The Best Offshore Banks in the world for 2015

Finding the world’s best offshore banks is an important matter in determining your own goals. Sadly, some of the world’s best banks are off-limits to Americans and Westerners.

Hi, I'm Andrew Henderson. I've spent almost a decade learning the right way (and the wrong way) to "plant flags" for greater freedom and prosperity. If you're tired of paying high taxes and living like a slave, then this blog will show you to how go where you're treated best. It is legally possible to dramatically reduce your tax burden, move your money overseas, and get a second passport... all while living wherever you please. If that sounds good to you, keep reading or click here if you need immediate help.

Dateline: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

P.T. Barnum is widely noted for proclaiming that there is a sucker born every minute.

By my count, there are more than 1 billion suckers in the western world right now, all of whom store the majority, if not all, of their wealth in an insolvent banking system.

Forgive me if that sounds harsh, but the reality is that many Western banks could go bust at any minute.

Sadly, most Westerners believe their government will solve ANY problem that comes up. Decades of government schooling have conditioned you to believe that the people in your nation’s capital will find a way out of any problem, even a financial meltdown.

While I’m not suggesting that you should move your entire life savings to the safety of an offshore bank, I am saying that the risk that the US, Canadian, or European banking systems could see serious hiccups and lose depositor savings is a real possibility.

The idea behind offshore banking is jurisdictional diversification to ensure return OF capital in addition to better return ON your deposited capital.

What is an offshore bank?

The reality is that any foreign bank in a jurisdiction other than your own can be considered an “offshore bank”. Plenty of multinational banks like HSBC operate in a number of countries, and having a bank account with one of these banks is just as “offshore” as working with a bank that only operates in, say, Panama.

That doesn’t mean that HSBC is the best offshore bank, but merely that a US person banking with HSBC Hong Kong has an offshore account.

Offshore banks have long had a reputation for being in shady, lawless “third world countries” on half-deserted islands. While it’s true that small countries with few natural resources often turn to the offshore financial sector as a way to generate revenue, there are now dozens of countries with reputable offshore centers.

Where are the best offshore banks?

Recently, my team and I went through a list of hundreds of banks in about 40 countries around the world in search of the best offshore banks with which anyone can open an account.

Our criteria were simple: not only did the banks need to be stable, but the jurisdictions they operated in needed to be so as well.

That means countries that respect capital and even go out of their way to attract it. Countries like Singapore that realize that their lack of oil and other resources, such as endless land, leave them in need of a way to bring in revenue.

Increasingly, some of the best banks in the world are located in the Middle East. Middle Eastern banks are frequently capitalized far better than Western banks that are stuffed with worthless paper.

Banque Audi in Lebanon, for instance, has gained a reputation among many experts as a top place to park your cash. Banks in Qatar, namely Qatar National Bank, are off limits to Americans and some other foreigners, but do have an excellent reputation.

And of course, Dubai has plenty of banks in the same way Hong Kong or Singapore do; some good, some bad.

While Germany is statistically the safest place to bank in terms of the number of well-capitalized institutions, there are plenty of low-tax countries such as those in the Middle East, Asia, the Caribbean, and even Africa that beat out European banks.

This is even more true considering that many Western European banks expanded heavily into Eastern European economies that have produced horrible results like Croatia, Greece and Albania.

We made finding the best offshore banks easy

Would you like to open an offshore bank account? Get our free Offshore Banking guide and diversify your money internationally.

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What are the best offshore banks for 2015?

The problem with determining a list of the best offshore banks is that such a list doesn’t matter if you can’t bank there.

As I mentioned above, Middle Eastern countries like Qatar see little need to open accounts for Americans or other Westerners who want to plunk a few bucks in a savings account and never return. There’s very little upside for them when you consider the high compliance costs and the far greater profits to be made catering to wealthy oil sheiks.

The same is true in Asia, where one banker in Hong Kong told me that their average mainland Chinese customer was worth 35X their average US expat customer.

