There are many individuals and corporations that prefer the use of offshore banking for a multitude of reasons. However there are three very specific benefits of an offshore account that cause individuals choose to deposit their assets into banks outside of the United States, especially for those who decide to become expats or travel for a long period of time.
Privacy is the number one reason for the use of offshore banking. The security provided by many international banks give piece of mind to the account holders; allowing them greater confidence in the stability of their assets. Many nations are increasingly taking a greater interest in their domestic banking industry than ever before in history. Many people are not comfortable with the idea of any government being able to know exactly what assets they hold, or how they choose to spend those assets. To these people it is even more perverse knowing that their government is able to track their movements and spending habits, then create personality profiles against these actions. Having an offshore bank account prevents this course of prying by outside officials.
The majority of international banks do allow government officials access to bank accounts, but only if the person who holds the account is under criminal investigation. Without proof of a current criminal investigation the banks will not divulge any information; this includes the answer to the simplest of questions as to whether or not a person even has an offshore account.
Another top benefit is protection of assets. With the numbers of civil suits growing around the world people are becoming wary of how their assets are being used against them. Offshore banking provides security for assets placed in these accounts. Assets held in foreign banks are not subject to civil law suit cases and cannot be considered in the rulings. Therefore even if you lose your case these holdings cannot be taken into account; this translates to your essentially being penalized less as you seem to have fewer assets.
Lastly, international business fees are high for most domestic banks. If you run your own business that does international business, deposits made from your clients into a domestic bank are charged for having to exchange the currency. True, the deposits are largely made without the exchange of actual paper money, however, domestic banks still charge an exchange fee for exchanging electronic deposits into domestic currency. Offshore banks, like Lloyds Offshore Bank do not charge these fees, they seem to understand that in a technologically advanced society it is easy, for even a small business, to do work internationally.
Entrusting an international bank with your assets is much the same as looking into domestic banking. Be sure that the institution you choose provides the comfort and access you need. Though there is superior security and privacy in offshore accounts; it is important that the banking institution fits you and your lifestyle or business capabilities. Choosing the wrong bank internationally is the same as choosing the wrong one domestically, so do your due diligence.