When you hear the word “offshore” what do you immediately think?
Some people think going offshore means that you’re dealing in a “shady” business. Some say you’re trying to evade taxes in your home country. Quite frankly, the number of people who misunderstand the word’s real meaning is concerning.
By definition, offshore basically refers to a location outside of your home country. That’s it. Not only that but going offshore can insulate you against any future bank failures at home.
However, the offshore banking situation doesn’t always go how you’d expect it to. This article explores just that scenario, based on our own experience that led us to close our Liechtenstein bank account.
If you’re interested in our bespoke offshore tax planning, financial services, and asset protection services, get in touch here.
So, how can you go where you’re treated best when it comes to private banking services?
The Truth About Our Liechtenstein Bank Account
The bank in question didn’t like the term “offshore,” and they didn’t want to be associated with the offshore world. Although, going offshore just means that you would go somewhere outside of your home country’s regulations to set up corporations, investments, and deposits.
Maybe it’s about time that we break that taboo. Needless to say, that bank is now barred from our client list. We will never send our clients there again.
Choosing the Right Liechtenstein Bank Account
You might be wondering why you’re going to set up an offshore bank account in the first place. Well, if you’re trying to do an immigration scheme to claim your second residence or second passport, then this is essential.
These immigration schemes require you to open a bank account in their jurisdiction. However, how would you know if you’re choosing the right bank in the country of your choice?
When opening a new bank account in a new country, we tend to always put in the minimum amount. We always stick to the minimum because first we want to know how our new account will perform.
Private banks in Liechtenstein, whether a standard investment bank, family-run private bank, or other private banks in the banking sector, including corporate banking and retail banking institutions, offer diverse services.
These services include but are not limited to sustainable investment practices, investment banking, specialized investment advisory services, investment management, specialized asset management, and wealth management.
Our Experience with Liechtenstein Private Banking Services
For a country like Liechtenstein, we expected so much. Then again, it was just a plain disaster.
Opening a bank account in one of those legacy brand banking countries will always seem like it’s so in-demand, right? We’re talking about countries like Austria, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland.
Now, we’ve chosen to open up a Liechtensteinian bank account, we put in the minimum amount, then waited a couple of days to get the basic banking necessities like access to online banking.
The Problem with Our Bank Account
However, it took a couple of weeks back and forth to get a response from the one-line questions that we’ve sent out via email. These questions aren’t even hard-hitting ones. They’re mostly questions that we needed to ask to proceed with our application.
We managed to get past the paperwork that all legacy brand banking countries need. Believe us, there are quite a lot.
They did manage to give us a bit of investment portfolio management, though. However, the bank took months just to provide basic information.
Was it because we deposited the “minimum” amount?
Banking in a Country Like Liechtenstein
When you think about legacy banking countries, your mind wanders to Switzerland. However, Liechtenstein is also another country that is on the list.
The country has grown popular over the years for offshore banking. It might be due to factors like banking secrecy. However, in 2018, the EU deal made it harder for people to bank in the country due to the automatic exchange of information that each EU citizen is subject to.
It’s an agreement made to clamp down on both tax fraud and tax evasion.
The information that’s included not only consists of the account holder’s income. It also contains important information such as dividends, account balances, and proceeds from the sale of any financial assets.
Customer Service is An Integral Factor
A bank might have the best products, but if their customer service isn’t on par with what they’re offering, their business will not succeed.
When we tried banking in Liechtenstein, we were appalled with the level of customer service. Not only was it unacceptable, it became agitating in the end.
As customers, we know what to expect from banks. However, what do banks expect from us as consumers?
Closing Our Liechtenstein Bank Account
The bank we tried to open an account with ended up having quite an ‘interesting’ customer service rep, who would advise, “You might hear from us in a couple of hours or a couple of weeks.”
To be quite honest, nobody wants to get that kind of response. It’s that plain and simple.
However, this doesn’t seem to be the case for that particular bank. In the end, we ended up having to close the bank account.
A Bad Banking Experience
The terrible customer service we had in Liechtenstein ended up being so troublesome, it led to us having to pull the plug. They eventually returned our initial deposit, but it wasn’t in full. Maybe they used the money for the opening or closing account fee? We don’t know since we never received any kind of statement.
In the end, we would rather open accounts in banks with the best customer service. It simply makes the experience so much more pleasant.
We know that some people might need to open up an offshore bank account due to an immigration scheme, and that’s completely fine. We’ve listed a couple of banks on our website, and these are banks that we’ve tried and tested through the years.
It’s essential to look for the best banks that cater to your personal needs. To those who are ready to take the next step, we’re more than happy to guide you through the process. To find out more, get in touch here.