Offshore accounts allow you to bank in a few different currencies
Practically, they involve banking overseas. You might have heard about them and just like most other people out there, you might have some misconceptions about them. For instance, it is worth noting that you do not have to be super wealthy in order to benefit from them.
Offshore banks have a relatively high profile and they have often made it to the media due to a plethora of scandals involving celebrities and famous people trying to avoid taxes. The truth is users still need to pay their taxes. For example, you are normally liable for such taxes on the interest you get from offshore accounts, so it is pointless to use them to avoid these fees.
But then, there are other benefits associated with them.
I stumbled upon the below video, have a look at it and see of you get a even better understanding about offshore banking.
Understanding the concept of an offshore account
Offshore accounts are classic bank accounts, only they are located in a different country. No matter where you live, a bank account is called an offshore account if it is outside your country of residence. Obviously, some countries are more popular when it comes to offshore banking due to their systems, but the definition applies to any other country.
Accounts can go in more currencies. You could open accounts in British pounds or perhaps American dollars, not to mention euro. Practically, every currency out there can be used in an offshore account. This option is pretty good if you work for an international or a foreign company and you get paid in a different currency.
Normally, anyone can open an account if they are over 18, but each country or bank may have specific rules. As for the initial deposit, it also varies from one institution to another. You might have to come up with a deposit of $5,000 or perhaps $10,000. At the same time, there are also banks that take deposits as little as $1.
Apart from being handy when paid in a different currency, the point of an offshore account is to get into a different jurisdiction. For example, many British users tend to have offshore account in the Isle of Man or perhaps the Channel Islands. These places have their own tax jurisdictions. You can operate your account in person, by phone, over the Internet or by post.
Considering the benefits of offshore banking
You probably ask yourself – what can a bank account in a different country bring in differently?
Lower your political risks
Your own government is the biggest risk your money faces. It is not the market, but the government. Governments do what they have always done throughout history – they rely on others’ money to survive. If you are looking for examples, there are plenty – bail ins in Cyprus, bank deposit taxes in Spain, retirement nationalization in Poland or Portugal, among others, as well as capital controls in Iceland in Cyprus. These issues are pretty recent and usually occur out of nowhere.
Obviously, your risk depends on the amount of money you have too. Governments tend to focus on those with more than $100,000 in their bank accounts. Reducing risks involves placing some of your money away from the easy rich of your government. This way, the government can no longer freeze or confiscate your money with just a few clicks. Even if you do get a capital control, at least you have extra funds abroad.
Protect your assets
Your assets could benefit from some protection, yet it depends on where you live. About 80% of the world’s lawyers work in the USA because there is plenty of action in the country. One in 12 adults faces a lawsuit on a yearly basis. There is a decent chance your turn will come too at some point, especially if you run a business or are exposed to various risks. It could be a frivolous lawsuit or perhaps you deal with a government agency.
At this point, moving some of your money abroad will no longer make you such an attractive target. Obviously, you are less likely to benefit from 100% protection, but the risk is seriously lower. If you think government agencies are after freezing assets, you should know they cannot really work outside your country, so your money is pretty safe. You protect your resources and you can count on them if any unexpected situations arise.
Get higher interest rates
This is not a general rule, but a possibility that counts as an advantage. Obviously, it requires a bit of research before starting your account. Many central banks in the western world have altered interest rates to incredible lows. Practically, interest rates are so low that you are less likely to make too much money from your deposits – instead, the wealth has been transferred to the borrowers, rather than the actual savers.
These days, you would be surprised to find out that the interest rates you get cannot really keep up with the inflation, so you are practically losing money on such a deal. At this point, different countries may have different rules. Look overseas and you will easily find banking institutions with way higher interest rates than what you can find at home. If you could make some money in the long run, why would you allow local banks to rob you?
Use a sound banking system
Almost all banks in western countries are unstable. They look stable, but they are not. They have leverage themselves to unusual limits. Even worse, many of them barely have enough cash to meet their customers’ needs. Imagine another financial crisis coming out of nowhere and you will most likely face trouble accessing your hard earned money. Most people do not realize what hit them until it shows up in the news.
You can find offshore banks in super stable jurisdictions with no such issues whatsoever. They do not use your money to gamble and grow. They have a better capital and they have plenty of cash for their customers. At the same time, they are run in a more conservative manner. Simply put, you can always find plenty of more responsible banks abroad. When it comes to your money, you want the most responsible custodian.
