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Which Country is Easiest to Open a Bank Account With Minimal

Discuss working and making a living overseas, starting a business, or studying abroad.

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Which Country is Easiest to Open a Bank Account With Minimal

Post by globetrotter » April 3rd, 2010, 1:43 pm

...With Minimal Hassle?

I want to be able to fly in and tour around for a week or month, walk up to a bank, hand them $1,000 USD and be able to get an ATM card right then and there. This is so that I have assets in multiple locations without having to do the Panama/Isle of Man typical offshore placement of assets. I understand that I don't need to do this just to visit and that is not the point or my goal. I want to have assets spread around the planet with minimal tracking, paperwork, US Government knowledge and hassle.

I want to just fly in, deposit the money, get an ATM card and leave.

If I want to access the money having an international ATM card on the account, one where I can access the money globally, is good but not essential. Wire transfers can move money anywhere if needed.

This is to diversify.

So which countries are easiest? Philippines? Malaysia? Indonesia?

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Post by FuzzX » April 3rd, 2010, 2:25 pm

I'm reading about a bank in Peru that allows foreigners to open bank accounts with just a passport... when I come across the information again, I'll post it. Also I know in Mexico my then girlfriend opened a banananmex bank account under my name somehow and there was also a money market bank that allowed you to store funds, I have no idea how that worked though. I just stick all my money in traveler's cheques while I'm abroad. I once went to an HSBC and they said that I needed to be a citizen to open a local account....which didn't make much sense because I could withdraw money but not deposit it?

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Post by MrPeabody » April 3rd, 2010, 7:15 pm

You may want to consider Canadian Banks. They have cross border plans for Americans. Canadian banks are well-managed, and haven't suffered the insolvency problems of the US banks. Also, the Canadian dollar is starting to stengthen, and could be a safe currency to hold money in over the years.

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Post by Adama » April 4th, 2010, 1:23 am

catameran wrote:You may want to consider Canadian Banks. They have cross border plans for Americans. Canadian banks are well-managed, and haven't suffered the insolvency problems of the US banks. Also, the Canadian dollar is starting to stengthen, and could be a safe currency to hold money in over the years.
Sure, but I do believe if there is a search for assets, the Canadian assets will pop up as quickly as the US ones. I wouldnt use a Canadian bank for asset protection at all. Really Canada is just US-lite, or dare I say, the 53rd US territory.

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Post by Mr S » April 4th, 2010, 6:06 pm

There are a lot of banks in Manila, 1st, 2nd and 3rd tier types. I guess I belong to the 1st/2nd tier ones, they usually want a couple of forms of ID and I'm not sure if you have to be a legal resident or not, which would mean having an ACR card after 59 days or legally working or married. I think the 3rd tier banks don't care about whether your a long term resident or not but I'm not sure how fast you can get an ATM card. I believe they give you the option of having your name on one or not. If you opt not to have your name on the card you could probably have it within a day or two.

Supposedly my ATM cards from BDO and BPI will work with international ATM'S, they do have a Master Card symbol on them, but I've never tried them out to be sure.

They have local HSBC and Citibank branches here which would be good for international traveling but not sure what the requirements are to open an account with them.

If your an American some banks won't open an account because they don't want to deal with the hassle of reporting the interest made to the IRS or something. (technically any banks overseas that have Americans as account holders have to report their deposits to the IRS yearly) So one bank forced me to close my account while my Canadian fellow worker's they did not. I think it's because they are technically an American company (Philam) so they can't really get around it, unlike the regular Filipino banks who don't seem to give a shit.

I think I remember my former Korean boss opened an account with 'Security Bank' and didn't seem to have any issues with them. There are banks all over Manila, there must be over 15 different names spread around you can choose from. There are more banks on every corner here in Manila than convenience stores!
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Your too late!

Post by polya » July 9th, 2010, 9:36 pm

The laws have changed now - in the past you could get an account without showing any ID. Now every bank will want at least a passport & proof of address. However, only $1000 is really not enough to bother travelling to another country to open an account - you should buy pre-paid credit cards, a travelex cash passport or travellers cheques to have such a small amount of money.
If you have more money & want to hide it you will have to start a company & use the company to open a bank account. New Zealand lets you open a company for less than $200 & you don't need to be resident. Then you go to a NZ bank and show your ID & company documents. (I've done this myself - but the hitcg is you need a second NZ person & their tax No. to be a "secretary"). Try Hong Kong company its over $1000 to open a company & I don't know if you need a second person or not.
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