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Offshore Money Transactions: Survival in the Era of Suspicion Offshore Money Transactions: Survival in the Era of Suspicion

Banking transactions:
Don't raise the red flags

Survival in the new era
of offshore suspicion

Survival in the new era of offshore suspicion
Unusual account activity: Are your transactions suspicious?
Be your banker's new best friend, or he'll turn to others
Funds in transit: Why they watch out for it
US dollar: The new tool of financial oppression?
Surveillance of financial transactions set to rise
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(Part 1 of 6)

Increasingly, great numbers of wholly legal financial transactions get reported by an overly-diligent banking community. Learn how to avoid getting trapped in the web of suspicion.

with Alex Hanson

In the old days, banks existed to serve the needs of their clients. You opened a bank account for the purpose of holding funds, whether in cash or another form, as well as to receive funds and send funds out. Transferring money out of an account involved no more than sending a short instruction to your banker. The receipt of funds required no interaction with a bank except for checking an account statement.

All of this has changed.

While your bank will still refer to you as its "valued client", you may have in fact become more of a suspected money launderer.

Nowadays, it is your task to serve the needs of your banker, before he attends to yours. What your apprehensive, confused and often paranoid banker needs most is constant reassurance and proof that your transactions fall within the legal guidelines as set by his new masters at the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF). Be ready to use your best skills in psychology to help him out here.

"Hold on," you might say, "I'm not a money launderer!" You are quite right -- the vast majority of us are not. But as you know, the world is at war against international crime and money laundering -- and "guilty until proven innocent" is the new line of thinking. Actions of those who still naively believe that they can deal with their own money however they please could be compared to taking a leisurely walk through a minefield: taking the wrong step can have serious consequences.

Although your banker will still discuss "private banking services" and "your investment goals" with you, other issues will be on his mind, too: "unusual account activity", "source of funds" or "suspicious money-in -- money-out patterns" have become the new dark buzzwords in the financial community.

Fortunately, there are some common-sense rules and strategies you can follow in order to avoid stepping on one of the metaphorical landmines. Those wishing to stay in control needn't feel deterred.

While this kind of discussion in itself may appear underhand, remember that it is a situation which has been forced on us not through the ballot box or by international law, but by a consensus among high-tax nations concerned about the erosion of their tax bases.


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