Diversify your currencies
Foreign currencies are never to be overlooked. You do not have to be an investor to understand how they work. It is pretty simple – they allow diversifying your portfolio, but also protecting your buying power. Feel free to internationalize your money and you will get some versatility.
The good news is many banks provide such opportunities – perhaps your local domestic bank as well. You can hold foreign currencies, but with some rules. Offshore banks are more convenient and they allow full control.
Gain medical care abroad
Whether you need to withdraw some money for medical care when abroad or you simply need an expensive treatment in your home country, access to medical care abroad can work wonders and may even save your life.
Imagine not being able to receive the treatment you need at home. You may have to go abroad. You would have to transfer some of your money for it, but what if the government has already come up with some capital controls? This is when offshore banking allows you to access the care you need.
Gain some peace of mind
From many points of view, offshore bank accounts are like financial insurance policies. These times are extremely volatile. Governments can go into a crisis tomorrow. While there are signs to indicate it, they never make them public. Things just happen randomly.
An offshore bank account will protect you against sketchy banks, bankrupt government, destructive actions and problematic systems. It makes you a difficult target against wrongful lawsuits and frozen capitals. Knowing that you can protect yourself will give you a well deserved peace of mind.
Offshore banking is not perfect
Nothing is perfect out there and offshore banks make no exception. Doing your homework can help you prevent potential issues, but it is still worth knowing the potential drawbacks.
Account opening difficulties
An offshore bank account is not as easy to open as a regular bank account in your home country. You will have to find a bank that accepts online applications – you may need to do it by post as well. Research banks in the country you want to bank in and you can easily find some reliable solutions.
Fees and taxes
If you think you can dodge taxes, think again. You will still have to pay some taxes in that country – as well as fees for the interest you make. Indeed, they might be lower than in your country. As for fees, they are usually high – you would probably have to pay at least $10 or $20 to withdraw money.
If you live in the UK, for example, you are protected by the FSCS – Financial Services Compensation Scheme. Most countries have a similar scheme. While you may not benefit from the local one, you could get a different type of protection though.
Types of offshore accounts
So, you know what offshore banking means and what kind of benefits it comes with. But then, you may still feel a bit confused when it comes to opening and running an account. There are more options out there and then again, you have to do some research in order to figure the best decision for your needs.
Savings accounts represent the most common option among those who prefer offshore banking. They come with both variable and fixed rates.
While it may sound like offshore banking is mostly recommended to those with lots of money and plenty of savings, this is not always the case. In fact, many banking institutions also provide access to debit and credit cards, as well as everyday banking functionality – the possibility to pay for stuff, make transactions, pay bills and so on.
It is important to know that the currency will normally be the one used by the respective country. Sure, you can also opt for a multi currency account or just choose a different currency when you open the account.
Furthermore, you can also take advantage of classic mobile Internet banking, international transfers at good exchange rates and extra services – insurance product, all kinds of loans and even mortgages. While not all banks do it, some of them provide offshore business banking too, which is a great option if you run an offshore company.
Analyzing the interest rates
Just like accounts from other countries, offshore accounts come with different interest rates. Apart from the actual percentage of your money, you can also get fixed and variable rates. Obviously, each option has its benefits and drawbacks. Interest rates are more likely to apply to saving accounts, rather than current accounts though.
Fixed interest rates ensure that there are no changes to what you are getting. You find a good rate, you are happy with it, so you go for it. You know that your interest rates will not change, no matter what. On a negative note, you might have to lock your money away. The time usually varies between a year and five years.
On the other hand, variable interest rates can be quite productive. They may go up or they may go down. Such changes are usually insignificant and you will still get a good bonus. Plus, there are nice introductory awards as well. You have easy access to the money and you will not have to lock your assets away.
Choosing the best option depends on how flexible you are with your finances.
Currency options and features
Being able to choose a different currency is one of the best parts about offshore banking. Practically, you can choose the official currency of the respective country or you can choose another big currency. Different banks provide access to different currencies, so you would have to consider their options upfront and ensure they can match your needs.
Choose the currency very carefully because it can usually affect the interest rates, not to mention the overall value of your money. Advanced planning is highly recommended – you might need some expert advice here, especially if you think a certain currency will skyrocket at some point in the future.
