Friday, 10 May 2019

We are certainly living in the age of globalization, as technology, travel and international cooperation have blurred many borders when it comes to trade, financial services and investing.

The world is more connected than ever, and more U. S. citizens are becoming global citizens and investors.

Whether you're interested in tapping into overseas financial opportunities, or you are a globetrotter who wants to avoid financial headaches while traveling, opening overseas bank accounts can offer many benefits to internationally inclined U.S. citizens.


As you already know, keeping all your financial eggs in one basket is not a good idea. But having all your money in U.S. accounts and investments is keeping your eggs in one geographic basket. Holding foreign currencies offers U.S. citizens an excellent way to diversify further and balance their portfolios.

Ease When Traveling

Many people keep overseas accounts because they have family and friends living abroad, frequently travel abroad or do business overseas. Some also own property — often vacation homes — in foreign countries. Having a local bank account can save money on currency exchanges and provide easier access to money while traveling or working abroad.

Better Returns

With interest rates as low as they have been over the past decade, it can be challenging to earn a rewarding return on your savings in the United States. While not all foreign countries offer better returns — rates can be even lower in many European countries — there are countries around the globe where interest rates are higher and investors can earn more.

Investment Opportunities

Many Americans actively pursue international investment opportunities. And while you can buy foreign stocks without having an overseas account, not all investment opportunities are sold on exchanges. Having foreign accounts can make it faster and easier for savvy investors to take advantage of a wide range of opportunities in other countries.

Tips for Opening An International Bank Account

Do your research.

You probably need to do some investigating before investing domestically, or you should probably do some investigating when considering banking overseas. Some countries have more stable banking systems than others. Some countries welcome U.S. based accounts, while others aren't as welcoming. You'll need to understand the fee structure fully, how you can access the account and what currency your money will be held in. In addition, FDIC safeguards do not apply to funds held in foreign accounts. Therefore, it makes sense to determine what types of financial safeguards are provided in the country where you plan to bank.

While you're understanding all of the elements of an international bank, you may want to consider working with a bank that has branches or affiliates in your home country as well as your targeted country to provide you with the best international financial services.

Get your documents ready.

While there are some foreign banks that allow U.S. citizens to open accounts online, in many cases accounts can only be opened in person. Whether online or in person, you'll need much of the same personal information to open an overseas account as you do domestically, such as name, address, date of birth, citizenship and occupation.

To verify this information, you might be asked to provide the bank with notarized copies of documents like your driver's license and passport. You might also be required to provide bank statements and other financial information, as well as a positive recommendation from your U.S. bank. To prevent illegal activity, some banks might ask you to provide verification of the source of the funds you are depositing and how you plan to use the account.

Worth the Extra Effort

Chances are opening a bank account in another country will be somewhat more difficult than opening one domestically. However, depending on your situation and reasons for banking offshore, the benefits could be well worth the effort. 

The content provided is for informational purposes only. Neither BBVA USA, nor any of its affiliates, is providing legal, tax, or investment advice. You should consult your legal, tax, or financial consultant about your personal situation.

Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BBVA USA or any of its affiliates. All accounts and credit are subject to approval, including credit approval

Securities and Investment products offered through BBVA Securities Inc., member FINRA and SIPC and an affiliate of BBVA USA. Insurance products are offered through BBVA Insurance Agency, Inc., an affiliate of BBVA USA.

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