Am I eligible for offshore banking?

Accounts / Tax
Joe Phelan's picture
Offshore banking is no longer only an option for big businesses and the super wealthy.

These days, offshore banking is used by many more people to help them manage their finances from one place. There are a number of other benefits to offshore banking as well, some of which we will mention in this blog.

The requirements for offshore banking do mean you need to have a high level of savings and income to be eligible. Several banks accept opening account balances as low as £50,000 or $75,000, or an annual income of £100,000 to £150,000 which can be transferred into the account on a monthly basis.

As well as your being able to transfer your lump sum savings and your monthly salary into your account, offshore banks often offer excellent foreign exchange services. With multi-currency accounts coming as standard, transferring money between accounts is usually fast and free. However, if you do need to transfer money between currencies, offshore banks usually offer a very competitive foreign exchange rate, compared to a regular banking service. This is one of the biggest benefits of offshore banking facilities.

The other area that offshore banks consider as part of the overall eligibility criteria for opening an account with them is investments. If you have an investment portfolio and are prepared to transfer that as well as your savings, salary and possibly existing mortgage, an offshore bank may well view your application very favourably. If you can demonstrate that you want to build a broad relationship and have the appropriate amount of wealth, you should be able to select from a range of offshore banks who will offer you banking, lending and investment facilities.

Indeed, another benefit of offshore banks is that they can be very flexible in their lending to private clients, particularly for property purchases. Once your offshore banking arrangements are open, you will often be able to apply for a mortgage or other borrowing facilities. You will often find highly competitive mortgage rates available for property, particularly if it is in a mainstream market like the UK.

It is important to make sure you pay any UK tax due depending upon the UK residency rules. Each country has its own tax rules and it is important you are aware of your obligations and if necessary, make sure you disclose all the income you earn through your offshore bank. If you are in any doubt about this, you should take professional tax advice. It is your responsibility to make sure your tax affairs are up to date and fully disclosed to the relevant tax authorities.

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