concerns about convenience and access to their funds preventing expatriates from depositing the bulk of their assets offshore, says study
Concerns about access to their funds is preventing expatriates from depositing the bulk of their wealth offshore despite the availability of tax advantages for offshore investment. That is the conclusion of research by international online broker Internaxx.
Only 15% of expatriate investors have moved all their assets offshore and the vast majority still maintain over 50% of their assets onshore, the broker said.
The reasons given for this caution were varied but 60% of respondents, mostly UK expatriates, were worried about convenience and ease of access to offshore assets.
Almost a fifth of expatriates were concerned about high fees and restricted product offerings.
Close to three-quarters said they did not want to pay for advice, preferring to look after their own finances. Of these, 74% depended on newspapers for their information, 64% on magazines and 41% on the internet.
However, the survey did show expatriate investors were prepared to look further afield than just to the traditional onshore models, with 77% believing they had a greater international outlook than other investors.
Expatriate investors were also more likely than the average investor to make use of the internet to access international markets, gaining better pricing and execution of trades in real time. Out of offshore jurisdictions, investors said they felt most confident in the English territories such as the Channel Islands (84%) and the Isle of Man (81%). Jurisdictions that were close to the UK also scored high such as Luxembourg (74%) and Switzerland (70%), as opposed to Bermuda (27%).
Alec Morley, chief executive officer at Internaxx, said: 'With falling markets and a rash of accounting and advisory scandals, investor confidence has been struggling. Too many expatriates, who are in the best position to benefit most from this drive to self-direction, are not moving to international centres and online because in many cases they do not realise the quality of the offerings available.'
Morley added that the research indicates the potential to spell out the benefits to many expatriates who have yet to migrate to international centres. At the same time, Internaxx believes that while some expatriates are behind the curve, those with a legitimate expatriate tax status and an interest in international investing appear keen to take advantage of opportunities to trade.
18 new entrants featured
Recommended cash offer
Latest news and analysis
Second London acquisition in three years
Partner Insight: Continuing the Architas education series for clients.