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11 Best Countries For Offshore Banking in 2024

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Offshore banking is used to diversify assets to protect against political and economic instability, access unique investment opportunities with higher returns, enjoy tax advantages, and manage foreign currencies.

There is no “best” offshore banking destination that fits everyone. The best option will depend on your specific needs and circumstances. Conduct thorough due diligence and weigh the risks and benefits before making a decision.

Whether you're a business owner, investor, or an individual accumulating savings, you've worked hard to build your wealth. Now, you might be exploring how to expand your business overseas or looking to safeguard your hard-earned assets for the future.

In such cases, offshore banking can be a valuable option, offering financial flexibility, potential tax benefits, and increased privacy. However, the first crucial step is choosing the right country to establish your offshore bank accounts.

This article will provide a detailed overview of the best countries to open an offshore bank account in 2024. We will also walk you through the factors you need to consider, such as the benefits and the risks of having a foreign account outside your domestic country and how to choose the best one.

What Is an Offshore Bank Account?

An offshore bank account is a bank account located in a country different from where you reside. 

Similarly, offshore banking refers to managing finances and assets through banks or financial institutions outside your home country.

For businesses, this may involve holding funds in a bank account located outside the country where the company is registered. For instance, if a tech startup is incorporated in Silicon Valley but opens a bank account in Switzerland, the Swiss account is considered offshore.

Why Consider Offshore Banking?

People consider offshore banking for efficient currency and asset management, as well as potential financial benefits. 

Here are some reasons why people use offshore banking:

  • To diversify their portfolio across jurisdictions, so they can protect a portion of assets from local economic fluctuations 
  • To access unique investment opportunities that may not be available domestically.
  • To leverage higher interest rates and tax advantages, such as lower rates or tax-free savings.
  • For expats and international businesses, offshore accounts simplify holding and managing funds in multiple foreign currencies. 
  • To benefit from strict bank secrecy laws in certain jurisdictions, ensuring enhanced financial privacy.

However, it's crucial to navigate these benefits within the legal frameworks of both the home country and the offshore jurisdiction to ensure full transparency and legal compliance.

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Tip: Learn more about how to open an offshore bank account in this guide.

Benefits and Risks of Offshore Bank Accounts

Offshore Banking Benefits 

  • Asset diversification: Holding assets in offshore accounts spreads risk and offers protection against economic instability in your home country.
  • Exclusive investment opportunities: Access unique and potentially higher-yield investment opportunities.
  • Currency diversification: Offshore accounts allow account holders to diversify their currency spread with access to multiple currencies. It may also offer other opportunities, such as foreign stock investment or bonds.
  • Tax advantages: Many offshore locations offer lower tax liability and tax treaties that reduce or eliminate double taxation.
  • Financial privacy: Some businesses may need confidentiality in their financial dealings. 
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Tip: Each offshore account has different features and benefits depending on your chosen country and bank. Be sure to review this carefully before opening an account.

Offshore Banking Risks

  • Negative connotations:  Offshore banking is often associated with tax evasion, money laundering, and organized crime. As a result, tax agencies and other authorities impose strict rules on these accounts to monitor their activities more closely.
  • Risk of safety: If there is a financial crisis in that country or the bank you have an account with goes bankrupt, you may not be able to retrieve your deposited funds.
  • Higher fee: Many offshore banks may charge higher fees for their services as dealing with applicants from foreign jurisdictions brings additional risks, such as problems with local regulation compliance. Therefore, you may face higher initial deposits, minimum balances, account opening, maintenance, and transactions compared to domestic banks. 
  • Regulatory issues and complex obligations require meticulous attention to tax and legal matters and are subject to changing laws and compliance requirements. 
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Important: Offshore banking is legal, but it is essential to report all offshore activities to the relevant authorities in your jurisdiction to ensure compliance with the law.

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What Countries Are Best for Offshore Banking?

You can open an offshore account in several countries around the world. A country or jurisdiction with low or no tax rates for foreign businesses and individuals is known as a tax haven, and they are the best well-known countries for opening an offshore account.

