(Guest post from my friend Luigi Wewege from Caye International Bank)
When you bring up the idea of offshore banking, it’s not unusual to get a dozen different opinions about where the best tax haven is or where banks are most eager to get foreign investors. Look beyond all the noise and you’ll find that Belize is consistently chosen by savvy investors for offshore banking. Clearly, Belize has a lot to offer those interested in the financial side of the equation.
Whether you’re dreaming of your upcoming retirement, you want to purchase property overseas or you’re just ready for greater asset diversification, banking in Belize can be ideal. Here are just a few of the reasons why.
Ease of Banking in Belize
Something that can’t be ignored is the ease of managing an offshore bank account in Belize. Some people are worried about offshore banking because they don’t know what to expect, or they are worried about it being difficult or inconvenient. In reality, that misconception couldn’t be further from the truth.
To start, the official language of Belize is English. Although you might hear Spanish or even Creole is spoken on the beach, financial professionals all have a complete and fluent command of English. Whether you’re signing a contract or reading the terms of a new account, it will be in English. You won’t need a translator, nor will you have to pay to have English documents translated. In short, there is no need to be concerned about a language barrier at any point.
Another reason that banking in Belize is so convenient is the time zone. Belize is located in the Central Standard Time Zone (CST). That means it is the same time on Ambergris Caye, Belize, as it is in Chicago. Some people are concerned that offshore banking means getting on the phone in the middle of the night with banking staff, but that’s not the case in Belize. Banks operate during normal office hours, which just so happen to coincide perfectly with most North American hours of business.
Of course, you may not want to communicate over the phone about your offshore banking needs at all. Fortunately, the convenience of banking in Belize also extends to online banking services. As long as you have access to an internet connection and a smartphone, tablet, or computer, you can transfer money or check your account balances with the click of a button.
Excellent Liquidity Rates Offer Incredible Stability
Arguably one of the biggest concerns that any individual or corporation has in today’s world is banking stability. Even in places like Europe or the United States, major banks can fold. Economic stability is not guaranteed, so it is important to look for destinations where there is as much stability as possible.
Belize is a country that has taken the necessary steps to create greater financial security for residents and investors alike. Banks are required to have high liquidity rates. In fact, most banks surpass the national requirements and have more than 24 percent liquidity rates. Compared to some North American banks with just 3 or 4 percent liquidity, this can provide peace of mind.
While no financial choice is completely free from risk, Belize also provides stability in other ways. They have free and democratic elections, which results in a stable government. Economically, its currency is pegged to the United States Dollar. This adds an extra level of stability when compared to other Central American banking destinations.
Diversification is Key
People delve into offshore banking for varied reasons. However, one of the most common is to diversify financial holdings. A basic tenet of Economics 101 is that in order to reduce risk, you need to diversify.
Many people diversify but continue to maintain their holdings within a single country’s jurisdiction. Ultimately, true diversification also includes geographic diversification.
Although Belize offers a chance to invest in a new geographic location, it also offers all the things you expect in a secure financial environment. This allows for diversification without the stress of learning a new banking system or even a new legal system. Belize operates according to common-law systems similar to those you find in Britain, the United States, or Canada.
Unparalleled Asset Protection and Privacy
In decades past, certain nations held a monopoly on banking privacy and anonymity. As those destinations received more and more publicity, however, banking clients actually received more scrutiny, not less. In Belize, banks still operate in a way that grants account holders and businesses financial privacy as well as asset protection.
This doesn’t mean that you can open a bank account anonymously or avoid taxation in your home country. What it does mean is that once your assets are placed in a bank account in Belize, those assets are far more secure than they would be elsewhere. If you face lawsuits or the freezing of your assets in the future, your accounts in Belize will remain secure.
Plus, those who operate businesses within Belize can protect the identities of board members or shareholders if desired.
Diversity of Financial Options and Services
While you can discover many reasons as to why banking in Belize is so popular, it is only a worthwhile option if the offshore banks in Belize offer the financial services you require. Fortunately, there is no shortage of options.
You might choose to operate foreign currency accounts, accrue interest in a savings account, open a business account, or take advantage of financing options. From real estate loans for beach properties to lines of credit for commercial accounts, there is plenty of variety as well as the opportunity to find specific investment options that suit your preferred risk level.
Reputable Banking Systems
If you choose to bank offshore in Belize, then it makes sense to bank with an institution that is established, financially solvent and is recognized for its banking excellence. An example is Caye International Bank located on Ambergris Caye island in Belize. Just a few of Caye’s most recent recognitions include:
- World’s Best Private Bank in Belize for 2018 and 2019 (Global Finance Magazine)
- Most Outstanding Offshore Bank in Central America for 2018 (Wealth & Finance International)
When selecting a bank, ensure it is compliant with necessary regulations and is licensed to provide international banking services to both corporations and individuals.
Discover Banking in Belize
Clearly, plenty of investors around the world appreciate what Belize has to offer and choose this location to assist in asset diversification. When looking for the best locations for offshore banking and investing, you’ll be hard-pressed to find any more favourable than Belize.
Guest Post: About The Author
Luigi Wewege is the Senior Vice President of Caye International Bank headquartered in Belize, Central America and is the author of The Digital Banking Revolution: How Financial Technology Companies Are Rapidly Transforming the Traditional Retail Banking Industry Through Disruptive Innovation.
He is the Principal of Palmetto Global Ventures a financial consultancy firm focused on digital banking and FinTech solutions and serves as an Instructor at the FinTech School which provides online training courses on the latest technology and innovation developments within the financial services industry.