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text 2018-04-16 04:22
Bowman Offshore Bank Transfers on How to Open and Access an Offshore Bank Account

 

Offshore banking is often associated with a high level of financial sophistication and, sometimes, chicanery. However, the reality is that the average person can open an offshore bank account with just a few hours of work. Each offshore bank and foreign jurisdiction has its own requirements, so you'll have to do some research to find the specifics relevant to your situation. The following is an overview of what you can expect, based on common offshore banking centers such as Switzerland, the Cayman Islands, and the Channel Islands.

 

The Basic Requirements

 

The basics of opening an offshore bank account are similar to opening a bank account in your home country. Offshore banks will ask for your personal information, such as your name, date of birth, address, citizenship and occupation.

 

To verify your personal information, you can expect to submit a copy of your passport, driver's license or other identifying documents issued by a governmental agency. Additionally, banks are concerned with verifying your residence or physical address since this may affect taxation issues. This requirement may be satisfied by presenting a utility bill or similar documents.

 

Due to the wide range of different identification documents that may be presented to offshore banks, additional assurance of a document's authenticity is often required. A notarized copy of certain documents may suffice in some cases. Other offshore centers prefer an "apostilles" stamp, which is a special type of certification mark that is used internationally. Where this is the case, you will need to visit the government office that is authorized to issue this stamp for your state or nation. (For a general overview, also see taking a Look at Tax Havens.)

 

Additional Verification Documents

 

While the basics are similar, there are often considerable additional requirements to open the account. These requirements are in place to discourage money laundering, tax fraud or other illegal activities that are often associated with offshore banking.

 

First, offshore banks may ask for financial reference documents from your current bank, indicating average balances and a "satisfactory relationship." Most commonly, this is satisfied by bank statements for the last six to 12 months.

 

Second, many offshore banks ask about the nature of transactions expected to take place through the account. This may seem overly intrusive, but offshore banking centers have been under increasing pressure to stop illegal activity. For this purpose, many offshore banks want additional documentation, noting the source of the funds you are depositing in the bank.

 

If the money is from your job, a wage slip from your employer will likely suffice. To verify your investment income, an offshore bank may ask for information about your investments and where they are held.

 

If you have significant funds from a business or real estate transaction, you may need to provide sales contracts or other relevant documents. If you are depositing funds from an insurance contract, you may need to provide a letter from your insurance company. If your money comes from an inheritance, the bank may ask for a letter from the executor of the estate testifying to this effect.

 

Choosing a Currency for Your Offshore Bank Account

 

Unlike domestic accounts, offshore bank accounts offer an option of which currency to hold the funds in. This can be a highly valuable feature of an offshore account, especially if one's domestic currency is unstable or expected to depreciate.

 

It is important to understand the consequences of holding your account in different currencies. For example, holding funds in certain currencies may allow you to earn interest on your deposits, but it can also result in foreign tax liability. Also, you may need to exchange currencies to make deposits and withdrawals, which could be a significant expense depending on the fee structure and exchange rates offered (see 6 Factors That Influence Exchange Rates.)

 

Depositing to an Offshore Bank Account

 

Offshore bank accounts are most often funded electronically through international wire transfers. Unfortunately, the systems that enable free electronic transfers common in domestic banking are typically not able to transfer money internationally.

 

Sending a wire transfer is a simple operation, but almost all banks charge international wire transfer fees to send or receive funds. Pricing for wire transfers varies from bank to bank, so be sure to look for deals. Unfortunately, there are few good alternatives. Domestic checks are generally not accepted in foreign jurisdictions, and depositing funds in person on a regular basis is impractical.

 

Withdrawing from an Offshore Bank Account

 

Offshore banks offer a variety of ways to withdraw funds to maximize the convenience of using their services. Many offshore banks issue a normal debit/ATM card that allows you to easily access your funds worldwide. You will want to look into the fees for using this method, since they can be expensive. Withdrawing larger amounts of cash at one time may help to minimize these fees.

 

Some offshore banks offer checks. However, this is usually not a preferred method– primarily, because confidentiality is often desired in offshore accounts. Problems may also arise since checks drawn on foreign accounts are not always accepted locally.

 

The best option may be to use two accounts: one offshore, one domestic. In this way, electronic wire transfers can be used to transfer larger amounts of offshore funds to a domestic account where they can be easily accessed. This method offers greater privacy and security, while also providing the convenience of local banking services.

 

The Bottom Line

 

Despite the mystique surrounding offshore banking, it is relatively simple to open an account. Often all it takes is filling out the paperwork, supplying some basic identifying documents and providing additional information to show that you are not planning to use the account for illegal activity.

 

Choosing the best currency and optimizing deposits and withdrawals are slightly more complicated, but the best choices should become clearer as you study the various options. When using offshore bank accounts and receiving international wire transfers, it is important to consult with a tax professional to ensure you are following all the tax regulations at home and abroad.

