BANKING

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BANKING

Offshore Banking

  • VICS are able to assist with the opening of accounts in Singapore, Hong Kong, Seychelles, Mauritius, Switzerland, USA, Cyprus, Bahamas, Gibraltar, Curacao and other countries upon request.
  • This professional service is available to clients for private and business use.
  • Current Accounts in Euros, Sterling, US Dollars, Australian Dollars, Singaporean Dollars and other major currencies upon request.
  • Full banking facilities and Internet banking.
  • All records maintained offshore and completely confidential. (VISA or Mastercard Debit Card usually available for the accounts.)

The advantages of opening bank accounts offshore are:

  • Privacy is protected.
  • less restrictive legal regulation? Avoidance of over-zealous regulatory surveillance.
  • protection against local political or financial instability
  • low or no taxation
  • easy access to deposits

Some advantages of offshore bank accounts

  • Offshore banks provide access to politically and economically stable jurisdictions. This may be an advantage for those resident in areas where there is a risk of political turmoil who fear their assets may be frozen, seized or disappear (see the corralito for example, during the 2001 Argentine economic crisis). However, developed countries with regulated banking systems offer the same advantages in terms of stability.
  • Some offshore banks may operate with a lower cost base and can provide higher interest rates than the legal rate in the home country due to lower overheads and a lack of government intervention. Advocates of offshore banking often characterise government regulation as a form of tax on domestic banks, reducing interest rates on deposits.
  • Some offshore banks offer banking services that may not be available from domestic banks such as anonymous bank accounts, higher or lower rate loans based on risk and investment opportunities not available elsewhere.
  • Offshore banking is often linked to other structures, such as offshore companies, trusts or foundations, which may have specific tax advantages for some individuals.

Offshore Account in Singapore

  • Singapore has one of the world’s most attractive and competitive banking systems. Our partnering banks offer a range of banking services. For further information please contact us.
  • All banking matters are handled personally by one of our directors or senior banking service officers to ensure absolute confidentiality, and we offer guidance and assistance with every part of the procedure. Please note we do not offer investment advice.

If you have any specific requirements or questions, contact us to arrange for a confidential discussion. We are confident we are able to assist.
Singapore is one of the few remaining triple A grade financial centres and it has not signed up to the EU’s Savings Tax Directive.

EU Savings Tax Directive

The European Saving Tax Directive (STD) came into effect on 1 July 2005 and reviewed in 2009, it applies to natural persons only, resident in a EU country, on interest received on savings instruments, deposit accounts, etc. At this time it does not affect interest paid to companies. There is speculation that this may be extended in the future.
The Directive does not apply to persons (including EU Nationals) who are resident outside the Member States of the EU.

The aim of the STD is a uniform ‘information exchange’ regime to apply across all EU member states. The new rules only apply to EU member states, but because the BVI, Anguilla, Turks & Caicos Islands, Cayman, Isle of Man and Channel Islands are UK dependent territories, they have also adopted and will implement the European Savings Tax Directive (STD).

There will be two systems: ‘information exchange’ and ‘withholding tax’. A table showing which system has been adopted by each country may be found on http://www.lowtax.net/specials/std.html#table

Information Exchange:

The exchange of information and the imposition of withholding taxes are now a fact of life. It is a matter of time until the EU Savings tax Directives are extended to companies, trusts and other structures. Banking secrecy remains in the laws of Singapore to prevent “fishing expectations” by foreign governments, but bilateral tax information exchange agreements make proper corporate structuring essential. Singapore has not yielded to the pressure applied by the EU and confidentiality in Singapore is enhanced in the context of banking services.

Withholding Tax:

The Commission has had to allow Austria, Luxembourg, Belgium and Switzerland to apply a ‘withholding tax’ (at an “initial” rate of 15%). The Channel Islands and Isle of Man have had to join the STD, along with the Netherlands Antilles, Aruba and some European centres (Andorra, Monaco, Liechtenstein and San Marino). Most of these places will also take the withholding tax route. When tax is ‘withheld’, the identity of the recipient will not be reported, thus preserving individual confidentiality.

Under the withholding tax option, banks and other paying agents will automatically deduct tax from interest and other savings income earned and pass it to their local tax authority, indicating how much of the total amount relates to customers in each Member State. The local tax authority will then keep 25% of the total amount collected and remit 75% to the various tax authorities within the Member States. The receiving country gets a bulk payment, which is not broken down in terms of the individuals who are covered (thereby ensuring anonymity of the persons affected). The rate of withholding tax will be 15% from July 2005, 20% from 1st July 2008, and 35% from July 2011.

Caymans and Anguilla opted for the exchange of information regime, and BVI opted for the withholding tax option.

The Table on http://www.lowtax.net/specials/std.html#table shows which countries / territories have opted for the ‘exchange of information’ regime, and which places have opted instead for the ‘withholding tax’ option (the latter preserves confidentiality of the affected persons).

The EU Savings Tax Directive does not apply to offshore centres or other jurisdictions not connected to the EU.
If you are interested in making banking arrangements outside the territories affected by the STD, please contact us.

If you are an individual (natural person) who is resident in an EU Member State, and earn bank interest or other savings income on deposits or investments held in your own name in another EU Member State, third country or territory included in the Table below: then it is likely that you will be affected by the STD.

We have experience in assisting our client to relocate themselves and their businesses to more attractive jurisdictions. Contact us today, we can help