Many Americans may not be familiar with what’s known as international cross-border planning, offered by wealth solutions firms such as Ora Partners or Fidelity Investments. However, they might be familiar with what’s called “offshore banking” and “offshore jurisdictions.”
Speaking of offshore jurisdictions, take the Cook Islands, for example. This beautiful group of islands is often one of the most highly recommended places for offshore banking—this set of islands is named after its discoverer, Capt. James Cook is a self-governing nation in the South Pacific and is located about 2,000 miles northeast of New Zealand.
Not only has the Cook Islands gained popularity and recognition over the past three decades as a preferred asset protection jurisdiction, but the country has also built a reputation for providing world-class trustee administration services.
A major reason for the Cook Islands’ rise to prominence in the realm of offshore banking is that offshore banking service providers inside the jurisdiction are staffed and managed by veteran practitioners. Most of them are qualified attorneys specializing in trust law. For advisors to individuals with a high net worth or even a family office, these trust lawyers are more than ideal as partners when putting together comprehensive solutions that meet their client’s goals.
Clients who are looking for international cross-border services such as offshore banking will certainly need experienced advisors on their team. A trusted partner will provide financial expertise via wealth managers and attorneys who understand how to structure offshore trusts properly and efficiently.
At present, it’s also vital for people looking into offshore banking to collaborate with firms that are actively seeking out solutions that are up to date with today’s digital world.
Now, let’s go back to offshore banking. When people hear this term, they normally think of bad guys in action movies, where this type of banking is something illegal in nature and used to hide ill-gotten wealth. It is a gross misrepresentation by pop culture.
Offshore banking, or what is sometimes referred to as cross-border planning, has been a common and completely legal technique used for quite some time now by compliant and law-abiding people and businesses to protect a lot of their hard-earned investments and assets.
Offshore banking is also referred to as “offshore planning.” The objective of this planning is to protect wealth as well as business holdings, to shield and maintain an inheritance, retirement savings, or even emergency funds. It is a legal strategy that has long been used by investors such as high net-worth families to protect their wealth. They do this by diversifying their investment portfolios and diversifying the jurisdictions where their wealth, assets, and investments are held. Jurisdictional diversification is vital in today’s geopolitical climate.
An important feature of working with a custodial bank that is not in the U.S. is knowing that, unlike a lot of investment firms in the U.S., the depositor funds are not permitted and included as part of said bank’s balance sheet. It means the investment funds are not regarded or recognized as the bank’s assets, unlike the standard bank deposits in the U.S.
For people who wish to protect their wealth at all times, they must understand and know the potential benefits as well as limitations and risks of offshore banking.