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An Account in a Foreign Bank:
What Country Should You Choose?

The banking industry has been changing dramatically in recent years. Changes are taking place in all countries of the world. Notably, some of them are negative while others are positive. The good news is that the changes that make the bank administrators and the bank clients’ lives harder have come to an end, and those changes that make everybody’s lives easier are ongoing.

The international AML and CTF campaigns have made it obligatory for the banks to know their clients. Every bank now implements certain due diligence procedures when a prospective client applies for its services. Some banks are somewhat relaxed when it comes to security checks while others are really tough on new clients. If you want to open a bank account in a foreign country, you have to be ready for more stringent requirements than those you would find at home. Opening a foreign bank account is quite possible but we must admit that it has become harder than it used to be. At the same time, changes for the worse are over. Why? Because the international regulators cannot come any harder on banks. If they did, banks would have to shut down because tougher requirements would make their operations impossible. Global administrators realize that the modern world couldn’t exist without banks and there is a limit to tightening the screws.

On the other hand, changes for the better are happening at the speed of light and they are going to continue without doubt! Even though ATMs have been around since the 1980s, the online banking applications appeared only a few years ago. The smartphone came into existence only recently but a growing number of people actively use banking applications for smartphones today.

There were times when you had to have cash to pay for goods and services. The first credit cards appeared about a hundred years ago but they were of limited use until ATMs became widespread. Today, you don’t even have to have a plastic card to make payments in various shops and stores: you can use your smartphone! Do you remember your last visit to the bank office? Was it a long time ago? Probably, it was. Everybody banks online or with the help of their smartphones these days. In addition to payment opportunities, other banking services are readily available online. You can make a transfer only with a few clicks if you use the banking application installed in your computer. The number of clicks is going to be a bit higher if you want to take out a bank loan using an online application but it is possible to do so anyway. Our lives have truly become a lot easier as far as getting access to banking services is concerned. One thing remains necessary, however, if you want to use online banking apps and this is having a bank account.

What countries should you take into consideration if your goal is to open a foreign bank account? It depends on what you are looking for. Suppose that you’d like to set up a corporate account for an offshore-registered company. As you probably know, it can be rather challenging to acquire banking services for an offshore company from reputable international banks. It would be a good idea to register the company in an offshore jurisdiction that has a strong banking sector. You can open both an offshore company and an offshore bank account in Nevis, for example.

Another offshore jurisdiction worth considering is Mauritius. There you can gain access to elite banking services. Multicurrency bank cards, wonderful investment opportunities, personal data security, and many other valuable products and services are readily available in Mauritius. Please bear in mind that the country has been taken off the black lists of uncooperative countries compiled by OECD and FATF.

The Cayman Islands is one more country that offers attractive opportunities for offshore banking. The jurisdiction is not exactly a country but rather an overseas territory of the United Kingdom but it enjoys a high level of autonomy. The banking regulations in the Caymans in particular make it possible to protect your financial assets in an efficient manner and the possibilities for asset diversification are plentiful in the jurisdiction. Please make a note of the fact that taxes are low in the Cayman Islands and certain types of income such as capital gains or wages, for example, are not taxed there at all.

If you are looking for a highly secure bank abroad, then you should give an eye to Switzerland or Liechtenstein. Banks in both jurisdictions are well known for the superb quality of banking services that they provide. If you’d like to bank in Switzerland or Liechtenstein, however, you have to be ready to pass through stringent security scanning whichever bank you pick.

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