If you’ve ever considered going offshore, banking, living, investing or doing business internationally in Latin American offshore financial centers like Panama and Uruguay, or on one of the Caribbean islands (Cayman, Bahamas etc), I’ve got some important news for you below. As Swiss banks are under pressure as never before to lift the veil of bank secrecy, places like Panama have become to look like more attractive options. But how does this work in practice? What is going on today in the secretive world of offshore banks?
The following missive was sent out in our free Q Bytes newsletter a week ago. Response from readers has been phenomenal so we decided to publish it here on the blog, in order to make it available to a wider audience. (If you would like to receive news like this in advance, directly in your e-mail box, be sure to sign up for Q Bytes – remember it’s free!)
As we noted in our last article on the benefits of Panama Corporations and Bank Accounts, Q Wealth has quite a strong Latin American bias when it comes to investing and carrying out offshore business. Although this may surprise some readers, especially in the face of the world-shaping events and undeniably huge money-making opportunities in the Far East that we’ve also recently covered in Q Bytes, we can assure you that ours is a well thought out and considered policy.
Some places in Latin America are very liveable – Panama, for example, for those who dream of living tax-free near a tropical beach, or Uruguay for traditional European style city living at a fraction of the cost of the original version.
This week we are pleased to announce a brand new report prepared by Alternative Latin Investor magazine in association with Peter Macfarlane and The Q Wealth Report. This brand new report covers in-depth the state of offshore banking and wealth management in Latin America and the Caribbean – from a completely new, independent perspective.
It’s based on exclusive interviews with hands-on people in the know, movers and shakers like top bankers and business leaders. And best of all, this report is available entirely free of charge to Q Wealth members. You can download your copy right now in our Members’ Area.
If you have ever considered setting up a Panama bank account, retiring to a vineyard in Argentina, or opening an offshore internet bank account (or an e-commerce offshore merchant bank account), then you need to read this report. It will help you understand how offshore banking in Latin America and the Caribbean works today – not so much the nuts and bolts of how to do it that you can already get from our Practical Offshore Banking Guide, but things like why different jurisdictions offer different services, how and what the local people, expat bankers and retirees are thinking right now, how governments in the region are reacting to political pressure from the USA, G20 and OECD, and how to ensure the security of your bank deposits… this report will give you the geopolitical depth behind the headlines, essential information for anyone considering living, investing or doing business in the region. You might also enjoy reading our post on the best offshore banks.
We would especially recommend this report as essential background reading alongside our Practical Offshore Banking Guide 2009.
HERE’S WHAT YOU WILL LEARN IN OFFSHORE BANKING LATIN AMERICA 2009
Will reading this report be a good investment of your valuable time? I’m sure that’s what you want to know. So here are a few of the key points and quotes specifically covered in this report, that I thought you might find particularly interesting. I’ll try to expand on these in future articles, but in the meantime you can read the details in this Offshore Banking Latin America 2009 report…
- Diversifying location for capital is a significant trend in both the Americas and Europe. Those new to offshore banking may be thinking twice about moving in that direction, but those familiar with its mechanisms feel it is a haven in the present climate. You’ll find out why.
- Whereas before most people thought the worst couldn’t happen, now smart people are planning for worst case scenarios. For Americans, that means a total collapse of the dollar. While inexperienced investors may feel that foreign markets are risky during times of crisis, smarter investors are well aware that risk can be substantially reduced by diversifying offshore.
- Instability provoked by the financial crisis could spark the return of economic nationalism like currency controls or even expropriation around the world. This may be carried out via the back door. Learn how investors and banks in the region are protecting themselves and their assets. For example, learn why corporate accounts at Brazilian-owned banks in New York and Nassau have grown ten-fold since the beginning of 2008.
- Find out more about the breakdown between corporate and personal accounts, and how clients typically achieve stronger asset protection through the use of corporate structures
- Read candid interviews with bankers about how European tax directives could affect European banks with branches in Latin America… this is stuff you won’t read on banks’ corporate websites.
- Why Panama is “not so artificial” and has “a solid economy” – compared to certain Caribbean jurisdictions that might look great on paper, but where the rule of law may not be respected. What image do you want to project when people do due diligence on your offshore corporation? One offshore provider gives a few warnings about things that don’t appear in the official brochures, and names a couple of jurisdictions (including one island that is particularly popular with Americans) that have a less than positive reputation.
- Learn more in-depth about the Panama banking system by reading interviews with local bankers and business people. Legally speaking, there are three different types of banks in Panama – what are the differences? Which should you choose, if any? How does Panama provide security for bank deposits?
- Why asset protection is so important: “If you want to sue someone in the States it doesn’t cost you anything but you can go bankrupt defending yourself.” Learn how Caribbean jurisdictions easily prevent this kind of fantasy lawsuit from ever being filed.
- “Before you had to be a multi-millionaire to make it worthwhile. Now there are people with $100,000 looking to diversify into foreign currencies or invest overseas. This has been made possible by offshore internet banking.” Read about the latest internet banking technologies, debit and credit cards, and multi-currency accounts in the region.
- Read an exclusive interview with Gaetan Bucher, Swiss-Dominican banker and the founder of the $850 million ‘International Financial Centre of the Americas’ – the first financial free zone in the world. This is literally a new ‘financial city’ due to start construction by the end of 2009 with completion scheduled for 2012. IFAC will offer real time offshore banking as well as an electronic clearing and settlement house LAIFEX – backed up by sophisticated financial services from big names. The regulations are being drawn up by Washington law firm Patton Boggs and Deloitte Consulting in London. Lloyds of London are also involved in the project. Crucially, it is completely aligned with ‘best practice’ guidelines from the OECD and G20. This interview in my view represents a fascinating vision of the future of offshore banking and investing, where borders become insignificant. What will the offshore landscape look like when IFAC opens in 2012? Anyone thinking of going offshore now should think very seriously about this last question.
- Discover a new free online networking opportunity aimed at Baby Boomers retiring offshore, where they can search for international real estate, ask questions of experts, and meet people with similar interests. It’s a chance to connect with people who have ‘been there and done that.’
- Nothing beats doing your homework on an offshore jurisdiction before you finally select. One banker comments how smaller banks are often more orderly than big banks. He says, “Look for a historic bank that has worked well for many years, that has a strong balance sheet and doesn’t do strange things.” And you’ll learn other due diligence tips too.
- Do people who are retiring in the region need offshore accounts, or can they get better services from local banks? An important question for those applying for residence or buying property. It’s answered in this report.
All the above and more is covered in Offshore Banking: Latin America 2009, available free for download in Q Wealth’s Members Area. If you are not yet a member, you can buy access online now for just $87 for a year’s membership. Sign up now and get this info while it’s hot of the press!