The transfer of assets offshore rarely receives the attention it deserves.
Opening an offshore bank account is
just the start; successfully placing your assets offshore is a separate process
and it requires careful thought.
Any asset transfer obviously raises a fundamental question regarding privacy.
It is obvious that transferring funds from one bank to another leaves a permanent
record of the transaction in the sending bank; in terms of privacy, a money
transfer effectively ties two bank accounts together.
Transactions that involve an offshore bank on the receiving end deserve careful
consideration. Taking shortcuts can compromise not only your privacy, but also
the security of your assets.
Onshore bank records:
Wide open to scrutiny
Those who casually credit their new offshore bank account with a direct transfer
from a regular onshore account often later regret their carelessness. The creation
of an unguarded and permanent record of the location of their offshore assets
is the unwelcome consequence that a surprising number of people do not consider.
In the majority of today's developed countries, confidentiality of banking
transactions is virtually non-existent. The days when requests for access to
bank information had to be supported by clear evidence of wrongdoing are gone.
In large parts of Europe, for example, tax authorities and others routinely
gain access to bank account records, sometimes on a regular (annual) basis.
The need for court orders is diminishing as governments try to convince us that
if we are doing nothing wrong, we have nothing to hide.
Think twice before sending your assets offshore from any bank that is either
directly located in your country of residence, or located within an economic,
political or information-sharing block of which your own country is a member
-- such as the EU. If privacy is a concern, don't -- onshore bank records are
not private; the record of your onshore-to-offshore transfer can slip out of
the door before you know it.