Here are the 11 most reputable foreign jurisdictions for offshore accounts and their main advantages:

Country

Best For

Difficulty to Open

Hong Kong

The territorial tax system, tax-free interests, free market, gateway to China and the Asia Pacific

Low

Switzerland

High privacy, strong and stable economy

Difficult

Belize

The territorial tax system, high interest rates, strong privacy policies

Low

Germany

One of the strongest economies in Europe, safest banks in the world

Medium

Cayman Islands

0% tax rate thanks to no direct taxation

Difficult

Singapore

Comprehensive wealth management services

Medium

Panama

The territorial tax system, banking secrecy laws, dollarized economy

Medium

The Republic of Seychelles

The territorial tax system, several non-taxable passive income 

Low

Nevis

Strong privacy laws 

Medium

Mauritius

Financial center in Africa, favorable tax regime

Medium

UAE

the Middle East’s financial hub, foreigners can operate tax-free businesses in the country's free zones

Medium

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Important: Each country's political and tax situation differs. The information provided is for reference purposes only. Always do thorough research and consult a professional tax advisor before depositing your money offshore.

1

Hong Kong

Hong Kong for offshore banking

Hong Kong's third-place ranking in the latest Ease of Doing Business Index, its position as the fourth-largest global financial center, and its role as the primary gateway to China collectively make it stand out as an exceptional choice for offshore banking, especially within the Asia Pacific region.

In the financial landscape, the country is a leading hub for banking, asset management, and wealth management. It hosts numerous leading hedge funds and private equity firms, as well as nearly 80 of the world’s top 100 banks. This ensures that your banking needs can be effectively met with confidence.

One of Hong Kong’s most well-known features is its territorial tax system, meaning income earned outside Hong Kong is generally not subject to local taxation. This tax system, efficient legal system, and strong financial infrastructure make Hong Kong our top destination for opening an offshore bank account. 

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Tip: Hong Kong is also one of the best places to register your company, as it offers comprehensive banking services and global business connections.

Key Information About Offshore Banking in Hong Kong

Economy

Tax advantage 

  • A territorial taxation system, taxing only income sourced within its borders. 
  • Capital gains, dividends, and interest from offshore accounts are typically tax-exempt, with few exceptions.
  • Corporate income tax is 16.5%.

Currencies

The Hong Kong Dollar (HKD) is pegged to the US Dollar (USD), which minimizes the impact of currency fluctuations on holdings.

A number of banks and financial institutions offer multi-currency accounts with HKD, RMB, USD, and other major currencies.

Ease of opening a bank account

While in-person visits are typically necessary for traditional banks, some banks now provide remote account opening options.
Non-traditional options like neobank and financial technology companies offer 100% online account opening. 

Other considerations

Hong Kong imposes strict KYC/AML regulations.

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Interested in Hong Kong as a banking destination? Read our guide on how to open a bank account in Hong Kong in 2024 and learn more about your options for virtual banks.

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2

Switzerland

Switzerland for offshore banking

Switzerland is probably the first country that comes to mind when you think of an offshore bank account, and for a good reason.

Swiss banks are highly regarded and rank among the highest rate worldwide. They are trusted by many high-net-worth individuals in the United States because of their commitment to privacy and steadfast asset protection, making it a popular destination for foreign money.

Switzerland has historically upheld some of the most stringent privacy policies. However, these laws have been tightened in recent years to comply with international regulations aimed at curbing tax evasion.

Although Switzerland now complies with FATCA and a similar EU agreement, disclosing information on both U.S. and EU Swiss account holders when required, it continues to maintain a high rank on the Financial Secrecy Index.

With a sophisticated banking network comprising roughly 300 domestic banks plus the privacy and asset protection policies it offers, Switzerland is no doubt one of the best countries to open offshore accounts.

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According to the 2023 Global Wealth Report by the BCG, Swiss banks managed USD 2.4 trillion worth of assets held by foreigners in 2022.

Key Information About Offshore Banking in Switzerland

Economy

  • One of the highest GDPs in Western Europe
  • A very stable political environment
  • Low inflation rates

Tax advantage 

  • Low tax based on living expenses.
  • Foreign companies receive significant tax breaks in Switzerland, particularly if they own 10% or more of other companies.
  • Moving towards a 15% minimum tax rate on large international corporate profits.

