Offshore Banking, Savings and Investment News

News and information for expatriate and international investors and savers.

What’s Stopping You Moving Abroad?

Would you like to move abroad? What’s stopping you? Money or confidence?

what's stopping expats moving

The most up to date statistics and figures we can get our hands on show us that there has been a sharp decline in the numbers of Britons moving abroad recently.  The numbers we have are from 2012 and they show us that there has been a reduction in the number of Brits expatriating…to the tune of about 26,000 compared to the previous year if you look at working age Brits alone.

The fact is that in 2012 286,000 people left the UK for a new life abroad – which was actually the lowest number of emigrants since 2001.  Of these, 126,000 were British citizens – a figure well below the decade long average of 152,000.  So what’s stopping Britons from expatriating?

Have we fallen out of love with the dream of a new and better life abroad?  Can we no longer afford the dream?  Or is it a case of the desire and willingness being there but the affordability and employment options letting would-be expats down?  Let’s look at the evidence…

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Expat Mortgages: Finally Some Good News

Skipton International is offering an expat buy-to-let mortgage for British expats abroad who want to buy investment property in the UK

expat mortgages good news

A good few months ago now we wrote a couple of articles about how excited we were at having found a brokerage and some banks interested in helping expats to get mortgages.  However, we were a little too over-enthusiastic in our writings!  The brokerage turned out to not want to pay fair dues for accepting newly referred business according to the terms of an understanding – and the banks all set up impossibly high bars for expats to leap over!

This left some readers with hopes dashed – for which we’re truly sorry.  And it meant most expats were still struggling to find anyone to fund their purchases in the UK.  This was a bleak reality for many who wanted to get on the UK housing ladder for whatever reason.  Some wanted to buy-to-let, others wanted to buy for a future return date…all knew that the UK housing market could potentially offer them solid returns over the long-term.

Unfortunately there was no one reputable or reliable to offer financing…but all that may have changed now as there is some good news to report finally!  A lender has entered the market with a new series of products for British expats, living abroad, who want to buy property to let out in either England or Wales.

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Lloyds Bank International Savings Account

Looking at the savings accounts available from one of the leading international banks for expats, Lloyds Bank International.

Lloyds Bank International Savings Account

In the last couple of months I’ve realised I’ve been writing the same email to many readers who’ve all been enquiring about the international savings accounts available from the leading banking providers.  As a result I’ve decided to structure an article to help anyone looking for the latest details about these types of accounts.  I’ll be linking to the different account types, so no matter what your savings objectives or account requirements, you should be able to find what you need.

Lloyds Bank International is one of the leading banking providers that has remained committed to supporting expats.  Lots of the others have reined in their international offerings, cut back on their expat mortgage products for example, and even left some expats high and dry by removing banking services altogether.  The global banking/financial crisis forced their hands I guess…but at least one name has remained in place to support expats abroad.

The Lloyds Bank International savings accounts available compliment their expat current accounts, and give those of us living abroad decent choice when it comes to how we can manage our money now that we’re overseas.  If you’re looking for a bank to support you as an expat, perhaps you need look no further.  Here’s what’s available…

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What to Do When You Can’t Get a Bank Account for Your Offshore Company

Many people are mis-sold offshore company formation packages with no guarantee of a bank account

offshore ibc bank account

Over the years we’ve received so many queries from poor souls who’ve been sold an offshore company formation package, only to discover that they aren’t eligible to open an offshore bank account (or even an onshore bank account) to enable their company to become fully operational.  All too often so-called ‘company formation specialists’ fail to correctly advise their clients that getting a bank account can be next to impossible, depending on your circumstances.

To our mind the ethical way to operate as an offshore company formation specialist is to ensure you manage your clients’ expectations and fulfil their requirements, with money back guarantees in place if you’re unable to fully assist.  However, the majority who operate offer no guarantees at all.

The good news is that if you’re in a position that you have an offshore IBC with no bank account and seemingly no chance of getting a bank account, there is a lifeline available for you.  It may be a requirement that you change the jurisdiction of your company in order to open an account; however the good news is that we know a company that will do you a free pre-approval check with a 100% money back guarantee if your pre-approved account fails to come to fruition.

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Non-Status Visa Debit Card Available for all Expats

For expats struggling to access their money, there’s a non-status Visa debit card available to get you out of financial trouble!

non status visa debit card

When you move abroad suddenly banking, credit and debit cards, taxation and all things financial can become a lot more complicated.  Prior to relocation many expats fail to take into consideration how they will access their money when abroad, and in some cases expats living abroad end up in a difficult position where their UK bank account no longer serves them, and an offshore account isn’t accessible to them.

If, for whatever reason, you need a debit card and you’re struggling to get one, you can now get a non-status Visa debit card from a major bank - no matter where you live in the world.  This can be a lifeline to the international traveller, expat – or even those living in the UK who have a poor credit rating.

Of course, you have to have a holding deposit in place to cover the accessible balance available on your card, but you can use your card to access cash internationally, and to make payments in any currency in any country.  And because it’s a globally accepted Visa debit card, you have the confidence of a very flexible solution for accessing your money, no matter where in the world you’re living, working or travelling.

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How to Manage the Cost of Living in Dubai

Living in Dubai is expensive, but there are ways around some of the worst expenses and ways to cut many costs.

cost of living Dubai

The cost of living in Dubai for expats has never been more expensive – and that’s saying something!  The city has never been known as a cheap destination, and now the current economic success of the emirate is having a severe knock on effect for all expats living in Dubai.

