Offshore Online Banking Guide – Critical Information You Must Know

There are several legal and regulatory compliance implications with offshore banking that I’d like to cover in this article. However, please don’t construe information on this site as legal guidance. I am providing this information for free based on my own experiences. Please consult your professional attorney or CPA (accountant) before you get involved with offshore internet banking.

What is an Offshore Bank

To be over simplistic, an offshore bank is a financial institution outside the shores of your country. If you are in Australia, a bank in the United States is an offshore bank to you. If you are in the United States, a bank in Singapore is an offshore bank to you. Therefore, the idea of offshore banking is relative.

A business or an individual, in this case you, may select an offshore bank account in a jurisdiction that is typically favorable in terms of taxes (often referred to as a tax haven by media), as well as in terms of legalities. In addition to choosing a jurisdiction with no to little income tax, for many, privacy and “secrecy” of banking activities are two of the bigger key considerations.

It goes without saying that access to your funds is important, as well as protection from corruption and stability in terms of certainty.

List of Common Offshore Online Banking Services

This is a brief list of services offered by offshore banks. This list is by no means a full comprehensive list of an offshore bank’s offerings, but rather a list of some of the most common offshore online banking services that businesses and individuals are offered:

  • Remote Deposits of funds
  • Direct Deposits of funds
  • ACH / Wire Transfers / EFT – Electronic Fund Transfers
  • Consumer and Commercial Lending
  • All Basic Credit Activities
  • Access to Capital – Offshore Debit Cards
  • Forex – Currency Exchange
  • Wealth Management
  • Offshore Trading Account
  • Offshore Brokerage Account
  • Administrative Services
  • Trustee Services

Note: Offshore banks typically tend to focus on either consumer or commercial banking. Within consumer, banks differentiate between retail consumer (the average individual) or private banking (meant for high net worth individuals).

Because each concentration involves a different cost structure from the bank’s perspective, when selecting an offshore bank for yourself, be clear on what type of consumer you are and what offshore online banking services you need. Gaining this clarity will ensure you are not disappointed in your choice.

List of Common Offshore Banks

No doubt the two most common names in offshore online banking are Switzerland and Cayman Islands. Just pick up any business journal or pop in a business based Hollywood flick. There is likely a mention of a Swiss bank account somewhere.

This is because as of at least 2012, these two jurisdictions held the most number of total deposits amongst all offshore online banks. Some other jurisdictions that offer offshore online banking are the following:

  • Singapore
  • Malaysia
  • Panama
  • Cook Islands
  • Dominica
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Antigua
  • Malaysia
  • Anguilla
  • New Zealand
  • Luxembourg
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Bermuda
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Cyprus
  • Cook Islands
  • Channel Islands
  • Monaco
  • Mauritius
  • Hong Kong
  • Malta
  • Macau
  • Regulating Offshore Online Banking

With complexity comes increasing regulation. The regulation around offshore online banking activities has steadily increased over the years, but according to many of its supporters it is still not enough. This means much more is in the pipelines. Regulation has particularly increased significantly after the significant events of September 11, 2011.

Regulatory guidance is issued and monitored by global bodies such as the International Monetary Fund or the IMF, who require financial institutions worldwide to maintain a certain level of operating or performance standard, specifically in terms of capital adequacy and liquidity. These key performance indicators are to be reported by banks on a quarterly basis to its designated regulator (such as the Fed or the FDIC in the United States).

The list of regulations is endless and quite comprehensive to say the least. Some notables are the Anti Money Laundering (AML) regulation and the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA). These acts require banks and financial institutions to immediately report suspicious activity resembling money laundering to local government authorities despite stepping out of the BSA jurisdiction.

Another example is the information sharing requirements between a certain group of countries with regards to capital flow and taxation which was initiated by members of the European Union. On the other side of the pond, the taxing body of the United States, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires financial institutions to report to it names of businesses and individuals who benefited from interest income resulting from deposits in US based institutions.

The most notable in my opinion of recently enacted regulations is the US Patriot Act, which permits the US Government to seize all assets of a financial institution if it suspects that the institution holds assets that belong to a potential criminal. Several other countries have since followed suit.

I personally feel these regulations strengthen the global banking infrastructure. But then again I am just one person. There are others who feel in all sorts of ways about offshore online banking.

Interesting Fact: Did you know that just until the 1990s, individuals were allowed to create their very own offshore banks. This practice was stopped and now only large institutions are allowed to do so.

Connotations and Implications of Offshore Online Banking

It is not illegal to conduct offshore online banking, but such activities tend to carry with them a certain set of connotations and legal implications that you must be aware of and comply with. There can be severe fines, penalties and legal repercussions if you fail to comply with the legal and regulatory requirements.

Why you must be thinking? Because offshore banking historically has been used and abused by those who intended to evade taxes, as well as those that used funds for illegal causes. For example, organized crime networks heavily use offshore online banking to launder money.

