Where Should I Open My Offshore Account?

Historically Switzerland has the most extensive track record of respecting financial privacy within a banking framework. But they have entered into a number of treaties over the past few years permitting exchange of information in criminal etc type matters. The International Financial Services industry view is that it is no longer the banking privacy haven it once was.


Another country with strong banking privacy laws is Lichtenstein though they have recently come under attack from USA and the UK.


Austria also has strong banking privacy laws which are cannot be changed except by public referenda so that’s also on the list of places that you might wish to consider, although it may not be preferable for EU based company owners as Austria has agreed to apply a withholding tax to interest earned on (non Austrian) EU resident/national account holders.


If Financial Privacy is a major consideration for you then ideally you’ll want to set up your IBC’s account in a country which has not signed any tax information exchange agreements (“TIEAs”) with the country where you live or with any country wherein you intend to do business.


Additionally, depending on your risk appetite, given the fallout from the international banking crisis you might prefer to set up an account at a historically well established bank with a strong balance sheet. You might be well advised to seek guidance from your Financial or Banking Adviser in this regard.


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