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O F F - S H O R E  B A N K I N G
                                      for Crew
W H E R E  T O  S T A R T

When we think of offshore banking we usually think of the old school jurisdictions that were used to harbour ones assets under a blanket of secrecy for a variety of tax and estate planning reasons. These jurisdictions would typically provide a safe haven (or for want for a better word - 'tax' haven) to the super rich.

However, this is now changing. We have recently seen the introduction of the Common Reporting Standards, commonly referred to as 'CRS'. CRS is a pan EU directive that aims to provide full transparency between one's assets and where these assets are held. CRS was developed in response to the G20 request and approved by the OECD Council on 15 July 2014, calls on jurisdictions to obtain information from their financial institutions and automatically exchange that information with other jurisdictions on an annual basis. It sets out the financial account information to be exchanged, the financial institutions required to report, the different types of accounts and taxpayers covered, as well as common due diligence procedures to be followed by financial institutions - gone are the 'old school days' of trying to squirrel money away from Uncle Sam!

With that being said, offshore jurisdictions are loosing their appeal from a banking stand point and as such, are now struggling to keep up with some of the finTech giants now entering the banking scene (more on those shortly).

There is still huge value however, in opening an offshore account, especially for a seafarer.

 

Typically, offshore accounts will offer the ability to hold a variety of different currencies which, when transferring money back home or spending overseas (on a dual season contract for example) this can come in very handy in deed. They also hold a lot of merit for having your salary paid into. Let's say for example you're from Aus and working in Europe and you only hold a bank account in AUD. Your salary will more than likely be converted from your salary currency (in this example, EUR) to AUD at a less than ideal exchange rate. Over time this could cost you a fortune. Not to mention if you need to spend your money again in Europe - you'll have to convert it back making the whole process very expensive and messy. Should you open an offshore account on the other hand, in this example, you could open an account in EUR to have your salary paid into direct, and also an account in AUD. You can then easily convert EUR to AUD within the same account and spend money in both EU and AUD without having to pay for expensive international transfer fees and more often than not, additional bank fees.

Introduce the Multi-Currency account - dominated by the finTech giants. In recent years, we have seen massive advancements in multi-currency banking. As the world becomes more global there has been greater demand for a banking solution that accommodates the 'international' lifestyle.

Here we have seen the big players such as Revolut, N26 and Transferwise all compete for your custom offering the latest APPs to manage your money on-the-go and driving down overseas banking costs and currency exchange (FX) costs.

Each of the above have extremely fluid and easy to use APPs and as seafarers, managing and converting money on your phone has been a game changer.

Although these APPs are great for spending money in different currencies and converting and managing your money, we still need to factor in the ability to have your salary payment made. Some of these multi-currency cards do not offer this facility. So, when choosing which one to go for you should ensure that they are able to accept salary payments from your employer!

As a general rule of thumb, it's always a good idea to have one account for your salary to be paid into, and one for your everyday spending. Doing this you will also enable you to set and manage your budgeting goals more effectively.

 

Many of our applicants will typically hold an "offshore account" such as the Standard Bank 'Seafarer Account' to have their salary paid into and in addition, a multi-currency card such as Revolut to manage their day to day spending and reducing bank fees.

Below we have highlighted the most commonly used 'multi-currency' card and 'offshore' account. Should you require further information, feel free to get in touch and one of our experts can help explain which account is best suited for you.

STANDARD BANK (ISLE OF MAN) SEAFARER ACCOUNT
Account Features

* Pay in your Salary;

* Available in Sterling, US dollar, Euro, and Australian dollar;

* Minimum balance £2,500, US$3,500, €2,500 or AU$3,500, applicable on your main currency account only;

* No maintenance fee whilst the minimum balance is maintained;

* No minimum wealth requirement;

* Instant access to funds held in the account;

* Free electronic payments (corresponding bank charges may apply);

* Visa debit card available in GBP, USD, EUR and AUD;

* 24/7 internet banking

Standard Bank (Isle of Man) Seafarer Account

We are proud to be working alongside one of the most reputable and well established offshore bank account providers in the Yachting Industry. Helping simplify the world of offshore banking and international payments.

Standard Bank's Seafarer's account has been specifically designed to run in parallel with the lifestyle and needs of crew and as an official partner of Standard Bank, we are able to assist crew with the account set up.

REVOLUT MULTICURRENCY CARD

Revolut Digital Banking

Revolut are one of the biggest tech giants to revolutionise the banking and payments space. They offer a frictionless, cost effective way to spend, save and send money fast in a variety of different currencies.

Account Features

* Open an account in minutes by uploading documents on the app;

* Available in 29 currencies;

* Instant payment notifications to your phone to keep on-track on the go;

* Transfer money abroad at the interbank rate in over 29 currencies;

* No minimum wealth requirement;

* Instant access to funds held in the account;

* Free electronic payments (corresponding bank charges may apply);

* 24/7 APP based banking

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