Everyone needs a bank account. Company or person you can't avoid it. The days of dealing in cash from out of your mattress are long gone. The banks have us by the ...... well, you know. We just have to make the best of things. All we can do as a consumer is use the opportunities that competition provides for us to shop around for the best deal we can. It's the same for everything. We live in a global world and whether you like globalisation or not, guess what? We're stuck with it. So use it to your advantage. This is what the wealthy do as part of their luxury lifestyle, but you don't need to be rich to take advantage of these opportunities. Not anymore.
Every country is competing for your trade, residency and tax dollars. Even the tax havens want you and your money to fill their coffers from sales taxes or to employ their locals. Every business entity that trades with the public wants you as a consumer no matter where you are from. Banks are no different. When you are looking for a bank account don't limit your search to your local country. Think globally. You will often find a better package of bank services and a more favourable regulatory environment offshore.
Many countries in the world care about your privacy. Many don't. Why the difference? Here is the logic.
Large countries with large populations can rob their citizens with impunity. They have the control because they know most of their citizens won't ever vote with their feet and leave. They preach nationalism and patriotism which are noble sentiments for a citizen to have, but it's a bit rich when governments use these noble emotions in their citizens as a weapon. They keep you where you are, then they tax the crap out of you. To tax you effectively they rob you of your privacy to make sure you don't escape the shake down.
Small countries with small, relatively poor populations can't get away with this strategy. There aren't enough people in the country to tax in order to bring in the money they need. They have no choice but to attract people from other countries to bring money in. So, how can they do that? Abolish taxation. Where would you rather live and do business, somewhere that taxes you to within an inch of poverty or somwhere that doesn't? Strong privacy legislation is another tool these countries use. If they don't tax you, they don't need to know the intimate details of what you are doing financially every second. This does not mean that tax havens are criminal paradises however. Some used to be but now they all have comprehensive "know your customer" legislation that is usually tougher than the ones in non tax haven countries. They want to know the intimate details of who you are and where your money comes from BEFORE they will do business with you. If you're clean they will welcome you, get out of your way and not pry as long as you remain clean. They will protect your privacy with very tough privacy legislation unless some police agency can prove to them before the tax haven's courts that you are up to no good. If you are abusing their hospitality they will lift your privacy and order your bank to co operate fully with the foreign police. Now, I think that's fair enough. That protects legitimate people and companies without protecting criminals and terrorists. That is the way it should be.
As a result of these tax havens taking the lead in being fair financial jurisdictions they have attracted all the world's best banks and insurance companies to their shores. Not to mention most of the world's biggest companies. The tax havens then make their money through the collection of annual registration fees from the companies and ships registered in their countries and from sales taxes from the people who live and visit there. Financial services and tourism are the life blood of these countries.
Smaller countries have smaller beaurocracies as well so getting things done is less frustrating in most instances.
Now, I don't know about you, but I'm no criminal. So I'm going to do business and live where I'm treated fairly and respected by the government.
The other very good reason to bank in tax havens is the way the banks are allowed to operate. In some "first world countries" banks are restricted to banking only. In most tax havens the banks can offer a full range of financial services including investing. You can organise a cost effective package of services with competitive fee structures and strong privacy.
The best countries for banking are:
Isle of Man
The Cook Islands
Caribbean and Central America
Commonwealth of Dominica
St Kitts & Nevis
Some are more expensive than others. All have the world's top and most respected banking organizations represented there. These are the places the wealthy bank in as part of their luxury lifestyle.
Dr Gregory Lipke is the CEO of Cyber Publishing Ltd. He has a Doctorate of Business Administration & a Bachelor of Science as well as years of experience in Private Investigation, Personal Protection & Security. He is the author of Your Luxury Guide.
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