Offshore Banking

Offshore bank accounts are safe and are a smart choice for many investors. Whether you are seeking an advanced level of asset protection or simply wish to diversify your investments, there is a whole world of opportunity awaiting you. Let’s explore it.

Offshore accounts are legal, but in many cases you are required to report them to the tax authorities. If you are a U.S. citizen or resident it may be difficult for you to open an account under your name. Most European banks shy away from dealing directly with U.S. investors as that may expose them to the U.S. regulatory regime. A commonly used structure is to set up a foreign entity (a limited liability company or an IBC) and open an account in the name of that entity. For example, John, who resides in Los Angeles, creates a Nevis LLC and opens an account in Lichtenstein in the name of the LLC. John is the manager of the LLC and therefore the sole signatory on the account. Thus, you do not need to be a Swiss resident or have a Swiss company to have a Swiss account.

There are many foreign banks that most U.S. investors have never heard but that are large and safe and have been around for hundreds of years. According to Bloomberg, as of February 2008, there were only 4 U.S. banks in the list of the world’s top ten banks. Many Swiss private banks have assets in the billions and have been around since before the invention of electricity. They largely embrace a conservative investment philosophy and are safe.

Swiss banks offer as many investment choices as are available in the U.S. You can have a simple money market account, earning the same rate of return as your U.S. money market account. You can have an investment account, investing in stocks, bonds, derivatives, currencies and mutual funds. You are only changing the bank, not the underlying investment choices. If you have an investment account in the U.S. you can transfer your equities to the Swiss investment account without selling the equities. Therefore, no need to worry about capital gain taxes.

Monies in a Swiss bank account are easily accessible. It is simply a matter of instructing the Swiss bank to wire the money to your account in the U.S. Usually, the next day the money is back home.

In addition to Swiss bank accounts, you can invest in Swiss annuities, life insurance products, investment funds, hedge funds, FOREX funds and a multitude of other investments. Both for bank accounts and all the other investments you can pick the currency the investment will be denominated in.

We have assisted hundreds of clients in setting up offshore bank accounts and investment accounts in various jurisdictions. Often times, the process is simpler than setting up a bank account in the U.S. We would be happy to discuss your offshore banking needs with you and guide you in the right direction.

Posted in: Offshore Banking

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