When it comes to opening your offshore bank accounts, you may ask yourself – What country’s banking institutions should you trust with your money? What are the best countries to register your offshore banking in?
In this article, let’s get familiar with the top 4 countries with the best offshore bank accounts, including Switzerland, Belize, Singapore, and Hong Kong.
If you haven’t started your business anywhere just yet, consider incorporating an offshore company in these countries as well, as this might impact your business daily operation.
1. An overview of offshore bank account
If you’re new to the offshore world, we’ll help you get a quick picture of what an offshore bank is:
- Offshore bank – A bank situated outside the country where you live.
- Offshore banking – The act of safeguarding your assets in other countries through financial institutions. The aim of this is to prevent abrupt circumstances to your fund when it is stored in the home country.
- Offshore bank account – An account held by offshore banks for financial and legal advantage purposes. Entrepreneurs register offshore bank accounts for several reasons. Most importantly, it helps minimize the business tax burden, protects wealth and assets, provides a high level of privacy, and offers currency diversification.
There are various factors of offshore bank account that you need to know, as well as different considerations. You can begin by checking if a bank’s product offerings align with your company’s demand and strategy.
For starters, ask about things such as quick lending, the maximum/minimum transaction threshold, remote opening option, and privacy of the depositor (you). Most banks would be more than happy to answer these inquiries and may even provide some auxiliary counseling.
Next would be to ask if there are any fringe benefits such as cash bonuses, payroll services, accounting software, travel agent services, or tax prep help. With the steep competition the banking industry is maintaining, it’s not surprising for some banks to be incredibly generous with their perks.
The following are common priorities that you’ll need to consider for the jurisdiction of your offshore bank account.
In general, reputation shows the jurisdiction and banking system quality. Moreover, a well-reputed banking country is likely to bring a highly pro-business and stable environment.
Still, it can be quite challenging if you as a foreigner applying for bank accounts by yourself in such countries. Due to its complicated requirements as compared to those in other countries, more efforts will need to be made to open an offshore bank account in these places!
Recommended options for you: Hong Kong, Singapore
To get a better idea of which banks to choose, make sure you check out our list of best banks in Hong Kong!
2.2. Remote opening
Many foreigners are huge fans of remote opening, as this will relatively make great convenient for them.
Unlike the traditional method, it allows you to open an account without a personal visit with the banks. As such, you can save a lot of time and money!
A low deposit is one of the key factors for the best offshore bank account. This is especially important for start-ups, entrepreneurs, or SMEs.
Some offshore banks do not require the initial deposit for registering a bank account. On the other hand, some banks may require a deposit from foreigners, but at a minimal cost.
Additionally, several captivating banks and banking jurisdictions like Hong Kong, Singapore, or Panama often require high deposit minimums.
2.4. Processing time
The process of bank account application is considerably quick in most cases. More often than not, the timeframe of most offshore banks is quite similar to each other.
Typically, it can take you only several working days to get your accounts started. However, it should be noted that how fast and how trustworthy the provided documents are will be significantly important in determining the processing time.
Recommended options: Puerto Rico, Hong Kong, Singapore, Belize, BVI
2.5. Other considerations
Below are some considerations that you need to take notice of:
- The possibility of opening merchant accounts
If you’re running an e-commerce business, you will want to consider merchant accounts. There are specific requirements to register this type of account, which strongly depend on your choice of merchant provider.
Each offshore bank has its specific list of prohibited countries. Therefore, searching the suitability between your nationality and the bank policy is very necessary.
- Business category of customers
You can start an account more easily if you fall into the preferential categories of the banks.
However, this is not always the case. In general, offshore banks share in common what business categories are allowed or prohibited (like forex or crypto). As such, sifting the connection between your business category and the bank’s policy is relatively essential.
3. Best countries to open a bank account for 2022
If you are looking for the best countries to apply for a bank account, here we suggest some options for you to consider:
3.1. Switzerland – Good Choice For Asset Protection
Switzerland is a top choice for offshore bank account applications for the high level of its secure and privacy-oriented system.
Above all, Switzerland is well-known as the home to its sophisticated banking system. According to The Swiss Bankers Association (SBA), Switzerland’s banks held assets of approximately US$ 7 trillion in 2018, almost half of which belong to foreigners.
