Offshore Banking

Written by Michael Federico
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Offshore banking, thought by many to simply be the stuff of spy thrillers and John Grisham novels, is actually practiced by many American citizens and corporations. To most, or at least to the wealthiest, the greatest benefits to offshore banking are the tax breaks and special rates of interest given to those who are willing to put their money in the hands of an offshore institution. Offshore banks also provide asset protection and security that is unrivaled onshore. A client's assets are protected from lawsuits as well as government agencies. These reasons alone are enough for many to go offshore with their money, but for those who want more, most banks offer a wide range of special services.

Offshore Banking Perks and Risks

Over the past several years, the offshore market place has become flooded, forcing many banks to lower their minimum deposit. Where $100,000 used to be the standard, commitments of $20,000, or even $10,000, are now accepted by some. However, the true perks are still reserved for those with the largest accounts.

A private bank manager will work directly with a wealthier client. He or she will discover what that client's goals are and how the client likes things done. This private banker functions almost as an investment manager, offering advice and seeking out new investment opportunities for his client. Another perk allows clients to keep their savings in multiple currencies where it can accumulate in a tax-free environment.

Despite all the benefits offshore banking offers, there are, of course, risks. A prospective client must educate himself as to the stability of the country that has jurisdiction over a specific bank. Also, one must look for objectivity in the investment advice that a personal bank manager gives. There are a variety of stable, service-oriented offshore banks in the world, and anyone who is willing to put a large sum of money into the hands of an institution will surely be able to find one that suits his or her needs.


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