Last updated: 9 October 2017
Offshore bank accounts are bank accounts which are, unsurprisingly, located offshore. Typically these locations will also be supposed tax havens, such as the Isle of Mann, Gibraltar or Jersey. The purpose of offshore bank accounts is to provide a location for people to receive money in multiple currencies outside of their country of residence or domicile.
Traditionally viewed as part of tax avoidance schemes, this view is outdated and offshore bank accounts are suitable for people who work abroad or have foreign investments. Tax may still be owed on income, however, it is important to understand the rules surrounding tax in your country of residence. For example, for people domiciled in the UK tax will be owed on world wide income, regardless of whether the bank account is offshore or not.
Most high street banks provide offshore bank services, however the type of acccount offered can vary significantly. We have highlighted what we consider to be the best offshore expat bank accounts for expats below as a guide for the offshore bank accounts you may wish to consider if you need to open an offshore bank account as an expat. The offshore bank accounts are listed in alphabetical order to ensure neutrality.
The HSBC Expat Current account is a bank account available for existing and new customers of HSBC. For new customers, £60,000 of deposits must also be held with HSBC to be eligible and the minimum initial deposit is £5,000. The bank also provides telephone and internet banking support and offfers a VISA debit card in your choice of currency.
Lloyd's Premier International Account is designed for high earning expats who need to manage multiple currencies while living outside of the UK. The accounts are held in offshore accounts in either Gibraltar or the Isle of Mann. With the account there is also a dedicated relationship manager and worldwide travel insurance included. Account holders can also choose the currency of the account from either Sterling, Euro or US Dollars with a Visa debit card in the chosen currency.
The Standard Bank Optimum Account is an international bank account designed for expats. The minimum standard deposit required to keep the account free of monthly charges is lower than normal international bank accounts at only £4,000 (or currency equivalent). Unlike many international bank accounts who focus on high net worth individuals, the Optimum Account is designed for anybody who needs access to an international bank account.
Please note that we are not recommending any offshore bank accounts nor are we affiliated to any of the offshore bank accounts listed below. We do not receive any payments for sponsorship or advertising for the information provided and all details are maintained on a "best endeavour" basis. We cannot be held responsible for out-of-date information contained on these pages or external websites we link to.
We try to keep this page up to date, however from time to time our information may be out of date. If you spot an error, or have some feedback about the products on this page please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We've also been instructed to remove one or two major international banks from this list due to over protective brand police. For this we apologise.
Before making any decisions about your finances, you should always seek independent financial advice.