Many banks provide multi currency solutions, so you can make transactions in other currencies – not always in the one you have chosen in the first place. It pays off checking the fees and taxes upfront. Each bank has its own fee structure. If you are about to make frequent transactions in other currencies, fees may add up and you could end up losing money.
Just like with other banks, offshore banks allow opening accounts in their own branches, over the Internet or by post. Unless you do it in person, you will most likely need to provide verified electronic copies, as well as official documentation.
How to open an offshore account
Offshore accounts are often associated with millionaires, but this is only a misconception. The truth is you do not have to be extremely wealthy to do it. Opening an account is fairly simple and implies meeting the minimum requirements associated with the respective bank – they vary widely from one country to another, as well as one institution to another.
You can apply personally in a branch or you could do it over the Internet. In some countries, you may need a social security number. This is often a put off for a lot of people. The truth is not all banks can be described as offshore banks. An offshore bank does not ask you to reside in the respective country, but a regular one will ask for this number.
All in all, whether you apply online or in a branch, you will need to provide an ID to prove your identity. Some banks or accounts may require additional steps to prove your identity – usually some basic documents that you may already have.
Now, offshore accounts also represent a good choice for criminals. People associate them with the possibility to evade taxes or perhaps launder money. Most banks will perform super strict checks. They will not affect you though. You might have to provide details about the transactions, why you want an account or some financial statements. Some banks may even contact your current bank to get some references.
Once your application is successful – there are no good reasons to fail, you will be allowed to make a deposit and begin using your new account.
How to run an offshore account
Opening an offshore account takes time, planning and attention. But once you decide what you want and you get accepted, how do you actually run that account? How do you use it to gain as much as possible from this experience?
Using the account the right way implies considering the account type. Each account is set to do specific things, which will also affect how you can use it. Offshore bank accounts let you access money as you wish. You can use the account on a daily basis for everyday activities and operations. There might be some limitations – such as how much money you can withdraw on a daily basis.
Other savings account come with a bunch of restrictions. For instance, you are likely to be requested to leave your funds as they are. You may not be allowed to touch them or you could lose the interest. Other than that, you might have to provide a notice before using the money.
Lots of people choose offshore banking because they find it easier, especially if they have to manage money between more countries – those with investments, business owners or just wealthy individuals who travel a lot. Transfers are intuitive and easy to deal with – you can easily choose the currency you want, but then again, fees vary widely, so check everything upfront.
What else does a daily basis use mean? You can normally make payments over the Internet, go shopping in physical stores, withdraw cash and so on. You can use your offshore debit or credit card just like you use a regular card.
Once again, everything goes back to fees and taxes. While you can use your regular card in a country with no fees at all, offshore banks typically involve more currencies, exchange rates, fees and so on, so you must go through the entire agreement before you decide on something in particular.
Legal and illegal associations with offshore banking
Offshore accounts are perfectly legal. Sure, they are also used to hide money from governments, but overall, there is nothing wrong with having a bank account in a foreign country. At this point, it clearly depends on the intent of the account. If you are after tax evasion, you might face some trouble in the long run.
The USA is probably the most active country against offshore banking. It actually requires banks around the world to provide balances of American citizens with accounts in other countries. If a bank has branches in the USA, it is less likely to do it. Banks from countries with no associations to the USA will not bother though.
Some companies rely on lawyers to ensure their foreign activities are accurately reported. Just like you have probably guessed already, not everything can be checked. In fact, in 2010, the money laundering industry around the world totaled about $2 trillion around the world, meaning that many banks are not bothered about the requests from the USA.
The general idea is quite simple – holding money in an offshore bank is not illegal at all. But at the same time, it is not tax exempt either.
Now that you have some clues about the offshore banking sector, what are the best rated offshore banks across the world?
Top 10 Offshore Banks
1. Bank Frick, Liechtenstein
Bank Frick is a private bank established in Liechtenstein. It provides all kinds of services to both national and international customers. It is most commonly active in modern wealth management and offers access to a plethora of advisory solutions and services.
Other than that, Bank Frick is also popular for its services involving fund administration and development. It comes with an impressive network of professionals in order to expand its portfolio – tax experts, fiduciaries, insurers and law firms all across the world.
Bank Frick is 100% independent. There will be no sketchy advisors or services. Solutions are exclusively adapted to each customer’s necessities and requirements. If you are after storing high amounts of money, discuss your best option to gain as much as possible out of them.
