alliance & Leicester reports expats ready to expand savings' horizon
Research by Alliance & Leicester International (ALIL) shows the majority of UK expatriates do not have offshore savings account, but would consider using an intermediary to choose one.
The research examined UK expatriates living in Europe and showed nine out of 10 expatriates do not have offshore savings accounts and the vast majority – eight out of 10 – leave their savings in low rate accounts in the country they live in.
However, when asked how they would choose an account, just over half of expatriates said they would seek information on competitive offshore savings accounts from an intermediary, just under half said they would talk to their UK bank, the same proportion said they would look at financial websites, and about a third said they would consult magazines and newspapers.
Simon Hull, managing director of ALIL, said: "The message is very clear. The vast majority of expatriates are not making the most of their savings and they are looking to their intermediaries to help them maximise the returns on their cash. Cash is central to any individual's financial position and offshore intermediaries have a huge opportunity to help clients choose a better home for their savings.
"Offshore accounts can provide expatriates with a great rate, coupled with the same easy access to money that saving accounts in the host country allow. The opportunities for offshore savers do exist but 90% of the market is not using them."
In another move, ALIL has revamped its internet banking service which will enable clients to track their accounts online 24-hours a day. MyBankOffshore offers clients access to the current balance, the current interest rate, the transaction history and details of interest paid.
In addition, ALIL's service will include a secure messaging system allowing customers to communicate directly with the bank at any time of the day.
By using MyBankOffshore, customers will be able to download account information, instruct changes in account details, send the bank information or make enquiries, and instruct transactions from a minimum of $1,000 to a maximum of $25,000. Services for euro and sterling accounts will also be available.
Hull said: "With a large percentage of our customer base in far off places, we knew there would be a need for internet banking. As with all of ALIL's major developments, we asked our customers what features they wanted from an internet banking service."
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