Offshore accounts are no longer solely designed for the super-rich, but for many thousands of citizens living and working away from UK shores, according to Halifax International.
Traditionally shrouded in myth and uncertainty, offshore banking was viewed to be out of reach for the average person.
However, for individuals working overseas, living permanently or temporarily abroad, as well as expats on the move, the role of offshore banking should not be overlooked, says James Gairdner, managing director of Halifax International.
Many expats now make offshore banking a significant element of their financial plans, he says.
Modern offshore bank accounts are highly accessible to a wide range of people, not just wealthy individuals with whom they are often associated, as minimum deposit levels can sometimes be as little as £1,000, says Gairdner.
Almost one third of Brits are actively considering leaving British shores to move or buy a home abroad, according to a recent Halifax International report.
The research also found over 40% of those that have moved abroad have no intention of returning.
Expats need to manage their finances very differently from they way they do at home, says Gairdner.
"These Brits abroad simply require a service that allows them to painlessly transfer a salary or pension."
They may receive their paycheque in Euros and have a requirement to meet regular Sterling mortgage repayments on a UK property, or receive a pension in Sterling and need to convert to the local currency or Euros or dollars, he says.
"Having the ability to promptly change money into different currencies, whenever and wherever, or at a time when the rate is most beneficial has become a fundamental component of managing finances overseas," Gairdner adds.
He believes offshore bank accounts offer a "reassuring link to home" which enables expats to bank in their own language and provides the services they are used to and need to manage their overseas affairs efficiently.
"Offshore accounts are no longer just the preserve of the insanely wealthy" but make life easier for expats, says Gairdner.
"What they are, is incredibly useful and convenient for saving money and managing mortgages if you're one of the thousands of people whose life is spent outside the UK."
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