About 65% of the bank is owned by the Kuno Frick Family Foundation. In terms of guarantees and certifications, the bank is part of the LBA – Liechtenstein Bankers Association. It is also a member of the Deposit Guarantee and Investor Protection Foundation, which runs under the same association.
2. Al Salam Bank, Seychelles
Al Salam Bankis an offshore institution based in Seychelles and regulated by the Central Bank of the country. It operates as a subsidiary of Al Salam Bank Bahrain (ASBB), which is one of the first banks in Bahrain to respect the Sharia laws.
Al Salam Bank is generally owned by two institutions. ASBB owns about 70% of them, while the Seychelles Pension Fund only has 30% of it. It has a sound IT infrastructure, innovative solutions and universal business model services.
Al Salam Bank provides its customers with numerous Sharia compliant financial solutions. In terms of retail banking, you have current, savings and Wakala deposit accounts. You also have personal finance options. Other than that, corporate banking is also possible.
The bank stands out in the crowd due to its sound and experienced shareholders, infrastructure, tailor made products and universal solutions. It adopts international standards in risk management and corporate governance.
3. Ameria Bank, Armenia
Ameria Bank is one of the leading names in offshore banking on the European market. Established in Armenia, the bank provides accounts for businesses and private entrepreneurs. It works with unincorporated bodies, organizations from all over the world and legal entities.
The bank is mostly aimed at corporate clients, who actually get the most significant advantages. They benefit from tailored solutions, whether they use the online banking system, local branches or the head office. Clients can use a plethora of currencies – including EUR, USD, RUB, GBP and JPY – and paper gold – 999.9 purity only.
Ameria Bank provides access to retail and investment banking too. Retail banking involves all the services you may get from your local bank as well – cards, deposits, distance banking, debit and credit cards and other financial services.
Investment banking services are more diversified and mostly cover those who need help with capital markets, corporate finance solutions and mergers and acquisitions. All in all, no matter what services you opt for, rates and fees are extremely well rated.
4. Dukascopy, Switzerland
Dukascopy is a reputable institution in Switzerland specialized in offshore customers. Practically, it represents one of the best ways to store your money in Switzerland. It works both locally and internationally.
Opening an account is fairly simple without even getting in a branch. You can do it online. Eventually, you will go through a video call as well, but you should also have some form of identification with yourself – it must feature the standard machine readable zone.
You have access to 23 solid currencies when you open your account. You can also opt for financial instruments, such as cryptocurrencies, oil, gold, silver, gas and numerous indexes. In other words, you can have a pretty diversified portfolio.
Dukascopy allows saving your funds in a smart way. Customers also take advantage of good exchange rates, while transferring funds to others is free – a few terms and conditions apply. When it comes to the Swiss market, this might be the most convenient solution to invest in the global financial market.
5. Gibraltar International Bank, Gibraltar
Gibraltar International Bank has a self explanatory name. It makes no difference where you are in the world. It makes no difference what your nationality is. Gibraltar is known for its excellent interest rates and low taxes, so this bank makes a good choice to diversify your portfolio and make some money out of it.
Personal banking is varied and offers access to a bunch of different accounts, based on your personal needs. You can also opt for savings accounts, but you gain access to various types of loans too. Such services are more difficult to access if you are not local though.
Business banking follows the same principles. You get a few different types of accounts, as well as expert help with trading. An in house specialist will always be there to assist those who require an extra hand in the process.
Gibraltar International Bank has a solid digital experience. You can access its services and even sign up over the Internet, but you can also use its proprietary app to manage your account with just a few types. Other than that, it is worth noting that it provides youth banking services too.
6. Liberty Bank, Georgia
Georgia has gained a pretty good reputation due to its offshore capabilities and Liberty Banks is surprisingly big. In fact, this bank has corresponding banks in six other countries and can provide access to all kinds of services, excellent fees and great exchange rates. It is one of the top rated banks in this part of the world – just between Asia and Europe.
The bank is relatively new on the market. It traces its roots to 1994. AgroMretsvBank was privatized back then and it turned into Liberty Bank. Some of its main currencies today include EUR, USD and GEL. It serves both individuals and companies, regardless of wealth status.
In terms of products and services, Liberty Bank offers private, business and retail banking solutions. Some of its main products include current accounts, savings accounts, time deposit accounts, car loans, mortgage loans, business loans, consumer loans, debit cards, certificates of deposit and money transfers, among others.