But like I said, conducting offshore online banking isn’t an illegal activity. All persons conducting offshore online banking are required by most countries (depending on their residency) to disclose the activities and the outcomes, such as interest income for example.

Specifically in the United States for example, a US resident’s income is taxed on a global basis. This means that even interest earned overseas is subject to taxation by US authorities. Now although financial institutions are not required to disclose this information to countries of interest due the bank secrecy guidelines, individuals are required to disclose this information.

Similarly, one can legally avoid taxes in certain situations. For example, a resident of Country X living and working in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) may not have to pay taxes if Country X does not tax the individual’s global income.

Because there is no taxation on income earned in many Arab nations, interest income earned from deposits in a UAE bank account is not subject to tax. Further, the income is also not taxed in Country X. This is a common reason why so many affluent folks change residency and citizenship status, one that resonates most with their financial goals and objectives.

It’s a very interesting dynamic and there is a ton of opportunity for strategizing as you can imagine.

Dollar Concentration in Offshore Online Banking

Although offshore online banking is not a subject delved into by the average individual, the numbers involved (concentration of wealth and financial activity) are quite significant. You may find a lot of these simply fascinating.

For example, specialized banking economists and analysts indicate that half of the global capital (money) flows through one of the many offshore banks out there. The so called Tax Havens (think Switzerland) have over a quarter of the global wealth (think high net worth individuals and big companies). These Havens also hold over 30% of profits generated by companies based in the United States.

And that’s not it. Over 6 trillion US dollars owned by high net worth individuals are also reported to be held in offshore bank accounts in one shape or another.

Illegal Monies in Offshore Bank Accounts

Opportunists have identified weaknesses in the offshore banking system and thus have taken advantage of the systems to launder monies generated through illegal means and used for illegal purposes. According to the IMF, this amount is as large as 1.5 trillion US dollars on an annual basis. To put things in perspective for you, this is roughly 5% of the world’s total Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

In addition to illegal monies, there are also monies that have evaded taxation as well as monies that were generated through fraud, graft and corruption. All in all, the amounts are super significant. And as I stated above, the two jurisdictions with the biggest concentration of these amounts are the Cayman Islands and Switzerland (as of 2012).

Offshore Internet Banking for Corporations of All Sizes

I have already stated this earlier, but offshore online banking is not only for large companies, but companies of all sizes as well as individuals. There are a certain set of requirements that any institution, an individual or a company have to meet in order to open and maintain an offshore bank account.

In fact, it is easier for individuals to open and maintain an offshore bank account before companies are required to complete additional forms in a specific manner when establishing an offshore internet bank account.

Corporations typically engage in offshore online banking when they contemplate one or any mix of the following purposes.

  • Cost containment (bank fees and charges)
  • Paying and receiving payments from vendors and customers in local jurisdictions
  • Asset protection strategies
  • International acquisitions and investments
  • Compensating local employees in an offshore jurisdiction
  • Political reasons – Stability and predictability
  • Establishing a local business presence
  • Again, this is not a comprehensive list of why companies engage in offshore online banking. There are several other reasons why a company may decide to establish an offshore bank account. The only true way to find out the best offshore bank for you, and whether your objectives will be met through offshore internet banking is by speaking to a professional who can walk you through the entire process.

Concluding Thoughts on Offshore Internet Banking

I gave you a ton of information to read and digest in this article. As you have read, offshore internet banking is used by several different constituencies for several different purposes with several different intentions.

There are some significant advantages that can be derived from opening an offshore bank account such as entering new global markets and some serious offshore tax planning. I obviously recommend opening an offshore bank account for the right reasons, with full compliance with laws and regulations. For those contemplating abusing the system, understand that bank secrecy is a weakening concept, and one that will continue to weaken over the years.

Countries are increasingly sharing information, some voluntarily and some while succumbing to pressure by more powerful nations such as the United States.

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Tips for Finding a Perfect Steak and Seafood Restaurant in Colorado Springs

Restaurants are an integral part of our lives as they offer the hospitality and catering solutions that we need. These days, you will come to discover that there are numerous options for the resorts such that you might not be sure of the best to go for. The list tends to be growing longer each new day. It is a suitable thing to ensure that you look for the right strategy when it comes to choosing the best. You need to start your selection by knowing your main motive or target for which you are going for a restaurant. You need to, for instance, goes through the steak and seafood resort if at all you want such kinds of meals. These days, you will discover that we have restaurants that major in the selling of such seafood, as well as animal protein hence, going for them, is elemental.

While in Colorado Springs, know that there are many top-ranking steak and seafood resorts that are available. All you have to do is develop a perfect strategy to narrow down to the best among them all. This article is beneficial as it will bring to light the several aspects which matter a lot when finding a reliable restaurant in Colorado Springs. First and foremost, target the resort, which offers you different cuisines or styles of preparation regarding the steak and seafood. There are different regions in the world which prepare meat in different cultural ways hence, the right resort is the one which offers you such diversity on the menu. This is elemental in assisting you in choosing a dish that you have never tried before. A perfect restaurant is the one that understands that different clients or visitors have different preferences regarding seafood and steak.

