Saturday, April 28, 2012

When, where and if Americans are saving for a rainy day!

A list of foreign countries where those Americans lucky enough to still have money can consider going if offshore banking is their investment vehicle of choice under the current leadership in Washington! 

Next TPC will provide the results from a survey conducted by The National Foundation for Credit Counseling that looks at whether Americans are saving, mortgage decisions, credit cards and much more!

Offshore Banking

Thanks to onerous U.S. banking regulations and uncertainty surrounding future U.S. federal government legislation under the Obama administration, the bank of choice for many Americans may be the one that's in some other country!

The problem there, however, is that because of the burden of dealing with the U.S. government, many foreign banks have chosen not to deal with U.S. customers.

Perhaps the solution is for the Obama administration to simplify and clarify so that U.S. citizens can feel more comfortable in dealing with U.S. institutions without having to consider looking to bank offshore!

Operating under the assumption that simplification and clarification won't occur and may in fact get worse, and that you are one of the lucky Americans to still have enough money that makes where you bank an important decision, here is a list of some countries that banking offshore is a possibility (this does not constitute financial advice but is merely financial information).

Some banking countries of choice!

1) Andorra. This tiny low-tax nation nestled high in the mountains between France and Spain has long been a favorite of well-heeled Europeans. Today, despite all the turmoil in the rest of Europe, Andorra has one of the most well-capitalized banking systems on the continent.

2) St. Vincent and the Grenadines. This country is more famous for being the filming location for “Pirates of the Caribbean” rather than as an international banking center. The banking sector is still quite small, and as a result, banks are still willing to do the extra paperwork required to deal with US customers in order to boost their balance sheets.

3) Mongolia. Perhaps one of my favorite places in the world to bank, you can get paid upwards of 13% interest in Mongolia, easily the fastest growing economy in the world.

4) Belize. Even though it’s just a short flight from a number of cities in the US, several banks in Belize will open accounts for US citizens through the mail without you having to leave town.

5) Hong Kong. One of the original international banking centers, Hong Kong remains one of the most efficient places in the world to bank. It’s cheap, it’s fast, and you have unfettered access to opportunities in mainland China. Many of the big name banks, including HSBC, will still open accounts for US citizens.

6) The Bahamas. With the local economy already so closely tied to the United States, most banks in the Bahamas have made the decision to stay in bed with Uncle Sam rather than rock the boat.

7) Chile. Among the most well-capitalized banks in Latin America, Chile’s banking system marches to the beat of its own drum. It’s very difficult (though possible) to open an account without obtaining residency first, but fortunately it’s a straightforward process to obtain residency in this thriving country.

8.) Turks and Caicos. Like the Bahamas, T&C’s economy is heavily dependent on the United States for trade, tourism, and its financial sector (which constitutes 30% of all economic activity). While a few private banks have closed their doors, some larger multinationals (like Scotiabank) still readily accept US customers. (Source)

Next: The survey results from The National Foundation for Credit Counseling

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