You push the button on your computer and it beeps; the hard drive fails to whir, the screen remains dark and login screen fails to appear. Hopefully, you have never experienced this, but chances are you have and you know the feeling that stirs deep down in your gut. Your mind starts racing. Did I backup my files? When did I backup my files? Where did I backup my files? A hard drive failure can strike fear into the heart of even the most astute user. What if the problem wasn’t with your computer but was instead with your bank account?
I’m not necessarily talking about a bank failure, although that would really get one’s pulse rate rocketing. I’m talking about a government making a decision to prevent citizens from certain countries (cough, United States, cough) from maintaining an existing account or opening a new one. It could even be something much simpler such as a bank’s inability to receive or send funds. For any of a myriad of possible reasons (regulatory changes, correspondent banking problems, technical difficulties or even the weather,) the result could be that you are unable to get at your funds, or worse, you are forced to take possession of your funds. Regardless of the reason you must make sure that you have a banking redundancy plan.
Now, I’m quite sure if you are reading this that you either have an international bank account or you have considered opening one whether for yourself or your international company. I’m also confident that if you have attended an international conference where you may remember hearing someone mention something about making sure you have “more than one international bank account just in case something happens.” I also presume you understand the adage “don’t have all of your eggs in one basket.” Under either circumstance and, just like the computer hard drive failure, until you encounter the problem, you may fail to realize how inconvenient, problematic or critical the results can be.
We all know the benefits of having our international accounts in the first place; privacy, protection and, yes, even redundancy. In this case, the redundancy is to protect ourselves from the possibility of bank problems in our place of permanent residence. It is this exact reason one should take care to ensure that their international accounts have a “backup plan.”
For those who are using an international account as just a secondary savings account redundancy may not be critical. However, for those using their account to run an offshore business having a backup plan is absolutely critical. Imagine the tax burden of having an international business account that holds a large amount of deferred earnings forced to repatriate the monies simply because there is no place to move them!
Recently, international banking systems have come under tighter scrutiny. With the recent attacks in Paris, London and in the United States authorities have found that the terrorists were funded abroad. These events will certainly increase the intensity of the watchful eye on global banking. This is certain to result in more pain for those of us who are using international banking for all the right reason and following the letter of the law. Without a doubt it is a perfect example of a bad apple spoiling the basket.
For those of you who have bank international bank accounts for backup savings accounts and are able to ride out a small banking storm a second account may not be critical but it still should be considered. For those of us who are using international account to run international businesses, to hold funds for our SDIRA/LLC’s, or that have funds we need to get at on a frequent basis a second international bank account is mandatory. You have been blessed with the foresight to understand the benefits of an international account; follow that up and implement the backup plans needed to prevent your international banking “hard drive” from crashing.
For more information on whether your personal situation dictates a second account, help with opening a second international account and ideas on how to minimize the cost of maintaining multiple accounts feel free to contact Dave via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.