Despite the fact that a number of leading offshore banks and even high street institutions are offering a better range of expatriate current accounts than ever before, at the same time many institutions are dramatically slashing their offshore savings account offerings and even shutting up arms of their savings and investment business abroad.
As fewer offshore savings accounts are now available, what are your options for getting better interest rates if you’re an expatriate saver? The good news is that there are products, services, solutions and institutions that want your money and commitment and are prepared to pay for it – the bad news is that it is indeed harder to find the right solutions than it once was.
In this report we take a look at why offshore savings accounts are being cut, why expatriate bank accounts are back in fashion, and how you can go about finding the best interest rates and solutions for your money if you’re an expat living, working or retired abroad.
A range of banks and financial institutions have recently announced that they’re not only withdrawing offshore savings accounts that they have previously offered expatriate customers, but they’re even closing arms of their business located in jurisdictions such as Guernsey and the Isle of Man for example.
Irish Permanent announced their closure in the Isle of Man last week, then Northern Rock declared the cessation of their operations in Guernsey, and now there’s news reaching us that a number of other leading savings providers such as the Yorkshire are seriously contemplating their withdrawal of product offerings and/or presence offshore.
There are a number of reasons for this mass withdrawal; firstly you have the fact that the collapse of Landsbanki and other institutions undermined the offshore savings industry substantially. This has resulted in fewer onshore savers committing their money to offshore jurisdictions in the hunt for better interest rates as they are just not prepared to risk their underlying assets in locations where investor protection schemes are seemingly not good enough. Many onshore savers in Britain now believe they have better protection if they keep their money in British banks on the mainland. So, loss of savings revenue means fewer institutions are interested in offering offshore savings products as they are just not profitable enough.
Another factor in the withdrawal of offshore savings account offerings is the fact that so many institutions are still reeling from the economic collapse that banks faced in the UK and across the rest of the world when the credit crunch really bit the financial industry hard. This means that they are reining in, cutting back, consolidating and any arm of their business that they can legitimately close or move to a more profitable centre will be affected. Naturally enough, smaller offices in outer lying areas servicing fewer customers will be the first to be affected.
As mentioned however, at the same time as savings accounts are being slashed, the offshore bank account offerings for expatriates seeking current accounts have never been better. You have the likes of HSBC offering to help you with your move abroad by getting your account and financial affairs in order before you go, and you have the likes of Lloyds TSB International launching a new Premier International Account today which gives services and benefits such as a relationship management service, a flexible sterling chequebook facility and a fee free service, (terms and conditions apply). All this proves that the banks still want your business but…
…they also know that many who have used offshore savings facilities in the past have been onshore clients – and that international bank accounts are only of use to expatriates. So, they are clearly dividing their loyalties between their customers! We expatriates are valuable to them, whereas onshore residents who can barely benefit from going offshore and who therefore contribute little to the offshore financial marketplace are not! Good news for us, not such good news for our onshore peers!
So, now let’s examine where we expatriates can get the best rates on our offshore savings…
Of those popular institutions which are still offering offshore savings accounts, few are giving very much away in the form of interest. 3.1% on a fixed 2 year account from Skipton International anyone? No…
If you really want to know how you can get better returns on your savings and optimise the money that you have in the bank, you need a personalised review of your wealth! With the Offshore Savings Optimiser over three quarters of all expatriates have learned that they can get more for their money. The offshore research experts who analyse what you have to save, (lump sum, regular amounts, infrequent deposits or a mixture of all three), how long you’d like to save it for and what your financial priorities and goals are search the entire financial marketplace to find the highest returning products, accounts and solutions that match your goals. You’re under no obligation to take the advice given, but at least you will know where you can get the best interest rates on your money from.
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