Comparing the Merits of Different Offshore Banks

Offshore BanksWhile it is possible to successfully secure offshore investments and fund them through your domestic bank, a better approach is to establish accounts with one or more offshore banks.

The process for determining which banks to do business with calls for looking closely at the banking laws that apply, the structure of the banks themselves and the general stability of the country’s economy. Choosing the right bank will pave the way for enjoying easy transactions, fewer issues with managing your accounts and also increase the returns you get from doing business with those banks.

Evaluating Banking Laws

One of the perks of using offshore banks is that you can often obtain benefits that are not provided by your domestic bank. Those benefits are often in the form of more liberal banking laws and regulations. In order to determine if a given offshore bank is a good fit for you, it is necessary to first become acquainted with those governmental laws and regulations.

Keep in mind that while the banking laws in just about any nation will contain some provisions that are found elsewhere, the laws in each nation will also contain provisions that are a little unique. For this reason, don’t make assumptions that just because you are considering banking options in two countries that are geographically close that the banking laws are similar. In fact, there may be significant differences on each side of that adjoining border.

For example, offshore banks in the Caribbean are a popular choice for many international investors. While there are some similarities from one country to the next, there are also definite differences. You may find that choosing to go with a bank based in Belize is a better fit than a bank based on one of the islands due to factors such as the favorable trust laws in that country. The only way you will know for sure is to investigate those applicable laws and determine which location is to your advantage.

Taking a Look at the Banks

Once you have a firm grasp on the banking laws and regulations, it helps to turn your attention to the policies and procedures followed by the individual banks. Even within a specific nation, you will find that banks will vary in terms of the benefits extended to their depositors. Your job is to look closely at those benefits and compare them with any associated costs. With a little luck, you will find an institution that offers what you need for a cost that is reasonable.

Some nations have intentionally created laws that support competition between banks and motivate them to provide benefits that attract offshore clients. The situation in Belize is a good example. Between the tax breaks, the liberal trust laws and the ease of establishing accounts, the banks located in that country have plenty of room to compete with each other and with banks located in other countries.

The Economy

In an offshore banking situation, the importance of economic stability cannot be underestimated. Before choosing to establish accounts in any nation, take a good look at the economy of that country. What you hope to find is a situation that is stable and has a lot of potential to only get better. Consider the standard of living for the citizens of that nation, the cost of living and the potential for some sort of leadership crisis within the government. Countries like Belize are excellent options from this perspective, owing to the reasonable cost of living and the general stability of the economy and the government.

As you consider options for offshore banks, take your time. There is no need to rush into a hasty decision. Consider the pros and cons related to the banking laws that apply, the policies of the individual banks and the overall stability of the economy. With all these factors in mind, you can make an informed decision and be happy with your choice for many years.    

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About this author

Caye International Bank Limited (CIBL) was granted an Unrestricted "A" Class International Banking License on September 29th, 2003 by the Central Bank of Belize and is regulated by the Central Bank of Belize which set the standards for liquidity and capital adequacy.