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Recommended Offshore Banking Jurisdictions


Offshore Banking Jurisdictions Listed in Order

Here is a list of the offshore banking jurisdictions are the most advantageous for providing financial safety, privacy, convenience and return on investment.

For initial deposits of over $250,000:

  • Switzerland
  • Luxembourg
  • Lichtenstein
  • Isle of Man specializes in bank accounts in Switzerland, please visit our entire section on Swiss Banking.

For deposits under $250,000, here are the recommended jurisdictions:

  • Caribbean (many countries, use the number above for details)
  • Cook Islands
  • Latvia

Banking In Europe

While the scrutiny may be lower and the confidentiality and privacy higher in the lower tax haven jurisdictions, potential account holders should note that an agreement between European Union members (and those falling under its purview or jurisdiction) known as the European Union Savings Tax Directive 2005 may adversely affect their privacy if they are subject to it–The EU Tax Directive may limit the confidentiality and privacy of certain accounts held in offshore banks if these banks happen to be situated in a jurisdiction subject to it.

As of this writing, the member countries of the European Union are as follows:
Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom

Any jurisdictions that is a commonwealth, governed by, or a consigner of these nations and their laws is subject to the EU Tax Directive. Others may also willingly comply, such as Switzerland and the United States.

Stated simply, the EU Savings Tax Directive 2005 is an agreement between the EU Member States that allows for the exchange of financial or transactional information . This agreement is known as the “automatic exchange of information option” and is the hallmark of the Directive.

The Offshore jurisdictions that are not subject to EU laws or directives do not participate in this agreement and thusly afford depositors of those jurisdictions an increased level of confidentiality.

Other Offshore Bank Account Jurisdictions

There are many other offshore jurisdictions that provide many of the same benefits that the EU versions do, but not bound to the EU Directive. This can be an extremely important consideration for an investor or depositor looking for a specific benefit for his funds that just cannot be met by a jurisdiction subject to EU Directive reporting. Though this is an important consideration, it should not automatically be assumed that it is always most advantageous to bank in a non-EU Directive adhering jurisdiction.

If a potential depositor meets the initial deposit amount requirements, has his banking goals in alignment with his bank and its jurisdiction, then an established offshore locations such as Switzerland can be better suited to his needs. However, there are very competent jurisdictions not subject to the EU Tax Directive with initial deposit requirements vastly lower than those of the “established” jurisdictions. For example, some jurisdictions like Panama and Belize can require as little as $500 or $1000 US to start.

Offshore Banking Geography

Before the internet explosion of the mid-90’s, account holders and potential depositors in offshore banks would literally have to walk into a bank (or send an authorized representative to do so) in order to establish an account, transact funds, or formalize agreements. The old “lock box and key” method reigned supreme. However, since the mid-90’s, there has been a veritable explosion in services heretofore unimaginable in many service industries worldwide, and this of course includes offshore banking.

Gone are the days of having to actually walk into the bank–now, most of the services are a keystroke away, with world wide web access to accounts and funds. With credit card like debit cards and the advent of electronic funds transfers, virtual signatures, and the virtually limitless access to the internet, offshore banking has been revolutionized into a simpler solution for many individuals and corporations. No matter if your bank is in the Grand Canyon state or Grand Cayman, most of the features offered by banks are just a mouse click away. Assuming that all of the precautions are met and adhered to, the confidentiality of any deposit or investment is as secure as its ever been.

Additional Offshore Banking Information

Offshore banking accounts operate in the same manner as any domestic bank account. The client receives a bank account debit card or credit card and online access, wire transfer access and can perform the typical bank account transactions, plus more. Offshore banks offer many of the same conveniences and customer service. When selecting your institution it is important that you choose the provider that is right for your scenario.

Many offshore banking institutions will allow you to set up a bank account for as little as a $2500 initial deposit, and in other cases, much less. All of the recommended offshore bank account providers are highly regulated and adhere to strict international privacy laws. Private accounts typically require a higher initial deposit. However those are negotiable depending on the overall account goals and projections. Any provider of offshore banking accounts that is recommended by is accessible via phone, fax and email and attentive to your needs, yet very discreet.

Offshore Banking Tax

Your offshore bank account balance will earn interest, usually free of local
taxation in the bank’s jurisdiction. Many countries, including the US, tax worldwide income. The interest rates are usually higher and the fees are competitive. Many fortune 500 companies, including oil companies take advantage of offshore banking. Some of the more popular tax haven jurisdictions have hundreds of first-rate banks from which to choose. Financial institutions in private jurisdictions do not report customer account information to any foreign governments, or theirs, so it is up to the account holder to do so. As a responsible company, of course, we recommend that you comply with the tax laws of the jurisdiction to which you are obligated. After your company and account are established, we have CPA’s who are very knowledgeable and can assist with the tax compliance with your international income. establishes thousands of business structures, bank accounts, privacy and protection plans worldwide. Protecting and growing the finances of our clients are our biggest concerns.

Offshore Banking institutions offer a wide variety of benefits, when it comes to privacy Switzerland is hard to beat. We have provided a complete section on Swiss banking where you can learn more about private bank accounts.




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