Please see Luigi Wewege’s extensive biography here.
International Banking: What You Need to Know About Selecting an International Bank. When it comes to offshore banking solutions, would-be clients can certainly feel overwhelmed with the plethora of choices available. Yet, over the last couple of years, Belize has become a go-to for many investors looking for security, stability and new investment opportunities. Here, Luigi Wewege, Senior Vice President of Caye International Bank, writes on the unique benefits that Belize has to offer, and how it has become the region of choice for savvy investors from all over the world. Caye International Bank was recently recognized by Wealth & Finance INTL as the ‘Best Offshore Private Bank in Latin America’ in the 2019 Banking Excellence Awards.
It’s easy to see why so many investors opt to invest internationally. Offshore investing offers privacy, confidentiality, and new opportunities to diversify one’s assets.
However, there are countless international banking options to choose from. Narrowing down all those options and settling on one institution can be an overwhelming task.
As you look for an international bank, take the following five factors into consideration. Let this help guide you to find the right international bank that meets your needs and provides financial security.
There are many reasons
to bank overseas.
1. A jurisdiction with low or no taxes
There are many reasons to bank overseas. One of the key reasons is to cut back on taxes. This is a completely legal and savvy strategy that can protect your hard-earned assets. Taxes can erode saved and earned wealth, so finding a jurisdiction with low or even nonexistent taxes should be a priority.
Start by looking at the taxes for selling assets. If you store assets in an international bank account, but then decide to sell them, what will you lose in the process? Ideally, there would be no tax applied for such a transaction.
Keep in mind that there are often different tax codes for permanent residents and international investors. While local residents may have an income tax, foreign investors may not; thus you should pay close attention to these differences to determine whether a country is the right fit for you.
Destinations like Belize, for example, have a zero-tax regime. That’s just one reason why international banks located in Belize are so popular among experienced foreign investors that want to protect their wealth.
2. Minimal government intervention
It’s you, and you alone, who should be responsible for the future of your assets and investments. That’s why it makes sense to choose an international bank in a location free from government intervention.
Remember that government intervention and government security are two very different things. To illustrate, it’s considered positive having government laws in place that require banks to have a certain liquidity rate, although less appealing to have laws in place that allow government agencies to freeze assets or hold funds without warning.
Investors deserve the right to move or store their assets however they see fit. By selecting a government and a jurisdiction that believes in the same, you can rest assured that you’ll have greater control over your financial future.
In some countries, government agencies can seize assets because of an impending court case, or rather they can freeze assets involved in a legal inquiry. Investors, of course, are always the real losers in these situations.
Always look for banks situated in countries where there is minimal government intervention if you’re concerned about the long-term stability and security of your holdings.
3. Confidentiality and privacy
Financial structures are often created for a variety of reasons, usually to do with protecting the identity of people who can benefit from them.
Grandparents from the United States, for example, might wish to set up a financial structure that could one day benefit their grandchildren. In such a scenario there is no need for the names of those grandchildren to be found in dozens of financial documents or via a search engine online. The best international private banks are in jurisdictions where privacy and confidentiality are available.
Of course, completely anonymous bank accounts and financial structure aren’t a viable option. Fortunately, the best banks offer something that falls somewhere in the middle of these two extremes. An offshore or international bank can require individuals and businesses to self-disclose key pieces of information, such as identity or location. That information is used for verification purposes, but this is never made public. This is widely regarded as the ideal way to protect the confidentiality of those who seek it.
Privacy is always important for benefactors, investors and businesses alike.
4. Structures and options that maximize investment
The primary goal of any financial structure is to grow assets while minimizing losses. It’s logical, then, that most savvy investors will look to international banks to achieve those objectives.
By eliminating penalties like capital gains tax, it becomes much easier to see holdings increase in value. Otherwise, wealth could start to erode over time, even if you aren’t spending it. Beyond the tax issue, it’s worth exploring and finding the financial structures that best meet your needs. There are countless opportunities out there, but not all will be the right fit for your financial goals.
Some investors are most concerned with longevity, and they want to establish a fund that will care for their loved ones. Other investors are willing to accept slightly higher risks, but they are eager to enjoy higher rewards, as well. Some investors need access to multiple currencies at all times, and others simply need a way to limit taxation.
Before deciding on an international bank, ensure that the financial institution offers the structures you will benefit from most.
5. Financial expertise
When you’re choosing an international bank, location is clearly key. Once you have selected the right jurisdiction, however, don’t forget about the specifics that make a bank truly great. Belize is a popular spot for savvy foreign investors, but not all banks in Belize are created equal.
Start with the basics and ensure that you are able to communicate clearly and effectively with financial experts in the language of your choice. Next, ensure that communication won’t be limited to traditional office hours, particularly if you’re located in a different time zone than the bank.
Then, make sure that the banks can offer financial professionals with plenty of experience and expertise. Fortunately, destinations with great offshore banking credentials, such as Belize, typically do a wonderful job of meeting this particular requirement. Financial professionals might have worked, studied and lived around the world, but come back to jurisdictions like Belize because of the vast financial opportunities that exist within the country.
With so many international banks out there, choosing one for your holdings can be tricky. As you make your choice, consider these five factors: A jurisdiction with low or nonexistent taxes, minimal government intervention, financial expertise, structures that maximize investment and confidentiality. On all counts, Caye International Bank in Belize fits the bill perfectly.
Luigi Wewege. Howler is pleased to feature advice from global financial consultant Luigi Wewege in this issue of our CR Biz flip magazine. Specifically, you’ll learn why Belize has become a preferred banking location for savvy investors around the world seeking security, stability and asset diversification opportunities. Wewege draws on his expertise and experience helping would-be clients gain knowledge and confidence to choose offshore banking solutions that meet their needs.
Wewege is the published author of The Digital Banking Revolution and has co-authored economic research presented before the U.S. Congress. He holds an Italian MBA with a major in International Business, as well as a BSBA with a triple major in Finance, International Business, and Management – cum laude from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
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