Selecting Offshore Financial Services
You may require more financial services than you first thought. There are banks, pensions, tax affairs, inheritance planning and more to consider when you emigrate and we will list those people have asked us about over the years.
In most countries, you will need to be present at the bank before you can open an account. This should not stop you planning ahead and many banks have overseas representatives who will be delighted to assist in finding your perfect bank. In our experience, it is helpful to open two accounts in different banks to access the best of all world rather than stay with just one.
There are often banking charges unless the balance is sufficiently large to allow the bank to waive the fees. Most immigrants will have that level of cash available to deposit so makes sense to spread your cash until you find the one you prefer.
2) Foreign Exchange
Everyone knows not to use a bureau exchange at the airport or even your local bank to exchange money. We recommend using a company specifically focused on FX trades as they provide much better rates and lower commissions and when you are trading large amount that can be a huge saving.
The issue we have with FX is that the industry does not have to be regulated. While there are some brilliant unregulated firms who can be trusted there is a risk you must be mindful of at al times.
Some companies can arrange a better rate if you agree to trade with them in advance of your move. So when you sell your house or do a big FX trade you can lock in the best possible rate.
3) Pensions and Investments
There are companies who specialise in moving pensions offshore so you can still access your pension wherever you are and avoid over exposure to tax issues. In many countries, these services are regulated and in the UK the advisors are regarded highly. As pensions and the various tax laws globally are disjointed and confusing it is important you secure a reputable agent with the skills and expertise to ensure in years to come your pension is not exposed to unnecessary risk.
4) Company And Trust Formations
This is an area where a lawyer can be very handy. There is also service online but it is vital you understand fully the risks as well as the rewards of opening a company or trust as a vehicle to manage your assets in various jurisdictions.
In our experience, few lawyers have the international expertise to manage the establishment of the trust and the tax implications in multiple jurisdictions. This is because few are trained to handle this type of work or have the level of business that would require them to remain fluent in the most recent policies and proposed changes that could affect you in the future.
There are the big four firm and magic circle companies but again they often fall short in their understanding of the subject and the client simply ends up paying for their "school fees" as they learn on the job using the client as a guinea pig.
We are aware of only a handle of companies who have the skills and expertise required for this type of work.
If you would like us to review a company for you please let us know and our experts would be happy to assist you.