OFFSHORE BANKING Swiss Banks | Singapore Banks | Hong Kong Banks

Offshore banking has increased rapidly all over the world since mid-1960s because of the growth and liquidity of world financial markets. The full spectrum of financial services from offshore banks include deposit taking, money transmissions, provision of foreign exchange, trade finance, credit facilities, investment custody, investment management, fund management, trustee services, and corporate administration.

Offshore banks provide access to politically and economically stable offshore jurisdictions that may be an advantage for those resident in areas where there is a risk of expropriation or where there is corruption within the banking system. Many offshore banks offer services that may be unavailable in one's country of residence. Offshore banks in several nations participate in mandated bank account deposit protection insurance systems. Some offshore banks may even provide higher interest rates than banks in the home country.

The majority of offshore banks operate within highly regulated environments under national monetary bodies such as Central Banks, Financial Services Commissions, etc. These banks are required to maintain capital adequacy requirement in accordance with international standards. They must submit financial reports at least quarterly to the regulator on the current state of their business.

One common misconception about offshore banking and offshore accounts is that it can legally prevent assets from being subject to personal income tax or interest. For those persons who meet fairly complex requirements, this conception is not applicable because the personal income tax of most countries makes no distinction between interest earned in local banks and those earned abroad. For instance, people subject to pay US income tax are required to declare any offshore bank accounts they may have.


Offshore banks provide access to politically and economically stable jurisdictions. This may be an advantage for those resident in areas where there is a risk of political turmoil who fear their assets may be frozen, seized or disappear for example, during economic crizis etc. However, developed countries with regulated banking systems offer the same advantages in terms of stability.

Some offshore banks may operate with a lower cost base and can provide higher interest rates than the rate in the home country due to lower overheads and a lack of government intervention.

Offshore finance is one of the few industries, along with tourism, that geographically remote island nations can competitively engage in. It can help developing countries source investments and create growth in their economies, and can help redistribute world finance from the developed to the developing world.

Interest is generally paid by offshore banks without tax deducted. This is an advantage to individuals who do not pay tax on worldwide income, or who do not pay tax until the tax return is agreed.

Some offshore banks offer banking services that may not be available from domestic banks such as anonymous offshore bank accounts, higher or lower rate loans based on risk and investment opportunities not available elsewhere.

Offshore banking is often linked to other structures, such as offshore companies, offshore trusts or foundations, which may have specific tax and asset protection advantages for some individuals.

Offshore banking creates additional tax and banking competition and is an advantage to the industry as tax competition allows people to choose an appropriate balance of services and taxes.

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