Currencies

Ease of opening a bank account

A number of institutions mandate a physical visit to open an account.

Other considerations

Switzerland has a high minimum deposit and minimum balance, with usually low interest rates.

3

Belize

Belize for offshore banking

If you're looking to deposit your money overseas to pursue more favorable interest rates, Belize is your destination.

This Central American country, with sociopolitical and economic connections to the Caribbean region offers relatively high-interest rates for foreign bankers, with a benchmark interest rate of 2.25%. Banks in Belize are also required to maintain at least a 24% liquidity ratio, which ensures that a significant portion of your deposits is accessible at all times. 

International accounts are immune from local taxes and exchange control regulations. Belize is also notable for its foreign account privacy policies, and account holders can choose to make deposits in most major currencies.

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Tips: Belize has a very high real interest rate because of its low inflation rate.

Key Information About Offshore Banking in Belize

Economy

Belize has a small, primarily private enterprise-based economy focused on tourism, agriculture, and services. It is classified as a middle-income country.

IMF projects Belize's economy to grow by 3.5% in 2024.

Tax advantage 

  • Belize's territorial tax system taxes only income earned within Belize.
  • Qualified earnings and interest may be exempt from taxation.
  • For non-CARICOM residents, the withholding tax rate on dividends and interest on loans originating from Belize is 15%.

Currencies

The official currency is the Belize dollar (BZD), which is pegged to the US dollar (USD) at a fixed rate. Many Belizean banks also provide accounts in USD and other major currencies.

Ease of opening a bank account

Varys by banks.

Other considerations

Small market compared to other options.

4

Germany

Germany for offshore banking

If you’re interested in Europe, Germany is one of the most secure destinations for your money with its economic strength and stability. The country ranks as the largest economy in Europe and the third-largest globally

A secure and convenient banking system also makes Germany an excellent destination for opening an offshore account. In fact, Four German banks were ranked as the top ten safest banks in the world in 2023.

Moreover, Germany’s robust remote banking system allows you to open an account without being present. Depending on the bank of your choice, you could open a bank account in Germany from the comfort of your home. 

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Did you know: Germany's leading development bank is the KfW, which stands for “Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau” (in English, Credit Institute for Reconstruction) and is currently the safest bank in the world in 2023.

Key Information About Offshore Banking in Germany

Economy

Tax advantage 

While Germany provides certain tax incentives, it is not generally viewed as a traditional global tax haven, though it may be listed on some European lists. 

Currencies

The Euro (EUR) is Germany's official currency and the predominant currency used throughout the Eurozone.

Ease of opening a bank account

Some German banks offer banking services for people living abroad, mainly through online or mobile platforms. 

Other considerations

5

The Cayman Islands

Cayman Islands for offshore banking

Not only is the Cayman Islands one of the world's most beautiful tropical destinations, but it is also one of the best locations for offshore banking because of its tax benefits and favorable financial services policies. 

The Cayman Islands, as an overseas territory of the United Kingdom, are renowned as a tax haven due to their lack of direct taxation. They do not impose income, property, wealth, or company taxes. Instead, the government generates revenue through fees on work permits, import duties, financial transactions, and more.

Additionally, there is no exchange control, meaning that fund transfers coming in or going out of the islands are entirely free in any currency.

As of Q1 2024, there are 86 licensed banks and trusts operating in the Cayman Islands. Most of these banks are subsidiaries or branches of established international banks, such as HSBC Bank (Cayman). 

Key Information About Offshore Banking in the Cayman Islands

Economy

Tourism makes up about 70% of GDP and 75% of foreign currency earnings, catering to luxury markets and North American visitors. Other key sectors include banking, insurance, finance, and construction.

Tax advantage

No corporate and capital gains tax. No taxes on income, property, payroll, or withholding. No VAT.

Currencies

The Cayman Islands Dollar (KYD) is pegged to the US Dollar (USD) at a fixed rate. Additionally, the US Dollar is widely used in the Cayman Islands.

