Top Offshore Banking Locations for Enhanced Privacy and Protection

| 7 Nov 2012 | 2 Comments

Offshore bank accounts are commonly misrepresented as a financial tool for the ultra wealthy. In reality, most individuals can establish offshore bank accounts that benefit from low minimum deposits, tax-free savings, increased privacy, and asset protection. Depending on your citizenship, your financial objectives, and your banking needs, the most appropriate jurisdiction in which you should select to set up an offshore account will vary.

offshore bankingBesides being an effective investment and tax friendly vehicle, an offshore bank account offers numerous advantages to account holders. Not only can individuals make use of offshore accounts to diversify their investment portfolios, but also they can benefit from tax savings, high interest rates, legal protection, and financial stability. However, knowing which jurisdiction to establish your account in is key to achieving your financial goals. Many countries require personal presence for the opening of an account, while other locations may require substantial deposits. Upon deciding on your primary banking goals, you can then ascertain the most suitable jurisdiction to bank with.

Here we provide the top five locations that offer unparalleled banking privacy to account holders.

#1 Seychelles

The Seychelles is a renowned jurisdiction for the opening of offshore bank accounts; individuals can achieve asset protection in a financially stable and secure climate whilst enjoying 100% anonymity and heightened account privacy. One of the most favored aspects of the Seychelles as an offshore banking destination is that the jurisdiction’s governmental authorities have no direct access to bank information without a court order. In addition, there is no personal presence required to open a Seychelles offshore account.

Seychelles is favored not only for its high levels of privacy and banking protection, but also for its tax friendly climate; the country has 13 double tax treaties including Cyprus, Barbados, UAE and China. Further to this, the Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA) is signed only with the Netherlands, making the Seychelles an excellent choice for individuals seeking tax and privacy benefits.

Additional features:

  • Online banking access
  • International wire transfer payments
  • 1-2 days to open account
  • Available banking currencies include but are not limited to USD, EUR, GBP and CAD

Individuals should note that the initial minimum deposit required is US $100,000.

#2 Cyprus

Although Cyprus is an EU member state and thus operates in accordance with the EU Savings Tax Directive 2005, information regarding interest paid to legal entities including trusts and foundations are not subject to the directive and as such, cannot be passed over to tax authorities. In addition, Cyprus authorities cannot obtain any financial or banking information regarding an account holder without a court order.

Cyprus bank accounts boast 100% anonymity and no personal presence is required to open an account.

Additional features:

  • No initial minimum deposit is required
  • No minimum balance is required
  • Tax friendly jurisdiction with double tax treaties with 45 countries
  • Access to online banking
  • International wire transfer payments
  •  Banking currencies include USD, EUR, GBP and CAD

#3 Belize

banking privacyFor individuals whose primary concern is banking privacy, Belize reigns as one of the best bank account choices. Not only is banking secrecy ‘strictly enforced by law’, but personal presence is not a requirement for opening an account. Authorities cannot access any bank information about an account holder without a court order, which can only bse obtained with good reason i.e. evidence that funds are a result of a crime.

Belize offshore bank accounts have a credible reputation as a safe financial vehicle for asset protection and wealth management purposes. Banking institutions, which provide offshore accounts, are regulated by the Belize Central Bank in accordance with:

  • The Banks and Financial Institutions Act 1995
  • The Introduction of the Offshore Banking Act 1996
  • The Money Laundering (prevention) Act 1996

Additional features:

  • International bank cards
  • Savings and time deposit accounts
  • Exempt from local taxes or exchange control restrictions
  • Accounts can be in any major currency including USD, EUR, CAD
  • Account can be opened in 1-2 working days
  • Access to online banking and bank cards

Account holders should note that a minimum initial deposit of US $1,000 is required, and a minimum balance of US $1,000 must be maintained at all times.

#4 Singapore

Singapore’s domestic tax law favors offshore bank account holders in that the government of Singapore cannot access banking information on the account holders, information on investment gains, and bank-deposit interest activity under domestic tax law. Account holders therefore enjoy advanced levels of privacy and banking secrecy, as the government cannot pass over any financial information to the tax authorities of the account holder’s country of domicile.

financial centerAs one of the world’s largest offshore financial centers, Singapore is widely regarded for its continued commitment to asset protection and banking privacy through the enforcement of strict secrecy regimes. One way of furthering your banking privacy is to open an offshore Singapore account under the name of a foreign entity such as a trust, foundation, or corporation. In doing this, certain situations may allow account holders to be exempt from reporting requirements on their personal assets.

Additional features:

  • Accounts can be opened in any major currencies including SGD, USD, EUR and AUD
  • Singapore remains a top financial center for stability and secure monetary controls
  • Lowest tax rates in Asia
  • Accounts can be held in gold
  • Access to online banking
  • International wire transfer payments
  • ATM bank card with worldwide acceptance
  • Quick set up (usually 1-2 business days)

Personal presence may be required in Singapore in order to open an offshore bank account (effective September 1st 2011).

#5 Dubai

Dubai offers exceptional levels of anonymity and privacy for bank account holders. With banking secrecy at the forefront of Dubai’s banking institutions’ priorities, account holders can rest assured that their assets will be protected to the highest of levels. Dubai’s privacy policy regarding offshore bank account activity is highly regarded by investors on a global scale.

Additional features:

  • Online banking is available to all account holders, enabling transactions to be performed internationally
  • Choice of either corporate or private bank account to suit your needs
  • No fund transfer restrictions
  • No tax on interest, investment income, inheritance, exchange controls and capital gains
  • Dubai is a reliable and stable financial center with no tax exchange agreements with any countries
  • Flexible banking system
  • Dubai’s legislation favors the confidentiality and privacy of investors and account holders

Preservation of banking privacy

Banking privacy cannot be taken for granted, and with ongoing agreements for banking and tax transparency in place, countries across the globe are facing difficulties in maintaining their reputation as a financial center for banking secrecy, stability and financial security.

Due to the European Union Tax Savings Directive 2005 – known informally as the automatic exchange of information – all EU countries are now restricted in the level of financial privacy they can guarantee to offshore investors. This has subsequently catapulted the popularity of banking in offshore locations, particularly in the Caribbean and Asia. Other agreements such as the Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA) also adversely affect the financial privacy of individuals banking in countries member to the TIEA.

The future of offshore banking confidentiality

Nevertheless, maximum banking privacy can still be achieved, legally, professionally and quickly by opening an account in one of the abovementioned locations. Not only will account holders enjoy anonymity, banking privacy and financial confidentiality with respect to their banking activities, but in many cases, they have the opportunity to open an account under the name of a corporation to achieve 100% anonymity and confidentiality.

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Comments (2)

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  1. Eliyathamby Sivasubramaniam says:

    Dear Sir,
    Your offers are attracted me,please give me nearest information and conditions to open an Offshore bank account in one of your Finance centers.
    With thanks,
    Your’s faithfully
    Sivas

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  2. RENATO BARBOSA DA SILVA RAMOS says:

    DEAR SIR,

    HOW IS THE FISCAL TREATMENT IN BERMUDA ISLANDS?
    THERE IS EQUAL AS IN THE CAYMAN ISLANDS OR EXIST SOME BARRIERS AS INCOME,INHERITANCE,INVESTMENTAND PROPERTIE-TAX?
    WITH MY BEST REGARDS,
    RENATO RAMOS FROM BRASIL

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