If you were running the bank, would you spend time doing paperwork to deal with dreamy-eyed Americans putting $5,000 into a passbook account? Of course not.

That’s why the best offshore banks that are actually accessible to you are either in places like Singapore that cater to foreign wealth and have maintained an open door policy, OR places like the Caribbean that actively cater to Americans… again, because they have an open door policy.

Along the same lines, banks from countries on the brink of collapse tend to be less open than some of the “new safe havens” I frequently speak of. For example, Japanese banks are all but impossible to work with, even in Singapore. The staff always seems one step away from chasing you out of the bank branch with a broom.

Along the same lines, I wouldn’t recommend you bank in Europe if you’re European. There’s too much risk. Governments in the same hemisphere tend to get along too well, too much of the time.

In order to get specific though, understand that the best offshore banks for you depend on several factors:

  • Are you willing to travel there? The most reputable banks want to see the whites of your eyes. This is often due to enhanced regulations in their country of origin, but most banks in Singapore, Europe, and elsewhere want to see you. Even some of the easiest banks with which you can open an account — for example, those in Eastern Europe — need to see you in person at least once. If you can’t visit, your options will be more limited. However, my team and I found several dozen banks that will allow you to open an account remotely, without leaving home.
  • What is your citizenship? US citizens are at a severe disadvantage due to FATCA. Even non-US citizens living or spending time in the Land of the Free have seen their foreign accounts shut down as punishment. However, my team and I found 34 banks that earned our seal of approval and still open accounts for Americans. Some require travel, others don’t.
  • How much money do you have? It’s true that you can open an offshore bank account with as little as $500… sometimes even a little less, depending on currency fluctuations. However, as with anything in life, you can’t be too greedy. Don’t expect white glove service for plunking a few hundies in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. In fact, HSBC Private Bank in places like Vanuatu requires $5 million. The aforementioned Banque Audi in Lebanon wants $10 million or more for private banking. Other private banks will settle for as little as $1 million, but you get what you pay for. HSBC Premier accounts require only $100,000 in many countries, but service isn’t that good.

There are other factors, but those are three of the biggest ones. It is indeed easier to open an account with a multi-national bank, but some of them flat out suck (like Citi) while others can be difficult to deal with if you’re a Westerner (HSBC in Hong Kong and Singapore).

That doesn’t mean those banks aren’t stable, but it does mean you’ll have to change the way you approach customer service.

Two easy banks to get started with

If you’re a US person, Caye Bank in Belize is really easy to deal with. They will open an account for $500, subject to your paying a FATCA compliance fee and a monthly fee.

Again, don’t expect anyone to roll out the red carpet. Banks in Belize aren’t exactly up to Swiss bank standards in terms of customer service or timeliness. However, if you’re just starting out, it is easy to open an account with Caye Bank from the comfort of your home.

If you have no “US indicia”, Peter Schiff’s Euro Pacific Bank is a good one. Located in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, it has a few more features than Belize; but again, don’t expect fast service or a fee-free experience.

These banks are great “starter banks”, but like starter homes, starter husbands, or anything else, you’ll eventually want to either diversify or move up.

With increasing capital controls, a war on cash, and a changing global economy that increasingly favors the emerging world and the East, banking offshore is something everyone — not just the wealthy — must consider as part of a sound diversification strategy. If you need help finding the right offshore bank for you, apply for a Strategy Call so we can determine your best options as part of a personalized and completely legal offshore plan.

We made finding the best offshore banks easy

Would you like to open an offshore bank account? Get our free Offshore Banking guide and diversify your money internationally.

Download Now!

Andrew Henderson

Andrew Henderson

Andrew has been internationalizing since 2007, and has learned what works and what doesn't work when it comes to second passports, offshore banking, tax reduction, and investing. He shares strategies you can use to grow and protect your own wealth and freedom. Get his free Strategy Session by clicking here.
Andrew Henderson

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