that I could find someone who would give me information about them. Their registered address was the same as that of the Nevis International Trust Company (NITC), which, according to its website, will supply you not only with a shell company, but also with nominee directors and shareholders, which will further obscure your involvement in it, as well as a bank account, a credit card and a stock trading account. “Nevis is an excellent location for: privacy, estate planning, asset protection, tax reduction planning, holding investments, royalty and licensing ownership,” the website states.

    I had an address for the NITC’s office, but no one on the island was able to tell me where it was. I spent a frustrating, hot and thirsty morning searching for it and, when I finally got through on the phone, was brushed off. “I’m not a robber,” I told the woman who answered the phone, after she had refused to help me. “I don’t know that, do I?” she replied.

    In fairness, she had a good reason not to talk. According to a 1985 law, anyone on Nevis disclosing financial information without a court order is liable to a prison term of up to a year, as well as a fine of $10,000. (This is another area where Nevis is resisting the trend towards openness. Cayman previously had a similar law against breaching confidentiality, but decriminalised the offence in 2016.)

    When I tried phoning the registered office of Tallberg and Uniwell, the receptionist refused to even tell me where the office was, so I couldn’t visit. When I emailed the NITC, there was no reply. Eventually I had to accept that it was not going to be possible to make contact with them, which meant the true ownership information for the three LLPs was undiscoverable.

    And it is not just journalists who are unable to check the reliability of Nevis’ financial information for themselves; foreign police can’t either. That means we are all reliant on the Nevis financial services regulatory commission to do it for us. The commission is based in an office in the centre of Charlestown, and is run by Heidi-Lynn Sutton, its chief regulator, who works in an office on the first floor.

    Sutton started off unfriendly, and became less friendly as our 45-minute chat progressed, her manner becoming increasingly exasperated. She flatly dismissed the US state department’s description of Nevis as “a desirable location for criminals to conceal proceeds”. It was simply untrue, she said, that Nevis had anonymous bank accounts, bank secrecy and an opaque corporate register.

    This was odd, since her regulator’s own website states that bank account holders on the island have no obligation to provide any “statement, return or information (to) … the regulator or the minister”. However, Sutton defended Nevis against all allegations, no matter how serious. The heavy cost of bringing proceedings in Nevis court, for example, was simply to protect the justice system from being “bombarded with frivolous lawsuits”, rather than to protect the wealthy. “That is our weeding-out mechanism,” she said. “Some countries are very litigious. If you get a little burn on your hand because you spill a McDonald’s coffee, somebody will sue you.”

    When I explained the difficulty I had faced in even finding NITC, Sutton laughed, asking why I was looking for it. I explained that I had hoped to discover who actually owned the limited partnerships on the British registry. When I asked about whether the regulator she runs might have failed to notice a number of serious money-laundering schemes, she simply said: “I can’t speak to that, I really cannot speak to that.”

    What about the fact that the former ruling families of Taiwan and Ukraine, as well as lower-profile crooks from all over the world, had used Nevis vehicles to obscure the ownership of their stolen assets? Sutton laughed again. “I can’t accept that there has been multiple usage of our structures to facilitate whatever. I can’t accept hearing it from you. I won’t be able to speak to that.”

    If the island is so clean, why did online trolls looking to smear Emmanuel Macron before the 2017 French presidential election create fake documents supposedly showing he had a shell company in Nevis? Isn’t that a sign that the industry Sutton oversees has an image problem? “People make things up all the time,” she replied. “Once you are an international financial centre, and provide certain services, you will always be a target, it doesn’t mean that it’s true.”

    I have spent most of the last four years researching financial crimes, and have spoken to dozens of regulators and investigators in multiple jurisdictions, but never before had I met one who responded in such a way to allegations of grand corruption, money laundering and fraud that I was making against their jurisdiction.

    Like any financial centre, Nevis must choose between turning away dirty money, or attracting as much business as it can. I did not find my visit to Nevis reassuring.


    Since Nevisian officials appear happy with the current situation, it is up to outsiders to force change on the island, and sadly – thanks to the constitutional peculiarities of the federation – this is all but impossible. We know this because it has been tried.

    In 1995, in federation-wide elections, the St Kitts and Nevis Labour party swept to power with seven of the 11 federal seats, and its leader, Denzil Douglas, became prime minister. He had no seats on Nevis, but did not need any to pass laws for the whole federation. Among his priorities was restricting Nevis’ sordid financial sector. “We were aware that the international community had begun to frown upon Nevis, and on the international financial services that were poorly regulated, not supervised, etc,” said Douglas when we met in his office in Basseterre, the federal capital, which is on St Kitts. “And we sought to bring in new legislation. So they had their referendum.”

    The federal constitution allows Nevis to hold a referendum on secession whenever it wants to, and so, in 1998, annoyed by Douglas’s attempt to rein in its lawyers, it did. And 62% of Nevisians voted to break free of their neighbours, which was not quite enough to reach the two-thirds super-majority that the constitution demanded, but enough to make Douglas and his government back down. “The government has no choice,” Douglas said, “because we’ve tried.”

    In 2000, the Financial Action Task Force – a Paris-based group created by the G7 to develop policies against money-laundering – blacklisted the whole of St Kitts and Nevis, as one of 15 countries deemed to be non-cooperative. That forced Nevis to agree to federal legislation, but did not change the basic dynamic that it has significantly more autonomy than Scotland has within the UK, and in some ways more than individual US states. One financial professional in Basseterre described the relationship between Nevis and St Kitts as like that of a teenager with access to his big brother’s credit card.

    Even if Premier Brantley were not ideologically committed to selling privacy to wealthy foreigners, his government’s statistics provide plenty of reasons for him to favour maintaining the country’s opaque company-registration system on purely pragmatic grounds. Fees from incorporating companies and renewing their registration made up more than 16% of Best countries to open offshore bank account government revenue in 2015, up from less than 12% in 2014.

    None of the tools that large countries have used against tax havens such as Switzerland or Jersey – diplomatic pressure, legal proceedings against fifth third bank near me right now, and so on – are applicable to Nevis. It is part of a fully independent country (unlike the BVI or Gibraltar) and the companies providing its services (unlike the Swiss banks targeted by the US Department of Justice) are not large enough to fear losing their offices in the US.

    Major western countries will have to make their criticism of Nevis via diplomatic channels, if they want it to change its ways. Brantley got his retaliation in first, however, accusing the British government of hypocrisy.

    “It is no secret that the UK, and London in particular, has a disproportionate number of wealthy Russians, for example, and wealthy oligarchs from all around the world, and the question is: why? It can’t be for the weather. So, why are people flocking to London? So, if the United Kingdom can do that, then what is the issue with other countries, not as endowed as the UK, trying to stand on their own two feet?”

    The issue is that if every jurisdiction thinks only of how to stand on its own two feet – whether that’s post-Brexit Britain, Nevis or Wyoming – we will all be pushed over separately by the world’s crooks and thieves. Brantley is right that we all need to do more to fight kleptocrats and fraudsters, but by keeping their secrets and making money from it, Nevis is stopping the rest of us from moving forward.

    This article was amended on 12 July 2018 to correct an error. An earlier version stated that www tri countybank com was impossible for the three LLPs mentioned in the text to have three different persons with significant control. It is, in fact, technically possible.

    Follow the Long Read on Twitter at @gdnlongread, or sign up to the long read weekly email here.

    Источник: https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/jul/12/nevis-how-the-worlds-most-secretive-offshore-haven-refuses-to-clean-up

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