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Expat Investor : July August 2007
YORKSHIRE GUERNSEY The offshore banking sector remains as competitive as ever with individual investors seeking more and more opportunities, particularly within the UK. Following the introduction of the EU Savings Tax Directive, and the intervention by HMRC requiring details of UK domiciled investors from the major clearing banks, it seems as if savers have accepted the new rules and UK residents are still in search of offshore benefits. With the sale of Portman Channel Islands to Scarborough Channel Islands and the increase in deposits to Guernsey by activities of Icelandic Bank Landsbanki, who acquired Cheshire Guernsey last year, the market remains buoyant. Yo r kshire Guernsey recently announced another successful year in 2006 after recording profits of £7.7 million; an increase of 9% from £7.1 million on the previous year. Yo r kshire Guernsey had managed to maintain a strong deposit balance within a highly competitive market. This performance was driven by a combination of factors including attractive interest rates and excellent customer service. Yo r kshire Guernsey launched a two year Stepped Rate Bond in May guaranteeing investors fixed interest rates over the next two years to 30 June 2009. This bond is an ideal home for longer term savings with the interest paid either gross or net depending on the individual's tax residence or status. With an opportunity for this investment to mature into the Yorkshire Guernsey Global Access account, the minimum funds required is £10,000 up to £1 million per bond. On maturity individuals will have instant access to rates has encouraged more expats to move their savings into sterling retail deposit accounts. High interest rate products, such as the 6.25% One Year Fixed Rate Bond offered by Zurich, and concerns as to whether the stock markets have peaked, are encouraging customers to open traditional deposit accounts as opposed to other investment products or the direct purchase of stocks and shares. People are also doing their sums and realise there is a positive margin between lending and savings rates. Instead of paying money off their mortgage or other loans they now prefer to save in high interest accounts. This is especially the case if they have been fortunate enough to secure a low fixed rate loan deal. Zurich has been providing an offshore private banking service for over 20 years and in the last year has provided market-leading high OFFSHORE SAVINGS July/August 2007 EXPAT INVESTOR 9 Abbey International 66150 Alliance & Leicester International 66151 Anglo Irish Bank (IOM) 66152 Bank of Scotland International 66153 Bradford & Bingley International 66154 Derbyshire Offshore 66155 Britannia International 66156 HSBC Bank International 66157 Nationwide International 66158 Skipton Guernsey 66159 Yorkshire Guernsey 66160 Zurich International 66161 For more information just enter the above numbers on the Reader Reply Ser vice coupon on page 20 or visit www.expatinvestor.com FAST FACTS ZURICH INTERNATIONAL Zurich Bank International is currently experiencing record savings balance receipts, which it puts down to a combination of good products and a buoyant market for high interest sterling accounts. The recent increase in market interest rate deposit accounts. Zurich still offers current accounts and various term deposits, as well as easy access deposit accounts in a number of currencies, including euros and US dollars. But it was the Zurich Reward Account, launched last year, which saw a significant change in its marketing strategy. The Reward Account led the way with easy access to funds and a double guarantee to track the Bank of England base rate. This was followed by a series of one year fixed rate bonds with the current issue stimulating a great deal of interest with an interest rate of 6.25%. Although it makes sense for expats to keep some money in a local currency account to cover day-to-day expenses, they may prefer to keep the bulk of their savings in a sterling product such as the One Year Fixed Rate Bond to take advantage of the high interest rates currently available. early signs of easing, the biggest single indicator of further interest rate rises seems to show that just one more rate increase may be seen in the near future. Savers should now pause to consider their medium term strategy. Those who can afford to tie money up for 12 months or more, should bear in mind that we might well be seeing the end of savings accounts paying interest rates higher than the Bank of England base rate. Skipton Guernsey's One Year Fixed rate Bond, which is currently paying 6.10% gross p.a./AER, represents good value in a competitive market. For those needing the combination of flexibility and a top rate, products such as Sterling Access Plus, paying up to 5.75% gross p.a/ AER, may be appropriate. With a rate similar to many long-term notice accounts and the flexibility to make four penalty- free withdrawals per annum, this account offers the best of both worlds and is an ideal option for many savers. Skipton Guernsey prides itself on its reputation for customer care and service. These values, combined with its ability to react quickly to base rate changes and market conditions, have meant that Skipton Guernsey proudly commands a reputation for offering customers consistently attractive interest rates. their funds if required. The first year offers the assurance of a fixed interest rate of 5.75% to end of June 2008 and 6% in the second year to end of June 2009