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Personal Bank Accounts Overseas – Switzerland is no longer the only option


Personal bank accounts are as essential as corporate accounts are for both bankers and entrepreneurs. Only question is, where best to open a personal account? It all comes down to how much funds you have to place in such an account and for what purpose. Depending on the client, it could be not just for investments, but as an account where you slowly accumulate your hard earned income in a “safety nest”.

Clients often prefer to place their personal investments separately from their corporate accounts to ensure the funds are not held at one bank. In other cases, personal accounts are opened at the same bank with a corporate account to receive company dividends or other forms of personal income.

Personal bank accounts have become popular lately due to the overall economic and political situation, new information exchange rules, OECD measures and new legislation on controlled foreign companies in Russia. As a result of an ever changing global situation and the resulting risks, many clients opt to store their accumulated money away from their home country, such as in Europe or in an offshore location.

Even though Switzerland remains as the best known location where wealthy private individuals head to private banks to place their funds in various investment vehicles, there are many alternative jurisdictions besides Switzerland that have banks better suited to client needs, including Madeira, Latvia, Luxembourg or Dubai.

When it comes to banking for private persons, there are various factors that influence the choice of where the client should open a personal account:

  • Deposit yields and investment portfolio. Traditionally banks in Switzerland, Austria, Lichtenstein and Luxembourg are chosen for their stability, confidentiality and investment programs. Here we must note that starting balances are EUR 250,000 and up.
  • Convenience with no minimum balance requirements. When clients desire easy access to funds in their overseas account, they prefer to open personal accounts at banks in Latvia or Cyprus. These banks do not have minimum balance requirements and offer additional advantages such as multiple currency accounts, Visa or Maestro debit cards, user-friendly and secure internet banking as well as a EUR 100,000 government guarantee for funds held in the private sector.

There are several Swiss and Austrian investment banks that do not impose high minimum deposits, as little as EUR 5,000 or EUR 10,000. That makes them rather attractive and more accessible.

  • Location. For those who are looking for a jurisdiction to store funds away from Europe, there is a vast number of offshore banks to choose from in Mauritius, Belize, Cayman Islands and St. Vincent and Grenadines.

General requirements for opening personal bank accounts:

Banks will request a passport copy, a utility bill proving your place of residence, as well as a professional reference letter. You will need to explain to the banker the source of the funds that you plan to deposit on your personal account, as well as explain your reason for opening a personal account.

IBCC offers a wide choice of options on where to open your personal bank accounts, depending on your needs and requirements. Ask about our new bank additions from Madeira and Switzerland!

IBCC will provide you with a full scope of consulting services:

  • Help in choosing the right bank to suit your needs
  • Collect, review and consult on required documents and information
  • Arrange the bank introduction. Many banks will accept introductions with no personal visit required.

Contact our professionals  to request additional information on any bank that is of interest to you.