If you travel to a foreign country often (on business or for fun), it would be a good idea to open a bank account in that foreign country. However, travelers are not the only category of people who need foreign bank accounts. You may also need one if:
- You attend a university in a foreign state;
- You work with or for a foreign company;
- You want to participate in foreign investment projects;
- You are applying for citizenship of, or legal residence in, a foreign country.
We have to admit, unfortunately, that setting up a foreign bank account has turned into a long and demanding process. If you do not have time to go deep into the details of opening a bank account in a foreign country, we suggest that you should find an intermediary company that can give you legal assistance in the matter. You will have to pay for the company services but you will save a lot of time and effort at the same time. You can find a lot of information about foreign banking opportunities at the International Wealth web portal.
What you should be prepared for when opening a bank account abroad
You have to realize that a bank account in a foreign country is going to bring you some additional difficulties that you would probably not have to face if you banked at home exclusively. The main things that you should be prepared for include the following ones:
- Non-resident bank customers normally have to pay higher account maintenance fees;
- All the transactions that you use the account for are going to be scrutinized especially at the early stage of your cooperation with the bank;
- Money can come to your foreign bank account only from reliable sources with a spotless reputation;
- It is going to take longer time to set up a foreign bank account in comparison to setting up a domestic bank account;
- The foreign bank may put forward some tough requirements that you will have to meet. For example, it may request that you leave a large security deposit or that the monthly account turnover exceed a certain amount.
Many financial institutions require that the person wishing to open an account with them visit a bank office and talk to the manager. If this is true for the foreign bank that you have chosen, collecting all the application documents is vitally important. Imagine that you arrive in the foreign country, go to the bank, and it turns out that you have left an important document behind! The bank won’t open an account for you and you will have to go back home to pick the document.
The good news, however, is that you can open a foreign bank account from the comfort of your home. Modern communication technologies allow performing client identification procedures online and many document verification procedures are now automated. If a foreign bank offers the possibility to open an account remotely, it does not mean that it is an unreliable bank that will provide services to every Tom Dick, and Harry without looking at them. There are no such banks in the world any longer. You will have to identify yourself to the bank managers and supply supportive documents but thanks to modern technologies, this can be done remotely.
Open a personal bank account in a foreign country from home
There are many jurisdictions where you could open a foreign bank account remotely. If you are thinking of setting up a bank account in Europe, we suggest that you should consider Switzerland and Liechtenstein in the first place. These are highly reputable jurisdictions with some fantastic banks but they are outside the EU. What advantages does this fact bring to the banks located there? The European Central Bank’s requirements that all EU banks have to follow can be extremely tough but they don’t apply to banks in Switzerland and Liechtenstein. In other words, life is a bit easier for bankers in these European countries and they can offer a wider range of opportunities to their customers.
In addition to European banks, you can also consider banking in an offshore jurisdiction. Some Caribbean countries such as St Kitts and Nevis or St Lucia, for example, offer citizenship-by-investment opportunities. Thus, you can open an account in one of these countries, purchase some real property there or invest in a business venture and acquire second citizenship in the Caribbean. Opening a bank account in the Caribbean remotely is possible.
There is one more opportunity that many people often disregard while they should not. You can open a precious metals account in a foreign country (that is, buy gold, silver, and/ or platinum) and you can do that remotely. A foreign national can open a precious metals account in such jurisdictions as Singapore, Hong Kong, Switzerland, and Caribbean countries, for example, without having to take a trip to the country. Yes, precious metals accounts can also be opened online.
Open a bank account in Liechtenstein remotely
Opening a personal bank account in Liechtenstein will bring you the following advantages:
- The national currency in Liechtenstein is the Swiss franc (CHF) but you can open a multicurrency account in the country;
- The bank account can be opened remotely and even an online interview is not required;
- The minimum initial deposit that you can make (and the security balance that you have to have) is 5 thousand CHF. The required security deposits are usually much higher in most banks in neighboring Switzerland;
- Online banking is available in the English and German languages;
- All bank deposits are insured for up to 100 thousand CHF.
A bank account in Liechtenstein is a perfect instrument, especially for those who are setting up a foreign bank account for the first time. The account is relatively easy to open, very easy to manage, and the minimum deposit requirement is extremely modest. If you would like to diversify and protect your financial assets, opening a bank account in Liechtenstein is one of the best choices that you can make.
Open a bank account in St Lucia remotely
St Lucian banks may not be as reputable as banks located in Liechtenstein but they are secure enough and they also offer some serious advantages to international customers. The main advantages include the following ones:
- Customer support is available in the English and Spanish languages and the same holds for online banking opportunities;
- There are no requirements for the amount of the deposit but the recommended minimum deposit is 5 thousand dollars;
- Please note that even though you do not have to have more than 5,000 dollars on your account with a St Lucian bank, the service fees will be higher if your deposit is smaller than the specified amount;
- You can open a multicurrency personal bank account in St Lucia but the security balance will have to be 25 thousand dollars;
- The bank account can be opened remotely but the bank administration has to have notarized application documents delivered with a courier to be able to open an account for you.
We must note that banks in St Lucia are rather conservative but this is more of an advantage rather than a disadvantage. A conservative bank will not engage in any risky financial schemes and take good care of its clients’ money.