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Expat Investor : May June 2008
NEWS expatinvestor.com 2 EXPAT INVESTOR ? May/June 2008 Fast Facts 55111 Fast Facts 55110 Fast Facts 55112 ALIL launches bonus for tax deferral savers ALLIANCE & Leicester International (ALIL) is offering savers the chance to boost their savings and benefit from tax deferral with a new bonus promotion on its International Deferred Interest Account (IDIA). The promotion, which is payable on new IDIA accounts opened with funds of £100,000 or more, pays a bonus of 0.35% over the standard rate of 5.95% (variable) until 30 June 2008. The International Deferred Interest Account (IDIA) offers: ? a competitive interest rate of 5.95% gross pa/AER (variable) on balances of £100,000 or more, already 0.70% above the Bank of England base rate. ? an additional bonus of 0.35% on balances of £100,000 or more guaranteed until 30 June 2008 and payable to customers opening a new IDIA account with funds not already deposited with ALIL. ? minimum sterling balance of £10,000, maximum of £1,000,000. ? access to funds with 180 days' notice in the first three years with instant access after this period. ? ability to access and manage account anytime, anywhere in the world via ALIL's online banking system. ? interest payable on closure of the account (not annually or monthly) allowing customers to plan their tax liability. ALIL claims to be the first offshore bank to launch an international deferred interest account, and says this product has been developed with high net worth savers in mind and “is ideal for those who wish to deposit large amounts and manage their tax liability at the same time, enabling customers to control the timing of their tax receipt. “The new limited offer ‘bonus’ is designed to encourage international savers to think about their approach to tax planning given the approaching tax year end.” Existing IDIA customers who top up their balance to £100,000 or more with new money during the promotion period can earn 6.30% on their total balance, confirms ALIL. Simon Hull, Managing Director, tells Expat Investor, “ The account allows free withdrawals on 180 days' notice – so it's ideal for those who are prepared to limit the access to their savings and are able to plan withdrawals in advance for a highly competitive interest rate. At the same time, they are able to manage their tax liability and have control over the timing of receipt of their tax within a secure online environment, anywhere in the world.” Expats fret over lost luggage and ignore wallet safety NATWEST International Personal Banking (IPB) reveals that British expatriates who spend a large amount of their time living or travelling abroad are more likely to worry about their luggage being lost or stolen than carrying large amounts of cash. Of those interviewed, one in 10 expats living in Spain (11%) do not use anything apart from cash when abroad, and almost one in five (18%) admit to never using a cash machine. This suggests there are thousands of Brits walking around with large amounts of cash on their person at any time. In comparison, over half of expats (57%) interviewed don’t use internet banking when abroad, apparently because they don’t think computers are secure enough (40%). The survey reveals that Brits abroad: ? take great care of their personal possessions. ? never let their luggage out of their sight. ? carry money separate to credit/debit cards. ? never withdraw money from a hole-in-the-wall (ATM). ? never be on their own at night. Dave Isley, Head of NatWest IPB comments, “We recognise that expats are more aware of their surroundings and possessions when abroad. However, our research shows that people appear to pay more attention to their luggage being lost or stolen, and may brush off the fact that they are carrying around a lot of money in preference to using banking facilities when abroad. However, we would advise people to use their cards/banks or internet banking while abroad.” Expat banking attitudes When it comes to attitudes to banking, British expats are very financially aware of protecting their finances. Of those who participated in the survey over eight in 10 (84%) use different pin numbers for each card, three quarters (76%) shred all their financial documents, and six in 10 (61%) use a combination of letters and numbers whenever they enter passwords online. Just 5% of British expats don’t take any protection against potential internet fraud at all. Of the interviewed sample four in 10 (43%) use internet banking whilst abroad, over eight in 10 (84%) feel more in control of their finances, and nine in 10 (88%) find it convenient. A quarter (23%) of expats have an English bank account and find internet banking the best way of accessing their finances. Mr Isley continues, “For many people living abroad, internet banking is the best way of keeping in touch with finances, both in the UK and in the country in which they are residing. “Our research demonstrates that those using internet banking find it easier and more convenient, and they feel more reassured about their finances. “Brits are aware of the importance of protecting their finances in general, so should be in a position to take simple measures into consideration when banking online.” If you bank using the internet, you should: ? always log out of secure sites –never leave your computer unattended when logged in to a secure session (like internet banking). Ensure that you log out properly when you have finished your internet banking session. ? be extra careful when using computers in public places (like a library or internet café) - as you cannot be certain about the security of public wireless networks. You should also be cautious about using internet banking services in these situations. Never change your security details while using a public wireless network or a public computer. ? install and maintain antivirus software – update your virus definitions at least once a week to keep the latest threats at bay. ? maintain a firewall - download free firewall applications from sites like Download.com or obtain a firewall in a commercially available product. ? ensure your computer software is up to date - regularly check for updates to your operating system and your most commonly used applications. ? always type the internet banking URL directly into your browser – by typing directly into your browser instead of following links, you greatly reduce your chances of being duped by a spoof site. ? check for 'https' and the lock – genuine secure sites have addresses that start with 'https' and display a padlock icon in the bottom section of your internet browser. ? double click that lock - double clicking the lock icon that appears in the bottom section of your internet browser brings up information about the lock that can help you confirm if the site is genuine. A NEW best buy fixed rate bond has been launched by Landsbanki Guernsey. This one year bond is offering 7.00% gross pa/AER Best buy fixed rate bond from Landsbanki Guernsey minimum lump sum of £10,000 to lock-in to a guaranteed market leading rate. At the time of launch, the Bank was proud of the Bond’s rate, as it propelled it to the top of the offshore savings best buy charts. The Bond will appeal to those savers who can afford to lock away a lump sum for one year, as no additional deposits, withdrawals or closures are allowed during the fixed term. Steve Le Poidevin, Managing Director, tells Expat Investor, “We are pleased to make available this new limited offer. “Our customers can invest and then relax in the knowledge that they have locked into the best fixed interest rate currently available. This account lives up to Landsbanki Guernsey’s customer promise that we will be consistently competitive, and continues to ensure that our interest rates are amongst the best in the market.” interest paid at the end of the fixed term. This limited edition offer is the latest addition to Landsbanki Guernsey’s range of savings accounts. The Bank says this latest launch is designed to enable investors with a
July August 2008