Ease of opening a bank account 

A very detailed application process is required, along with a minimum deposit.

Opening a bank account as a non-resident in the Cayman Islands is challenging due to strict financial regulations, and having ties to the jurisdiction is often essential.

Other considerations

  • Among the most costly places to register a company.
  • Potentially high bank charges.
  • It's expensive, exclusive, and geared towards large corporations and affluent individuals.

6

Singapore

Singapore for offshore banking

For high-net-worth individuals, Singapore is undoubtedly the best country for offshore banking. Singapore is reputable for attracting businesses and affluent people as it maintains political and economic stability. 

The country tops the World Competitiveness Ranking in 2024, and has the freest economy globally with strong international trade. Its port is also the second busiest globally.

Banks in Singapore also offer a wide range of wealth management services, including financial advice, tax guidance, estate planning, legal counsel, and investment management.

Singapore has 132 operating banks, the majority of which are international banks, with only 6 being local banks.

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Tip: As one of the world's leading financial centers, Singapore is also an excellent destination for setting up an offshore company.

Key Information About Offshore Banking in Singapore

Economy

A competitive and high-income economy, historically centered on exports and now diversified into finance, tourism, and shipping sectors.

Tax advantage 

Currencies

The Singapore Dollar (SGD) is strong and pegged against a basket of currencies.

Ease of opening a bank account

While some Singaporean banks offer online account opening, it's less common for non-residents. 

Non-residents may need to visit in person or use a more traditional application process.

Other considerations

Potential high initial deposits

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7

Panama

Panama for offshore banking

Panama has long been one of the popular destinations for offshore banking because of its banking secrecy laws and favorable tax environment.

It uses a territorial tax system, meaning that all income generated from a foreign country is exempt from local income taxes, which is highly beneficial for businesses.

Another advantage of having an offshore account in Panama is its strict banking secrecy laws that provide high confidentiality for local and foreign account holders. However, it implemented the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) in 2018 in order to improve tax transparency.
Additionally, Panama is a great destination to consider opening an offshore account because of its dollarized economy. The country is also strategically located between North and South America, making it a prime location for international trade and commerce.

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Fact: Despite having its own currency, the balboa (PAB), Panama primarily uses the US dollar, which is one of its two official currencies. The PAB has a fixed 1:1 exchange rate with the USD, and only the dollar banknotes are used in the country.

Key Information About Offshore Banking in Panama

Economy

Service-based, which makes up over 70% of its GDP.

The economy is driven by revenue from the Panama Canal toll, banking, commerce, tourism, trade, and private industries.

Tax advantage 

  • Panama follows a territorial tax system, where income earned outside of Panama is typically not subject to Panamanian income taxes.
  • No wealth tax.

Currencies

  • The Panamanian balboa (PAB) is Panama's official currency, pegged 1:1 to the U.S. dollar.
  • U.S. dollars are widely accepted. This adoption of the U.S. dollar makes it more resilient to unexpected events.

Ease of opening a bank account

Varies by bank, but most need your physical presence. 

Other considerations

Panama has recently been removed from the FATF's gray list, but its past may still carry negative connotations.

8

The Republic of Seychelles

Seychelles for offshore banking

Seychelles is another advantageous destination for individuals and businesses looking to bank offshore, offering favorable tax benefits.

If you own an international business company (IBC) that is incorporated in Seychelles, you would most likely be exempted from local taxes. Your assets would also be protected under the country's legal mechanisms.

Although it is a relatively small country, Seychelles has a stable political and economic environment, which is a crucial factor that entrepreneurs need to consider when depositing money offshore.

It is also another country with strong banking secrecy laws that protect the identities of offshore companies' beneficial owners and shareholders.

Key Information About Offshore Banking in the Republic of Seychelles

Economy

The Seychellois economy relies on tourism and financial services, leading to a GDP per capita exceeding USD 12,000.

Tax advantage 

  • A territorial tax system, meaning only income earned in Seychelles is taxed
  • Non-taxable passive income in Seychelles includes dividends, interest, royalties, rents, and other earnings from non-residents.
  • Varying tax regimes based on annual turnover.

