Offshore or onshore? Egypt’s banks have it covered!

Offshore accounts, also known as international accounts. What are they and why would you need one? Are they useful for someone looking to live and work in Egypt, for example? Depends, is the honest answer. Yes, they can be a good idea but you’ll likely pay for the service and especially for any add-ons such as travel insurance. You’ll certainly find them useful in the short-term, at least until you find your feet. By then an Egypt current account is likely to prove a better bet in terms of daily personal banking needs. However, much will depend on your individual circumstances.

Your home bank should be able to help you out with solid advice and at the very least assist you in filling out an account opening form. So when you arrive at your intended destination, whether Egypt or anywhere else overseas, the bank account should be active and ready to use. Click here for more information about setting up an off-shore or international account and for current account options in Egypt.

As well as the short-term benefit already alluded to, offshore or international accounts can also provide greater privacy, a more tax-efficient environment and afford better protection against financial and political instability. They can provide a central home for your money no matter where in the world you live and work. All of these benefits are particularly attractive for high wealth individuals who’ll no doubt be looking for additional specialist investment advice. Given their status, too, they’ll also expect a range of personalised services to go with the account, services usually unavailable to the majority of the bank’s clientèle.

So maybe you’re fortunate enough to be classed as a high wealth individual. Or maybe you’re much like the thousands of other expatriates, earning a daily crust while taking on the challenges of life in a foreign country. So you’ll be looking to open a current account then, complete with all the usual overdraft, monthly statement and debit card facilities. It’s all very much like the onshore account you once had back home.

Even the application process is similar. You’ll need a range of official documentation in order to open an account, whether a current or a savings account. However, the application process may differ slightly from bank to bank. Some may want extra documentation, such as a letter from your last bank and a couple of the most recent statements from the account. So give them a call prior to the visit. Or better still, check out the bank’s website and save yourself a bit of shoe leather. That way you’ll be able to see what else the bank has to offer its customers, such as online banking, loans, insurance products, credit cards and so on.

Minimum documentation required will definitely include passport, work visa and residency certificate. The bank will probably want to see some sort of utility bill, too, an electricity bill for example, showing your name and current Egyptian address. And take along a couple of passport-size photographs which the bank will use for its records. That’s basically all there is to it.

Later on, you might want to consider some kind of longer-term savings account offering a higher rate of interest and therefore a decent return for any money deposited. The only downside will be the limited access to your funds. But that’s a whole different story.

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