Secondly, choose the steak and seafood restaurant, which offers you an online platform through which you can make a purchase. It is a suitable thing to target the resort which has a perfect website which you can use to place a reservation. There are times when you might not be in town but plan for a date at a certain time. In such a situation, online booking will make you not struggle to avail yourself to the resort for the placing of a reservation. However, the management of the resort ought to be as accurate as possible and make the online platform as real-time s possible. This is what makes your online efforts effective and worthwhile.

Finally, choose the restaurant which has a team of chefs and hospitality staff which is well-trained. Understand that competent resorts will generally hire the finest brains when it comes to catering and hospitality issues, as this is what makes the different meals as well as drinks classy. There is a need to do proper research on the restaurant which you are aiming for as this will help you in knowing more about the competency which it has. This includes looking at the online comments which other people leave behind after visiting the restaurant.

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A Guide to Protecting Your Family from Exposure to Harmful Gas

Getting to keep your family safe is an important thing that you have to do and you’ll be able to benefit a lot when you decide to do this. Using different types of solutions that are going to allow you to keep them safe will be good. Your property might have quite a number of risk areas, you will need to know them so that you can do something about it. Protecting you and your family from natural gas will be something very important especially because of how dangerous it is. Creating ideas that are going to allow you to protect them from this kind of exposure will be an important thing that you have to do especially because, it can be very dangerous when you’re not careful about it. A furnace can always cause a lot of danger within your property and that is the reason why you have to be very careful about ensuring that everyone is properly protected from that and, it is properly functional and it has all the necessary safety features. It is important to realize that when you do not do this, is going to be a major problem. You’ll understand more about keeping your family very safe when you consider the information in the article.

Ensuring that the area around the furnace is clear is an important thing, you can actually ensure that it is very clean. One thing you’ll notice is that some of these gases do not have any smells and they are also colorless so identifying them is very difficult. this means that for you to be able to protect yourself from them, you just have to avoid fire because they are highly flammable. Ensuring that there is nothing like nail polish or alcohol around the finance is therefore very important. Another step that you can be able to take when it comes to safety is the use of gas detectors, that is very critical. Carbon monoxide can be a hazard on your premises and protecting yourself from it will be a good idea.

By using this device, you’ll be able to avoid this carbon monoxide poisoning which is something that you’re supposed to take seriously. Any equipment that you have within the property that is gas powered should also be very much maintained and you have to be careful about this. Replacement of any gas seals that are broken will also be very important and one of the things that you can do to avoid a lot of danger, this is critical for you.

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Bullying: Prevention and Taking Action

There is a worrying trend of students with disabilities being attacked in school by classmates. Bullying, by itself, is a vice that needs to be stopped. It gets worse when the person being attacked is in such a position. Statistics go further to show that those with disabilities are twice as likely to be bullied. It is, therefore, important to learn more about this trend and to do something as a parent to safeguard your children.

Bullying is that constant treatment with acts of aggression against a person not able to defend themselves against such attacks at that moment. Bullies aim to harm their victims physically, mentally, and socially. Bullying is not always overt and physical, as there are subtle forms of bullying that are hard to point out. We now have a new problem in the form of cyberbullying, due to the adoption of smartphones and other communication devices in all areas of our lives. A special needs child will, therefore, suffer more significant damage from bullying.

While students with disabilities are more likely to be bullied, those with autism and orthopaedic conditions are more susceptible to that bullying. There will also be repeated cases of bullying in the future. Bullying has some lasting effects on the victims. There will be anxiety, depression and physical health issues. If you pay close attention, you will find your child has injuries that are not easy to explain, constant loss of their items like books, electronics, jewellery, changes in their eating habits like binge eating or skipping meals, trouble sleeping and nightmares, sunning school with various excuses, and self-destructive behaviour like self-inflicted harm and harbouring suicidal thoughts.

Each student has rights, whether with disabilities or otherwise. Those rights have to be respected, no matter your station in the education system. A good place to start in upholding those rights is to teach students, especially those with disabilities, how to express themselves better. Most schools focus on academic learning and less on social and emotional learning. The expectation that students will learn how to express themselves in social situations naturally does not work. Bullies thus find a perfect environment to carry out their plans.

There is also a need to sensitize the students on the harm caused by bullying. When everyone regards bullying as unacceptable behavior, and to have a proper system in place for reporting incidents of bullying, there will be a safer environment for all students.

There is also a need to act appropriately when you notice your child has been bullied. You need first to be supportive and let them know it is not their fault. You also need keenly to observe them for all the signs of bullying. Make a point of contacting their teacher immediately you spot those signs. If it is a severe case, you need to contact the principal directly.

It is a good idea to involve a student rights lawyer in such a case. When you feel all your attempts to get to the bottom of this case at school, or it keeps on persisting, you need to get the right legal help. The lawyer has experience in such matters and therefore knows how to approach it to get the right results. You can visit this site for more info.

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