Source: gianroquesan.strikingly.com/blog/bowman-offshore-bank-transfers-on-how-to-open-and-access-an-offshore-bank
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text 2018-04-13 08:53
Bowman Offshore Bank Transfers: How to Send an International Wire Transfer

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Everything You Need To Know About Wiring Money Overseas

 

I’m getting a lot of feedback from people trying to send international wire transfers.

 

A reader wrote this week to say:

 

“I went to my bank branch to initiate a wire transfer on Monday. The teller had to call over the branch manager to help with the paperwork. Once the manager saw I was transferring money to Panama, she told me they wouldn’t be able to do the wire transfer. When I asked why not, she said because investing in Panama is too risky.”

 

A similar tale from another reader:

 

“I tried to wire money to Panama for a property purchase, and the teller told me they couldn’t do the wire because they didn’t have a branch in Germany. The Panama bank uses a German bank as their intermediary, but isn’t that what they (an intermediary bank) are there for—to accept international transfers?”

 

I share the frustration these and the other readers I’ve been hearing from are feeling. Recently, two Los Islotes investors tried to wire money for their lot purchases. The first client’s funds never made it because they were rejected by the Panama bank’s intermediary bank and returned to the client almost two weeks after the wire had been initiated.

 

The second client’s funds arrived the next day, after having passed through the same intermediary bank.

 

The difference? Who knows?

 

Every Bank Is Different and So Are Their Processes

 

Every bank has its own way of handling wires, but wiring money from one money-center bank to another money-center bank should be straightforward regardless of the banks involved as minimal information is required. However, sending money from a non-money-center bank, as the first reader I quote above was trying to do, to another non-money-center bank in a foreign country is a different story.

 

This is why banks work with intermediary or correspondent banks, to facilitate international transfers of funds. Unfortunately, this means another layer of information, including the recipient bank’s account number with the intermediary bank. If any of the information is missing or not included in the instructions in the expected format, the wire can be rejected, as it was for my Los Islotes buyer.

 

Most folks don’t send international wires on a regular basis, and, even if you do, it’s hard to keep up with all the particulars.

 

The easiest strategy these days is to initiate a wire online. The trouble is that online systems don’t work when trying to send a wire using a bank that requires several layers of intermediate and final beneficiary details. In a situation like that, you have to go into a bank branch to initiate the transaction in person.

 

When you do, don’t stand in line and wait your turn to speak with a teller. The typical bank teller in the typical neighborhood bank has never sent an international wire and probably wouldn’t be able to find the transfer’s destination on a map. You want to speak instead with a personal banker or a manager.

 

Engage the conversation confident in the fact that your bank can, indeed, wire your funds where you want them to go. Don’t let the banker you speak with try to tell you otherwise. Also, don’t let the banker try to talk you out of the transaction altogether. It’s your money, not his. What you do with it is none of his business (unless he’s also your money manager). You don’t have to justify your plans to him or anyone else (well, maybe to your spouse).

 

Wire Transfer Terminology and Fundamentals

 

Here are some fundamentals and some terminology for reference.

 

U.S. banks use what is called an ABA number, which identifies banks within the U.S. banking system. If you’re transferring money from one U.S. bank to another, all you should need is the recipient bank’s ABA number and the beneficiary’s name and account number (maybe their address, too).

 

International banks are identified by what’s referred to as a SWIFT code. A SWIFT code is all letters, no numbers, and it should be all you need for most international wire transfers. Sometimes the sending bank will require the intermediary bank’s details, as well, including that bank’s SWIFT code.

 

In Europe, the system is much simpler in my view and is based on the IBAN number. This is an aggregated number that includes the bank identification and the recipient’s account identification along with some other numbers to guide the transfer through to the recipient. With an IBAN number, nothing else is required for the money to arrive where it’s supposed to arrive, though most banks still request account names for confirmation.

 

Sending a wire from one currency to another creates further complications. Again, from a reader last week:

 

“The bank says they can’t send a wire to Singapore for me because they don’t have any Singapore dollars.”

 

Another case where the teller had no idea what he was talking about. The teller was correct when he told your fellow reader that his bank didn’t have any Singapore dollars to send, but that’s irrelevant. That’s what currency exchanges are for. In the case of a small local or regional bank, it may be necessary for your banker to contact his correspondent bank first, before initiating the wire, to get the exact U.S. dollar amount required to send the specific foreign currency amount, but don’t let your banker tell you he can’t send the wire at all. That’s just not so.

 

When sending a wire online, you typically can elect to transfer the funds in your currency or in the currency of the recipient. Again, online is always easier when it’s an option.

 

Back to the reader who wrote in to say that his banker insisted he couldn’t wire money to Singapore. Finally, thanks to the guy’s persistence, the banker came around and sent the wire. However, he wired the U.S. dollar amount rather than the Singapore dollar amount. Now the poor guy is due a refund in the amount of the extra Singapore dollars.

 

And now his banker is now telling him the bank can’t accept a wire from Singapore.

 

So it goes.

Source: vicinito.com/posts/bowman-offshore-bank-transfers-how-to-send-an-international-wire-transfer/9328
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