Offshore banking is a very old industry. Some claim that offshore banks have been around since early 1800s. Indeed, over this vast period of time, the banking system has seen many changes. Years ago, only the wealthy and the influential were able to open an offshore bank account. However, the current offshore banking system allows anyone and everyone with some money to make an investment. This is how versatile and accessible the industry has turned into.
There are plenty of offshore banking opportunities around the world. And, you can categorize offshore locations as Europe, Caribbean and Asia. With this being said, let’s understand more about the best offshore banking locations in Asia.
Destination #1: Hong Kong
The list of finest offshore banks in Asia begins with Hong Kong. Almost everyone knows that Hong Kong is a great financial destination. This is where most of the world’s biggest banks operate. Whether it is HSBC or Citibank, you will find a branch in Hong Kong. For investors, Hong Kong represents a first class destination. It is economically stable. That means, your money will be managed by safe hands. Low tax rates are a primary reason why this Asian country is famous for offshore banking. On an average, the tax rates are as low as 16%. In many other local jurisdictions, the tax rates are as high as 30%. This means, you will be able to save more when you pick Hong Kong as your offshore banking destination.
As mentioned previously, some of the world’s finest banks are located in Hong Kong. These banks don’t depend on your money. These are rich banks that boast of financially stability. That is why the amount of money you need for opening an offshore bank account is less.
Destination #2: Singapore
The financial setup of Singapore is quite similar to the one in Hong Kong. This country is famous for its political and economic stability. Just like Hong Kong, Singapore is considered as a tax haven in Asia. It delights investors with a lessor tax rate of 17%. This is several times lower than that of the United States (39%) and France (36%).
Banking in Singapore is open to both residents and non-residents. In fact, you can choose to open an account remotely. But, you need to have a representative in Singapore to sign the papers and close the deal. Due to the country’s tech savvy nature, it is very easy to open an account. Also, you will have no worries completing a transaction on time. Hardly do offshore banking services in Singapore face a lengthy, unexpected downtime.
Over the years, Singapore has turned into a stricter offshore destination. The need for transparency is a primary reason behind this change.
Destination #3: Malaysia
A lot of people are unaware of Malaysia as an offshore location. Most investors study and invest in Singapore. This has turned into a spontaneous movement. Meanwhile, it is important to realize that neighboring countries like Malaysia are also reputed for offshore banking.
By default, Malaysia is not a tax haven. It is not a top choice amongst offshore investors. But, Labuan in Malaysia is a perfect destination for your investments. Business or personal, you can choose to invest in Labuan. Labuan is a federal territory located in Malaysia. In the 1990s, it was converted to a financial hub. The government of Malaysia recognized and designated Labuan as a location for international financial trade.
Companies are expected to pay a corporate tax of 3 percent. This is one of the world’s lowest corporate tax rates.
And, Labuan doesn’t impose any tax on income generated by sources outside the jurisdiction.
Destination #4: Bahrain
Moving on, you can choose to invest in Bahrain. This country is strategically located in the Persian Gulf. But, it belongs to the continent of Asia. As a result, Bahrain found its way into the list of best offshore banking destinations in Asia.
When the percentage of oil in Bahrain started to deplete, the country needed an alternative source of income. Thus, it ventured into the financial system. Starting a new company in Bahrain will be expensive. But, maintaining a company in this country is cheap and easy. That is why many investors from different places choose to open their businesses in Bahrain. The offshore location imposes zero tax on corporate accounts.
Destination #5: Qatar
Another offshore location located in Persian Gulf would be Qatar. This country also belongs to the continent of Asia. The qualities of offshore banking in Qatar are similar to that of Bahrain. For example, corporate tax in Qatar is around 10%. And, this is considered as one of the world’s lowest corporate tax value.
A major reason to choose Qatar for your offshore banking needs would be its secrecy policies. When compared with many other offshore banking locations in Asia, Qatar has the strictest secrecy laws. This has helped the country see many international investments. More and more investors are drawn towards Qatar for its privacy regulations too!
However, there is a small downside in opening an offshore bank account in Qatar. Even through the country is financially and economically stable, the laws have a sub-par reputation in terms of human rights. This has always kept investors away from the country. When you want to invest in Qatar, you need to go through these policies with great care.
It is quite evident that Singapore and Hong Kong offers the best offshore opportunities in Asia. These jurisdictions favor foreign investments. And, many people from around the world are aware of it. If you are planning to open an offshore bank account for your company, be prepared with the essential documents. When jurisdictions are turning investors away, these offshore locations are inviting them with stunning benefits. For example, Indonesia is known for burdening companies with 20 to 25% tax. Thailand has a similar environment too! So, the best way to secure your money is by saving money in offshore locations. With due diligence, consult a tax lawyer to know more about the benefits of offshore banking, and the right location.