Furthermore, Switzerland is top-ranked among the best jurisdictions with many offshore banks highly prized for asset protection. This country has strict privacy laws that prohibit bankers from divulging customers’ account information without their consent. Any bankers who spill the beans about your information can be deemed to violate the law, and then undoubtedly, must face a fine.
Recommended bank choice for you: CIM BANQUE
If you’re interested in setting up an offshore bank account with CIM BANQUE, head over to our Banking Support page for more information, or drop us a message for practical advice on your bank account!
3.2. Belize – Best Choice For Low Deposit and Remote Opening
Generally, Belize is considered one of the easiest countries to have a bank account. The reason behind the popularity of Belize is its stability.
To begin with, Belize’s offshore banking system is among the most stable in the world based on its liquidity rates.
Moreover, all banks in Belize are legally required to have at least a 24% liquidity ratio. This is much higher than that of banks in the United States, of which the liquidity ratio stands at only 3 – 4%.
In addition, the low deposit is another reason to draw people to Belize for an account opening. If Hong Kong or Singapore require initial deposit up to US$100,000, a bank account in Belize only takes you as low as $500 to a few thousand.
Overall, starting offshore bank accounts in Belize can bring you great benefits – free hassles of language barriers and currency deflation, fast account setup process, remote registration, etc.
Recommended banks choice for you: CAYE International Bank Ltd
3.3. Singapore – Reputation is a key
In your consideration list of countries with the best offshore bank accounts, do not miss Singapore. This city-state was ranked second “Ease of Doing Business Rank” benchmark in May 2019 from The World Bank.
Singapore has an extensive banking system of more than 150 banks, 5 of which are locally incorporated and the rest are international. Most of them provide world-class and top-notch corporate bank account facilities.
In addition, offshore banking in Singapore also offers a wide range of services that meet different demands for both individuals and corporations. These services include multiple currencies, internet banking, checking accounts, savings accounts, debit and credit cards, wealth management services, etc.
Remarkably, many banks in Singapore allow customers to remotely register their offshore bank account, creating a high level of flexibility and convenience for Singapore non-residents who wish to start an offshore bank account from their home country.
In conclusion, Singapore is a global financial hub and a perfect choice for most offshore investors around the world.
Recommended banks for you: OCBC, Citibank, DBS, UOB
Do you know that six out of 10 of the world’s top financial centers are located in Asia? Outstandingly, Hong Kong has ranked the third most competitive financial center in the world, according to the 26th released edition of the Global Financial Centers Index (GFCI) (as of September 2019).
Apart from the efficient legal and tax system, Hong Kong is also a premier international business and financial center. It has the highest concentration of banking institutions in the world, which includes 75 of the world’s largest 100 banks.
With such an integrated network of institutions that meet international standards, Hong Kong undoubtedly is one of the most ideal destinations for your offshore account registration.
Recommended banks for you: HSBC, DBS, Hang Seng Bank, Standard Charter Bank
Although Hong Kong and Singapore are leading choices for offshore banking, it can be challenging for you to have an account there. Normally, you will need to pay high deposit minimums and have a personal visit with the bank.
For that reason, you should carefully prepare your business profile, business plan, and supportive documents for the application. Do seek help from a reliable local offshore service provider to make your process run smoothly!
Despite some challenges, financial hubs like Hong Kong and Singapore are really worth considering if you’re looking for offshore to harbor your hard-earned assets!
3.5. Other offshore banking jurisdictions that may help
As an addition, you can look into the below countries for the best offshore bank accounts:
To start comparing your banking options in different countries, check out our Banking Tool to receive the full list of available banks, all tailored to your specific needs, so you can see which one might be the right fit for your business.
4. What’s next?
Each individual or corporation can present different choices when it comes to offshore banks. It is necessary to well analyze your company’s demands and then pick the most appropriate option.
If you’re ready to start your business with an offshore bank account of your own, you can visit our Offshore Banking Page to look at the options and features and quickly identify the best solution for your needs.
We’ve been helping businesses open their bank account for over 12 years. Feel free to get in touch with us if you have any questions and queries about this matter!