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Expat Investor : March 2008
They may be living overseas, but staying in touch with friends and family back home is a priority for expatriates, with almost two-thirds (63%) using the internet daily to email loved ones, according to a of those surveyed owning webcams and one in three opting for cheaper international calls via VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) technology. And if expats are not spending their wages online, then they're saving them, with 16% logging on daily to do their banking and almost half (47%) checking their bank balance online at least once a week. Simon Hull, Managing Director of Alliance & Leicester, International, comments: "Having 24 hour access to their money is a necessity for most expats. That's why we've specifically developed our eSaver Offshore savings account with unique online functionality. It provides expat customers with a secure online environment that helps them both manage and set up their account more quickly and easily than any other offshore online account. In addition, unlike other offshore savings providers, whose postal application processes can take weeks to complete, the eSaver Offshore account enables customers to transfer their opening balance within days of opening an account -- something which is truly unique to offshore savings accounts." OFFSHORE BANKING March 2008 EXPAT INVESTOR 9 Fast Facts 33004 Online Brokerage for Offshore Investors • Trade Forex, Futures, CFD's and Shares offshore • European, North American & Asian Stock Exchanges • Backed by TD Waterhouse and Fortis www.internaxx.lu Tel: (+352) 2603 2003 Your International Online Broker in Luxembourg Internaxx Bank S.A., 46a avenue J.-F. Kennedy, L-2958 Luxembourg, R.C. B 78729. Abbey International 33150 Alliance & Leicester International 33151 Bank of Scotland International 33152 Fairbairn Private Bank 33153 HSBC Bank International 33154 Kaupthing Singer & Friedlander (IOM) 33155 NatWest International 33156 Royal Bank of Canada (CI) 33157 Standard Bank Offshore 33158 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 Internet revolution for expats worldwide web has revolutionised expats' everyday lives, with 70% now logging on daily and over one in four switching on every hour. The vast majority of expats now have broadband access, with almost half Bank of Canada (Channel Islands), you will also be assigned your own dedicated private banker. Fairbairn Private Bank believes it offers expats the ultimate offshore banking tool with its Focus account which it describes as being an integrated banking and investment service. "Moving abroad inevitably involves considerable planning and upheaval, and it is often useful to take this as an opportunity to review your financial affairs. Most people these days acquire, over time, a complex network of product and service providers which can often be costly and time consuming to manage, but there is a simpler way to organise your banking and investment needs," explains the Bank. "Fairbairn Private Bank's award- winning Focus service can offer a solution. This unique, integrated banking and investment service combines banking, discretionary and/or execution only investment dealing and settlement services into a simple, seamless package which can save you time and simplify your administration." The Focus account's inbuilt flexibility allows customers to tailor the Bank's services to match their specific financial requirements. The range of banking services in multi- currencies, includes cheque accounts, fixed term deposits, loan arrangements, deferred debit Gold Visa cards, structured, enhanced and fiduciary deposits. "Focus also offers a comprehensive range of investment services, ranging from full execution only services through to discretionary managed investment portfolios. Whether income or growth, domestic or global, and irrespective of your country of residence, you can design a bespoke account that suits your personal circumstances," adds the Bank. Focus is available to those with a minimum initial combination in recent study from Alliance & Leicester International (ALIL). Keeping up with current affairs (69%) is another key priority, while a fifth log on to keep abreast of the latest sport results or to check the latest weather reports (22%). And when it comes to shopping, 83% of expats regularly opt to swap the trolley dash for the keyboard bash, avoiding the queues altogether. Indeed, confirms ALIL, the cash and/or investments of £50,000, US$75,000 or 75,000, of which at least £5,000 (or currency equivalent) must be in cash. Each month customers receive a statement, showing details of any banking (including Gold Visa card, lending or fixed term deposit) and investment transactions they have made. "The ability to transact over the phone makes banking and investment dealing an effortless process and, in addition, your account can be viewed on-line offering the freedom to keep track of your finances round the clock from anywhere in the world." Expat savers who are looking for a return on their investment which has the potential of a higher than normal deposit rate, but who are not yet ready to leap headlong into the higher risk world of international equity or offshore fund dealing are opting in increasing numbers for a new breed of product called capital protected accounts. These accounts offer one of the most important features of a deposit account, namely 100% protection of the capital deposited. Where they differ is that the return offered is not driven by UK Base Rates, but rather by movements in a single stock market or range of stock indices that the account will track. They are generally available over three or more years. Typically, such accounts offer a return expressed as a proportion of the rise in a given index. So if the UK FTSE market is being tracked and it has risen by 50% over the term of the account, the account holder will receive a given proportion of this rise, which will have been clearly stated in advance. Bank of Scotland International claims to be one of the biggest names in this market, with a constantly changing range of new products. "Bank of Scotland International Capital Protected accounts are usually available in sterling and US dollars, giving global investors an opportunity to diversify a portfolio. Some of our accounts will even offer more than 100% capital protection, in which case the accountholder can be sure of a minimum return in all cases. The return on capital protected accounts is not expected to fall within the scope of the European Savings tax directive, so all returns are paid in full to the investor. This can be a valuable feature for those planning how best to use tax allowances or those living in a low or zero tax environment. However individuals need to check their own tax situation as there maybe a potential liability," explains the Bank. "Expat savers who are looking for a return on their investment which has the potential of a higher than normal deposit rate, but who are not yet ready to leap headlong into the higher risk world of international equity or offshore fund dealing are opting in increasing numbers for a new breed of product called capital protected accounts. "
January February 2008