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Offshore banks
JohnPower
Posted: Sunday, September 8, 2013 4:11 PM
Joined: 06/07/2010
Posts: 60


Dear all

I have recently started in the Med, I have a US bank account but would like to open an offshore Euro account. 

What banks should I be looking at, just trying to weigh up pros and cons of different banks and get some "real people" opinions especially since we all doing the same thing, who caters best for our needs.

Kindest regards


Anonymous
Posted: Sunday, September 8, 2013 4:22 PM
There is a bank for yachties called Yachting Financial Solutions http://www.yfsol.com/#
But I dont know anything about them and havent really heard anything from anyone about them, Has anyone ever dealt with them ever? any one got anything bad or good to say please let me know
Kindest regards

Anonymous
Posted: Monday, September 9, 2013 4:12 AM

Yachting Financial Solutions are not a bank.  They are just financial advisors.

The main thing you need to be sure of is being able to administer your account easily whilst on the move.  In my mind that makes it worth paying that extra - €15 per month ish - to get a premier account not just a basic one.  That way you have the number and email of a specific person not just a call centre.  Of course you also need the debit cards, internet banking etc...

A lot of crew use Lloyds TSB in the Isle of Man.  They are far from perfect and getting the internet banking set up in the first place is a pain but with a premier account they seem to work out for most people.  There are of course others.

Remember - the glory days of 'hiding' your money offshore are gone and the real benefits are having an account in the currency you are paid in and / or spending in so that you can manage and reduce the Fx costs.  Your current bank may be able to provide you with a Euro account.  

You can contact the banks yourself or use a company such as YFS or Moore Stephens crew benefits (or others) to assist you.

Not sure of your nationality but many countries have very beneficial Seafarers Tax Schemes (UK + others) so don't busy your head in the sand and believe the "I'm not resident anywhere so don't need to worry about tax" rubbish.  Sticking the money offshore doesn't help.  For a small amount there are companies who can help you make a seafarers tax return at the end of which you'll owe little or in the case of the UK - usually no tax.  No idea of the USA rules on seafarer's tax.


Pete Brooke
Posted: Thursday, October 13, 2016 10:58 AM
Joined: 01/12/2008
Posts: 62


Hi - i can help you open an account - we have set up a full financial service just for yacht crew at www.my-horizons.com - but the above thread is spot on... an offshore account is no longer what it was. they are completely open to declaring your information to your home country... via either CRS or FACTA. 

where they do have a place is in managing your currency as they allow you to have different currency accounts in one place. we tend to use Standard Bank who have very low cost seafarer account, an excellent App and great service. 


Anthony
Posted: Friday, October 14, 2016 10:32 PM
Joined: 29/10/2013
Posts: 1


lloyds in the isle of mann...if you are a US citizen, you can only open an account in the isle of Mann or at a branch in the UK. There are also detailed ID verification requirements. It will not be a big deal if you have all the original paperwork, but be ready for a lot of paperwork. Once you open an account you can keep it in pounds, Euros or dollars....again...Any changes to an existing account or opening of a new account I would just go to the main branch in the Isle of Mann. The branches in the UK will likely not know what is going on and it will take longer than it should. Also, Lloyds is no longer associated with TSB (at least the Offshore) so you cannot go to a branch in Scotland. If you are in Scotland, the closest branch is in Carlisle....trust me, they do not have a clue regarding Offshore.
Once open you can get funds from almost any Atm ... I am not in the yacht industry but have had an account with Lloyds for a long time. It used to be easier but it is only going to get harder for Americans to open foreign accounts. Open while you still can and always keep some money in another currency...my 2 cents

Anonymous
Posted: Friday, October 14, 2016 11:29 PM

Standard Bank IoM

Avoid small banks for safety


Anonymous
Posted: Saturday, October 15, 2016 10:32 AM
I use citi bank in the U.K. Which allows me to have accounts in lots of different currencies, once you've opened a current account it is a relatively  simple process to open other currency accounts. Ive got a dollar a euro and a pound account because that's all I need but it is possible to open current and savings accounts with them in most currency's.The online banking is good. I don't know if the US citi bank has a similar set up.
John Geddis
Posted: Saturday, October 15, 2016 3:59 PM
Joined: 24/03/2015
Posts: 1


It would be fair to say that Offshore accounts are not what they used to. Legislation from European Tax Savings Directive 2005 to more recent FACTA legislation has seen to this. Where they used to be seen as confidential entities, giving tax free growth, they are now neither. In truth though, they have a function that yacht crew still require. The ability to receive salary, and distribute it to currencies that the user requires economically. This is even more economic when an FX transfer company such as MoneyCorp. The Standard Bank Seafarer Account, is probably the easiest to open and simplest to use. Many others such as Barclays have moved away from debit cards to American Express. HSBC, have lifted their account thresholds to unrealistic levels. I have supplied crew with various accounts over the last 13 years, and the Standard Bank Seafarers account seems to go down well with the people who matter "the crew ".

If you require any more information, or would like assistance, please feel free to contact me at either of these email addresses.  john.geddis@aesinternational.com  or  john@how2yacht.com