In terms of extras, there are specific services for those over 60 years old. Other than that, you can visit a branch and do everything in person or you can get online or use the post to open an offshore account. When it comes to premium banking, you can get your own personal banker to help out.
7. FIM Bank, Malta
FIM Bank is a public limited company under local laws in Malta. It can be referred to as a credit institution as well. It mostly operates in short term trade financing. Its aim goes on corporate traders. Other than that, the bank is also an intermediary to various similar institutions requiring international settlements. On the same note, FIM Bank helps with loan syndications and forfaiting.
The bank manages its accounts in all kinds of currencies. If you are after a popular international currency, chances are you will find it there. It is open to both residents of Malta and international users and facilitates the access to credit cards and other similar banking services.
The bank belongs to a group that also includes London Forfaiting Company and FIM Property Investment. Its services are varied and given its partners, it can provide recommendations based on the clients’ primary needs. Fees and taxes are low, so value for your money is great.
When it comes to services, you have corporate international banking, trade services, structured trade finance, real estate finance, factoring, forfaiting and banking and treasury services. Deposit interest rates vary based on the type of account you have.
8. ABC Bank, Mauritius
ABC Bank was initially established in 1997. Back then, it was a leasing company and it gained a huge notoriety in the country – ABC Finance & Leasing. It is relatively new in the banking market, as it received its banking license in the summer of 2010. At that time, it became the first leasing institution in the country to become a successful bank.
These days, the bank is aimed at both local and international users, becoming a very attractive offshore opportunity for people all around the world. Its services are quite diversified too. By the end of 2011, ABC Bank has managed to implement an international Mastercard debit service, as well as Internet banking access to ease access to funds.
Services go in more directions. You can opt for savings and checking accounts, as well as time deposits. You can get a personal loan, a home loan or a longterm loan. Revolving credit is also among its services, not to mention financing services. They can go in more directions and include loans for imports and exports, documentation, letter of credit, bank guaranteeing and so on.
ABC Bank is currently headquartered in the Weal House – Port Louis. The impressive building was purchased in 2012. The institution is extremely attractive for foreigners because it has a good capital, lots of services and a stable environment.
There are two things crossing your mind when you think about Vanuatu – a tropical paradise and a financial paradise. The banking institution was established in 1997 and represents one of the oldest banks in Vanuatu. The country has become an international financial center due to its stability, taxes and fees. It draws the attention of investors and wealthy individuals from all over the world.
Apart from the tax system, the legal environment is just as attractive. The economy is great and the geographical location makes it even better. Given the popularity of this country, Pacific Private Bank is more likely to have more foreign investors than locals. The institution is mostly aimed at those with high wealth, but it is not a general rule.
The primary focus of the bank is to provide services to private individuals. While its services are quite varied, it has managed to specialize in asset and wealth management. No matter what kind of investment solutions you are interested in, chances are you will benefit from a tailored experience and service that can match your personal expectations. Everything is customized in small details and a bit of diversification is allowed regardless of your net worth.
Apart from asset and wealth management, Pacific Private Bank provides numerous private banking solutions too. Again, customers benefit from flexibility and a dedicated service while retaining full control of their money. The bank will set up all the required infrastructure along with international partners in order to match clients’ preferences.
10. NIBank, Mongolia
NIBank (National Investment Bank) is a privately held company based on foreign investment. The company has a limited liability and came to life in 2006. It has gained notoriety overnight due to its impressive plethora of services and excellent customer retention rates. While Mongolia may not appear like a financial paradise, this bank can make things work like no other.
The bank has successfully expanded over the past decade. These days, it operates in 13 different branches and centers. It keeps reinventing itself by providing new services and solutions. Moreover, these products come with the latest technology standards, so customers are always up to date with the ultimate innovations in banking.
NIBank is part of multiple associations. It operates under the Mongolian Bankers Association, so it is fully regulated. At the same time, the bank (as well as other financial institutions in Mongolia) runs under the Mongolian Mortgage Corporation. Its services cover multiple areas – suitable for both individuals and businesses.
Despite being located in a country without too much notoriety in the financial world, NIBank has managed to gain a few important awards over the past years. In 2015, Global Banking and Finance Review named it the fastest growing corporate bank in Mongolia. One year before that, it was named the fastest growing customer service bank in Mongolia.
