What Is an International Bank Account?


Quick Answer

Any bank account outside the United States is referred to as an international, or offshore, bank account. Since the money in such an account is not held by any American bank, it does not comply with the regulations and laws set by the America’s banking institutions, explains MoneySuperMarket.

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Full Answer

An international bank account allows people who are working or living overseas to access cash. Usually, it is provided by an offshore division of any high-street banking firm in the UK. The offshore bank accounts enable clients to enjoy all the benefits provided by the onshore bank accounts, notes MoneySuperMarket. Just like the holders of current accounts, the owners of offshore accounts are entitled to overdrafts, debit cards and cheque books. The account owners also have the opportunity to select the currency to denominate their accounts. For example, a Spaniard living in the UK may choose to denominate his account in Sterling pounds, or US dollar if living in America, explains MoneySuperMarket. There are certain disadvantages associated with international bank accounts: First, not everyone can own an offshore account: some people are restricted from owning them. Second, many of them direct owners to keep higher minimum balance than current accounts. Third, some accounts demand extra charges including fees for travel insurance or concierge services, explains MoneySuperMarket.

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