The past couple of weeks have been a mad scramble for a handful of my clients. This is primarily due to a call I received two weeks ago from one of my favorite offshore banks. The call went something like this;
“Hi Bobby, this is ‘Mike’ calling from ‘We hate FATCA bank’. I want to inform you that as of this morning, we are no longer accepting American clients. Our bank president made the decision late yesterday that due to the increased pressure from the US IRS and the absurd FATCA legislation, we are no longer willing to deal with the additional regulatory issues related to Americans.”
Ironically ‘Mike’ told me his bank is still willing to take Americans as long as they have a 2nd passport. Hmmm….
The international banking business is being turned upside down right now because of this insanity. It is hard for me to comprehend how the administration of one nation can impose its laws on the rest of the world.
Sure, I understand that the US is still the largest economy in the world and the US dollar is still the reserve currency of the world (for now anyway). But these policies are making the US less competitive in the global market, not more.
My firm has worked with a handful of good offshore banks over the years who have given us great service (this one included), but over the past 2 weeks I decided it was time to develop some additional banking relationships to offer our clients a broader base of options, especially when events like this happen.
Just this week, I have spoken to approximately 50 banks in several different countries. My team has done a lot of research trying to narrow down the field of banks we want to work with because we are only willing to recommend banks for our clients that we would ourselves be willing to use for our own money.
Of the 50+ banks spoken to, over 2/3 of them are unwilling to work with Americans. Nearly all of them have come to this conclusion over the past 2 years. More than half only made the decision since January of this year. Think about that for a minute.
Since the Obamessiah took office, these banks have decided they don’t want Americans or their money because of the overreaching ambitions of stupid politicians. They don’t like that America feels it has the power to decide how they run their businesses. So they have voted with their P&L statements by closing the door to Americans.
Unfortunately it seems many of the banks with very high service standards and unique and compelling investment options are among the groups closing their doors.
There are still a few offshore banking centers willing to accept American clients or offshore companies with American beneficial owners, but the list is getting smaller and smaller.
Andorra is an excellent banking center with a few very good options, however Andorran law requires banks to meet their clients face-to-face for account opening. If you are willing to travel, this can be a great option.
Cyprus has a handful of really good banks as well, but unless you appear in person, you need an introducer to open an account. I have found one bank that will let you open an account without appearing in person, but to be honest I wouldn’t put my money there so I cannot recommend it to my readers and clients.
Singapore is another excellent banking center and rapidly becoming the new Switzerland, especially in Asia. The problem is they also need a face-to-face visit or an introducer for new account openings.
Latvia is one of my favorite banking centers, but many of the banks have completely closed the doors to Americans. There are still a couple left willing to open accounts for Americans, but who knows how much longer this option will still be available.
TRNC (Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus) can be a very interesting option for those of you interested in complete anonymity. Because of their interesting political situation, TRNC is a bit of an outlier. Only Turkey acknowledges TRNC as a sovereign nation, but it shares a landmass with Cyprus. Therefore TRNC banking is not subject to Cyprus (EU) regulations and more closely follows Turkish law. In other words, no information sharing treaties.
Lichtenstein is also a great option for those of you with the ability to place larger sums on deposit ($2m+). Much like Switzerland, they are focused on wealth management and family office management. Many of the Lichtenstein banks have also shunned Americans, but there are a handful that still work with the global blacksheep.
I have said it many times over the past couple of years – the window of opportunity for diversifying your assets internationally is rapidly dwindling for Americans. Offshore asset protection, offshore banking, and setting up offshore companies is getting more difficult every day.
If you are serious about your liberty, privacy, and diversification, you need to act now to take steps setting up your own offshore asset protection plan.