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Cayman’s Offshore Banking Sector Shows First-quarter Growth

By Michael Klein   In the first quarter of 2020, the assets and liabilities of Cayman Islands banks both increased for the first time in years.   The number of resident banks declined to 124 at the end of March, down from 125 at the end of 2019 and 133 at the end of 2018. But banking assets grew from US$662.7 billion to $727.5 billion in the first quarter and corresponding liabilities jumped from $662.2 billion to $723.9 billion, Cayman Islands Monetary Authority statistics show.   Since the financial crisis in 2007, cross-border assets and liabilities reported by banks licensed in...

Offshore Bank Accounts - Account Opening

By Gerard Field   As a CEO of an international private bank, I find clients will spend much time and effort in selecting the right offshore jurisdiction for them taking into account the legal framework, regulations and whether the jurisdictions meet their individual requirements for what they require to be that asset protection, privacy, and strength of regulator to name a few key areas.     Once jurisdiction has been selected then a review of the banking partners that are available will be a key determinant of using that jurisdiction. Considerations will include how strong the bank is in terms of a...

The Future of International Private Banking in the Next "Normal"

By Cheyenna Calderon   COVID-19 has impacted all aspects of life and many of the changes it has brought will be here to stay. Private Banks post-COVID are being called on to reinvent themselves and become more agile and responsive in order to thrive in this new world. For international families and corporate entities that utilize private banks and have assets and interests in offshore jurisdictions like the Cayman Islands, COVID has brought on some enhanced expectations that Private Banks and their Bankers need to meet going forward.   According to the 2020 McKinsey Affluent, Private, and HNWI Customers’ Insights Survey, clients are...

Luxembourg Strengthens Status as Offshore Renminbi Centre

Grand Duchy has become a preferred destination for funds investing in China The friendship between Adolphe Franck, a Luxembourgish railway worker, and Mao Zedong, founding father of the People’s Republic of China, was the foundation for four decades of close relations between the world's most populous nation and one of its smallest. Franck, an ardent communist, met the Chinese Communist party leader many times for business, sharing his patents on steam locomotives and rising to national fame across China. In 1979. the Bank of China chose the Grand Duchy as the location for its first overseas branch, a move that...

Eight Offshore Banking Trends

1. Greater Emphasis On Asset Protection   With uncertain economic situations in many parts of the world, it's only natural for people to look for ways to protect their assets from erosion. Choosing to place those assets in settings that are holding up well during the pandemic is a smart move.   That's where offshore banking comes into the picture. Opting for savings, checking, time deposit, and other accounts based in a nation that appears to be weathering the pandemic well translates into greater financial security. Expect more people to set up international accounts for this reason.   2. Financial Technology Continue...

Fluency in Mandarin Becomes Key to Hong Kong Bankers' Success

Experienced expats lacking language skills for mainland Chinese clients shut out HONG KONG -- In a sign of changing fortunes in Asia's financial hub, it took almost a year for one experienced foreign private banker in Hong Kong to land a job after he was let go by his previous employer in early 2019.   The reason: most employers said they preferred -- and were easily hiring -- Mandarin speakers for such positions.   The banker, who is originally from the U.K. and has more than a decade of experience in wealth management in Hong Kong, was stunned when companies...

Digital Dollar To Be ‘In Competition’ With Bitcoin

Digital dollars and central bank digital currencies are fast becoming a reality, with China this month reportedly expanding a pilot program for its digital yuan.   While the U.S. has barely even begun thinking about a digital dollar, its potential implications have generated extensive debate, with a former governor of the Reserve Bank of India, Raghuram Rajan, saying bitcoin and Facebook's libra cryptocurrency may eventually be "in a competition" with central bank digital currencies.   "I would like to think that [bitcoin and libra] are also in competition with the central bank digital currency," Rajan, who served as the International Monetary Fund's chief economist before...

Crypto Yuan Will Meet the Dollar

A major battle in the U.S.-China financial cold war could be fought over a decades-old currency peg. Money is whatever people will use to swap, store, and measure value. Since 1846, Hong Kong residents have relied on notes issued by commercial banks. And for almost four decades, they have been safe in the knowledge that 78 units of the local currency would always fetch 10 U.S. dollars. That certainty has spawned a globally competitive financial center.    But change is on its way. The people of Hong Kong may be asked to try out a new kind of money. Whether they bite could decide the outcome of a great superpower rivalry.  A digital renminbi trial will start in Hong Kong, according to China’s Commerce Ministry,...