Perceptions and myths associated with offshore banking
Most people associate offshore banking with all the scandals they find out about every once in a while, especially if these scandals involve famous individuals or rich families. There are, however, a bunch of myths regarding this industry.
Offshore banking and money laundering
The Panama Papers leak was one of the most important scandals of the past years. The leak revealed how many businesses and individuals have used offshore banks to hide money, avoid taxes and basically commit fraud.
The tax evasion numbers on a yearly basis are staggering and can exceed $5 trillion. But then, not everyone uses offshore banks for such things. In fact, many new measures are implemented on a regular basis in order to prevent such problems from arising again.
For instance, the European Union has brought in the Anti Tax Avoidance Directive, which is more controlling and prevents businesses from hiding their profits in low tax paradises. Of course, this is only the most important measure – other legislative measures have also been adopted.
The bad news is that honest people and businesses never make it to the press. Unfortunately, only the bad ones get attention – especially if they are famous too. From this point of view, a few cases have ruined the reputation of offshore banking. On a more positive note, setting up an offshore bank account is perfectly legal and can be done by anyone who has something to gain out of it.
Offshore banking has no illegal implications. Many banks known around the world provide accounts to foreign individuals. As long as you follow their rules, there is nothing to be concerned about. However, offshore banking can also become illegal in a few certain situations:
- Getting an offshore account to avoid paying tax on the money you make – tax evasion
- Getting an account to hide money that has not been declared to your government
- Holding or hiding money obtained through illegal operations
Some tax implications may seem a bit different from what you are used to. They may seem sophisticated, so you have to ensure you double check the legislation – both in your country and the other country. At the end of the day, getting caught using an offshore account illegally can lead to serious problems, such as high fines or jail.
If you are not 100% sure about one thing or another, simply get in touch with a tax expert.
If you are like most people out there, you are more likely to trust a local bank than a foreign one. You know you can take some action if something goes wrong and you are not aware of everything related to a foreign bank, especially if you are new to offshore banking.
The good news is offshore banks ensure a safe environment. They are safe and secure, especially if you go for a stable economy with no financial issues. Germany and Switzerland make some good options from this point of view.
However, it is also important to know that offshore accounts are not always protected like domestic banks, especially in terms of guarantees. For instance, the European Union has some good rules regarding deposits. Amounts to a certain limit are protected by specific schemes if an economic crisis strikes or a bank collapses.
Many offshore banks also come with their own protection schemes. They may seem difficult to check. Again, double check with an expert before opening an account if you are not sure about one thing or another.
Tax implications associated with offshore banking
Just like standard accounts, offshore bank accounts will allow you to get tax free interest, but up to a particular account. For example, you may not be charged any taxes if your interest is under $1,000, but you will have to declare your income to specific authorities if it exceeds this cap. The cap varies from one bank or country to another, so check upfront.
Failing to declare the income is likely to get you in trouble and you may end up paying a hefty fine. In more severe cases, you risk going to jail.
While they do know about these taxes, it is worth noting that there is a delay between getting your interest and paying some tax on it. How come? Simple! You need to declare the income on tax return, rather than an income. Therefore, you do not have to declare it right away. Lots of people take advantage of this delay and earn some extra interest on their accounts during this time frame.
It is worth making sure you will not be double taxed for your money though. Most countries have double taxation agreements, but not all of them. There are a bunch of exceptions, so you could get taxes in both your country and the offshore country. If there is no agreement, you might need to claim tax relief. It could be some extra headache, hence the necessity of considering this factor upfront.
Is an offshore account for me?
It is hard to tell. Offshore accounts are definitely not for everyone. However, they are handy to have if you work abroad or you live in another country. They are helpful if you plan to retire to another country or you travel on a regular basis.
Other than that, having the possibility to save your money in specific currencies pays off, especially if you are paid in those currencies – you will save some money on exchange rates.
Some people rely on offshore banks in order to speculate fluctuations between currencies and actually make some money.
On the other hand, offshore accounts are not ideal for those who require regular access to money or small savers – withdrawal fees could be quite expensive.
Bottom line, offshore banks are suitable for more categories of people and they come with a bunch of benefits. They are not for everyone, but they are excellent if you can truly find a use for them. Other than that, it pays off double checking everything about your bank of choice upfront – you do not want any unexpected situations later on.