Currencies

The country's official currency is the Seychellois Rupee (SCR). You can expect to find accounts denominated in major currencies such as USD, EUR, and GBP.

Ease of opening a bank account

Seychelles is known for its relatively easy process of opening offshore accounts, with many banks serving foreign clients and offering services in multiple languages.

Other considerations

A smaller selection of banks to choose from.

9

Nevis

Nevis for offshore banking

As a part of the twin-island federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis, the island of Nevis is a premier destination for offshore banking as it offers numerous benefits for foreign companies, including privacy laws and a convenient incorporation process.

Offshore companies and accounts are protected under the privacy laws that prevent foreign authorities from accessing some information.

Nevis also offers robust asset protection mechanisms that ensure individuals and companies that their wealth is securely safeguarded.

Setting up an offshore account on this island is simple and can be done remotely. It also provides competitive interest rates.

Key Information About Offshore Banking in Nevis

Economy

The economy relies mainly on tourism. The jurisdiction is classified as high-income. 

Tax advantage 

  • No tax on foreign source income
  • 0% - 15% withholding tax on interest payments

Currencies

The official currency of Nevis is the Eastern Caribbean dollar (XCD), which is pegged to the US dollar.

Offshore banks in Nevis also provide accounts in major currencies such as USD, EUR, and GBP.

Ease of opening a bank account

Opening an offshore bank account in Nevis is usually straightforward, though depending on the bank, it may involve various steps and documentation.

You may need a professional letter, such as from a lawyer or an accountant. 

Other considerations

Limited numbers of bank options since it’s a small island.

10

Mauritius

Mauritius for offshore banking

As one of the largest financial hubs in Africa, Mauritius has a stable and thriving economy, making it a great place to open an offshore account.

Mauritius provides a stable political environment, well-established legal systems, and a sophisticated financial services industry that facilitates offshore banking and investments.

Businesses doing international trade can also benefit from the country's vast network of Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements (DTAAs). It also has strong anti-money laundering regulations, making it a reputable destination for banking offshore.

Key Information About Offshore Banking in Mauritius

Economy

  • Recognized as both a financial center in Africa and a gateway to the continent.
  • Stable democracy

Tax advantage 

  • Withholding tax (WHT) rates for dividends and interest range from 0% to 15%.
  • No withholding tax (WHT) on payments made by Global Business License (GBL) holders to non-residents on their foreign-source income. 
  • No WHT to dividends received from resident companies.

Currencies

Mauritius's currency is the Mauritian rupee (MUR).

Ease of opening a bank account

Depending on banks.

The Mauritian banking sector accepts non-resident customers, especially the international banks based on the island. Having ties to the island may make it easier to open a Mauritian bank account.

Other considerations

A limited number of bank options. 

11

The United Arab Emirates (UAE)

UAE for offshore banking

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is another great destination for offshore banking. As a central hub for business and finance in the Middle East, The UAE provides a stable political and thriving economic environment for offshore banking and investments.

It also has favorable tax laws for offshore investors. Businesses established within the country's free zones can be owned and operated by foreigners and are exempted from taxes and customs duties.

If you're looking to bank offshore because of tax benefits, the UAE should be considered alongside the other jurisdictions on this list.

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Tip: Interested in the UAE? Learn how to register a company in the UAE.

Key Information About Offshore Banking in the UAE

Economy

The UAE is a premier business hub in the Middle East, particularly renowned for attracting foreign investment.

Tax advantage 

Currencies

The UAE maintains a peg to the US dollar, providing stability for international transactions and investments.

Ease of opening a bank account

Some banks offer online applications, though some may require an in-person visit for verification. 

Bank imposes strict regulations.

Other considerations

The main hubs for offshore activity are the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and Ras Al Khaimah (RAK). Regulations between these zones may differ.

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Tip: The UAE is one of the countries with the lowest corporate tax.

How to Choose The Best Offshore Bank

Before choosing where to open an offshore account, there are some elements you should take into consideration:

  1. Bank reputation
  2. Remote account opening
  3. Bank safety
  4. Initial deposit and fees

Bank Reputation

The first aspect to consider before opening an offshore account is the financial institution's reputation. 

