Once strictly the privilege of the super wealthy, offshore bank accounts have now become a common practice for anyone wishing to effectively lower their tax burden. Over 50 countries across the world offer foreigners the opportunity to legally open offshore bank accounts in their jurisdiction, providing formidable tax benefits.
With dozens of different types of bank accounts within each jurisdiction, it is imperative that you have a deep understanding of the subject in order to choose the correct type to meet your needs. Financial Guardian specializes in helping clients open offshore bank accounts and we have analyzed dozens of offerings from various banks in order to be able to advise our clients on the best offshore account type and most cost-effective alternative.
While it is true that competition amongst banks within a certain jurisdiction will lower fees, this should not be the only determining factor. Financial services structures within a jurisdiction should also be considered. Austria or Liechtenstein for example, have considerable fees tied to their financial offerings, whist other jurisdictions have experienced a drive down of prices due to healthy competition amongst banks.
With such a wide range of options, jurisdictions and offerings around the world, let our expertise guide you in deciding which is the best deal to meet your needs.
There are several factors that help determine the fees for opening an offshore account. For starters, the offshore service provider is a determining factor, as are the level of competition in a certain jurisdiction, the reputation of such jurisdiction and the general cost of business operation within that country.
- The fees for opening up and maintaining an offshore account are usually broken up into advanced payments and periodic payments.
Some examples of the fees are:
- Account opening fees
- Card issuing fees
- Internet banking fees
- General administrative costs like couriers for document sending or printing costs, etc.
- Out of pocket fees for consultancy (ie apostille or notarizing costs, certified copies)
If you hire a consultant, add fees for his assistance with account documentation and processing as well as any out-of-pocket expenses (notary and apostille fees, certified copies, express courier fees, etc.). All fees should be disclosed in advance.
Based on the costs involved in opening up an offshore account, the following are the 2 cheapest jurisdictions:
British Virgin Islands
The British Virgin Islands (BVI), an English speaking country located in the Caribbean, is one of the oldest and most reputable offshore jurisdictions. BVI has a flexible and dynamic banking sector, with a lot of strong banks
Mauritius – The Eastern African island offers individuals and companies a gateway to Africa and to the far east. It’s strategic location attracts many international banks, one of the biggest being AfrAsia Bank Limited.