In her most recent Telegraph blog post, Dubai expat resident Annabel Kantaria has commented on this very issue, questioning whether some of her fellow expats will have to make the decision to quit the UAE in search of a more affordable existence elsewhere.

If you’re wondering whether the emirate is worth your consideration, or you’re already living in Dubai and you want to be able to afford to stay, here’s our guide to managing the ever increasing cost of living.  We’re not going to offer you miracles…just some practical money saving tips, as well as some advice about lifestyle choices.  The good news is that life in what’s arguably one of the most exciting destinations on earth needn’t cost the earth

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Don’t Lose Your Opportunity to Transfer Your Pension Abroad: Act Now!

Don’t lose your right to move your pension abroad if it’s the right thing to do for your money.

Transfer Your Pension Abroad

Today was the final day for consultation on whether those of us with defined benefit pension schemes should be banned from transferring them abroad into the likes of QROPS or not.  Those in the financial services industry, together with those who campaign for more pension rights, are in agreement: if you’re in a position to move your defined benefit scheme abroad, you need to act now so that you don’t lose the opportunity to benefit from QROPS.

Defined benefit pensions are enjoyed by those in the civil service, the police, NHS workers and military personnel, to name but a handful of groups potentially affected.  If you’re living abroad already and you’re eligible to benefit from one of these pension schemes, you’re being urged to act fast to get best advice about whether yours is a pension to transfer abroad or not.

The government is considering blocking your right to move your pension, and has said a decision will be made by July the 11th.  Which may mean your window of opportunity is very narrow indeed.  The process of assessing whether a pension is better off transferred or not can be timely, so if you’re abroad, likely to remain abroad, and have a pension pot worth at least £70,000, take action and get advice now.

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Expat Passport Chaos: Sign a Petition to Help

If you’re an expat stuck abroad because of passport chaos please sign the petition to force change

Expat Passport Chaos

There’s a great saying that I keep in mind regularly as I go about my daily life: ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!’  This is because I have a tendency to fiddle and fuss over things when I should let them be!  If only the British government had had this in mind when they decided to close international passport centres.  Since the closure of centres around the world, and the changing of rules and regulations relating to how expats can get their British passports renewed, chaos has ensued.

The news about this has finally hit the national headlines in the UK, because the gross backlog that the passport office is struggling beneath is now affecting British nationals resident in Britain too.  A report in today’s Daily Mail suggests there’s currently a backlog of half a million applications, all sitting and gathering dust.

For expats stuck overseas the problems of not having a passport can go far further than having summer arrangements potentially scuppered.  Depending on where you live expats are reliant upon having a valid passport to retain residency and/or employment for example.  What’s more, some expats live in locations where healthcare is rudimentary, and rely on having valid travel documents to get to a centre of care should they need it – such as during a pregnancy for example.  For all expats affected by the passport chaos there’s a very important petition you need to sign to try and get the situation dealt with…

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Medical Jobs in Qatar at Sidra

Consider applying for the massive range of medical jobs available in Qatar at its brand new medical facility, Sidra

medical jobs qatar

Qatar is in the news for all the wrong reasons at the moment, relating to issues of alleged corruption and the 2022 World Cup.  But there’s a well-known saying that ‘there’s no such thing as bad publicity,’ and in the case of Qatar this could well be true! 

The Sovereign Arab Emirate has never shone as brightly in terms of appeal as Dubai for example.  However, as one of the richest countries in the world, and one committed to economic diversification, as all eyes now turn to Qatar perhaps its appeal as a potential place to live and work will be realised by more would-be expats.

If you’d like to enjoy a tax-free lifestyle living in an undoubtedly exotic playground, and you’re a healthcare professional, consider the medical jobs available in Qatar at Sidra, the emirate’s brand new medical and research centre – where there is an intensive recruitment drive in operation.

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Should You Buy a Property in Spain?

According to an article in the Telegraph now is the time to buy property in Spain: we disagree!

Should you Buy Property Spain

A recent article in the Telegraph seemed to be promoting the Spanish dream once more.  The author of the piece suggested that some 90,000 Brits left Spain and the Mediterranean region during the recession, but that now some hardy Britons are returning to the Costas to snap up bargain basement property in Spain.

In part the article was well researched, advising that anyone buying now would do well to capitalise on any equity in their British property rather than attempt to raise a mortgage in Spain.  This is because mortgage lenders in Spain are likely to charge foreign buyers in excess of double what they will charge local buyers as an interest rate!

But in part I would also suggest the article is a little off the mark because Spain is still trapped in an economic nightmare, the property market is still a mess, and anyone committing a substantial sum of money to the nation – let alone it’s dodgy real estate market – is taking a massive risk.  So, should you buy a property in Spain as the article suggests some British expats are doing?  No…but you can capitalise on Spain’s economic issues and enjoy living in the sunshine!  Here’s how…

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Shelter Offshore Recommends Lloyds Bank International...

...because we can see that they are working hard to give expatriates what they really need. At Shelter Offshore we understand that expats need a bank that offers them an affordable, comprehensive, accessible and truly flexible service, and we recognise that Lloyds Bank International fulfils all of these criteria.

We suggest you check out their range of products and services, because they have obviously been developed with expats in mind.

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