A bank's reputation often reflects its stability and security, which can help mitigate the risk in the event of bankruptcy. When choosing a bank, consider those with a long history, strong financial ratings, substantial holding assets, and industry awards.

Safety

Many offshore jurisdictions benefit significantly from foreign businesses opening accounts, as the financial sector plays a crucial role in their local economies. Some countries may benefit from the influx of foreign cash. For this reason, they provide secure financial stability, making them the best destinations to open an offshore account.

If you want an offshore account in a less popular jurisdiction, you should look deeper into that country's local banking security measures.

Additionally, you should check if there are compensation schemes or regulations that protect funds in offshore accounts. It's crucial to understand the coverage limits and the specific conditions under which these protections apply, such as in the event of a bank’s failure.

Remote Account Opening

Remote account opening is a crucial aspect to consider, as the process and requirements can vary by bank. Check if you can open your offshore account remotely, as this can save you the hassle and expense of traveling.

Some banks allow you to start the application online but require you to complete verification or activation in person. Other banks may offer a 100% online account opening process, but typically under certain conditions, such as needing to hold a specific residency permit, being an existing or former customer, or having other significant ties to the country.

For the most accurate and up-to-date information, we recommend contacting your chosen bank’s customer service directly. This will ensure you get the quickest and most reliable verification of their remote account opening process.

Initial Deposit and Fees

Many offshore accounts require a certain deposit amount, so you should choose one that fits your needs. To mitigate financial risk, consider opening an offshore account with a bank offering low or no initial deposit requirements to manage your initial investment flexibly.

It is worth noticing that some offshore accounts may charge international transfer fees and higher monthly maintenance fees for foreign customers.

When opening an account with an offshore bank, it is crucial to read through the terms and conditions to avoid any hidden fees.

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Tip: If you are a startup, you should consider opening an offshore account with a bank that requires a minimal or no initial deposit.

How Statrys Can Help

You may find that setting up a local company in a foreign country can streamline the process of opening a bank account. In fact, some destinations may require your company to be incorporated locally before you can open a business account.

If you are looking to set up your company in Hong Kong or Singapore, Statrys can help you with our company registration service. 

In case traditional banking isn't the most convenient option for you and you're looking for an alternative solution to streamline international payments, consider Statrys.

Statrys is not a bank but a payment service provider. If your company is incorporated in Hong Kong, Singapore, or the BVI, Statrys offers a multi-currency business account. This account allows you to hold 11 major currencies with no minimum deposit requirement and can be set up 100% online.

Business Account Opening Requirements

Must be incorporated in Hong Kong, Singapore, or the BVI.

Account Opening

100% Online

Minimum Deposit

HKD 0

Multi-Currency Business Account

Hold, receive, and send money in 11 currencies: USD, HKD, CNY, AUD, EUR, GBP, SGD, JPY, CHF, NZD, and CAD.

Local Payments

Send local payments in 12 currencies: AUD, EUR, GBP, IDR, INR, KRW, PHP, SGD, THB, TRY, USD, and VND

SWIFT Payments & Tracking

yes

FX Rate and Fee

Competitive exchange rates with FX fees as low as 0.15%

Payment Cards

Physical and virtual cards

Monthly Fee

Free (if 5 or more outgoing transfers are made in the month)

Customer Support Channels

Website Live Chat, Email, Phone, WhatsApp, and WeChat

Company Registration Service

100% online Hong Kong and Singapore company registration.

Trustpilot Score

4.7/5, based on 288 Trustpilot reviews. [Retrieved on 20 June 2024]

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FAQs

Can I open an offshore bank account?

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As long as you meet the minimum requirements and provide the necessary documents, opening an offshore bank account should be easy and straightforward.

Contrary to popular belief, you don't necessarily need to be wealthy or represent a large corporation; the ease of opening an account depends on the specific bank and country you choose.

Which country is best for offshore bank accounts?

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What is the safest offshore bank?

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Are offshore bank accounts legal?

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How much money do I need to open an offshore bank account?

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