Discover the best countries to open an offshore bank account for financial security and growth

Gabriela Peratello

Offshore banking offers options for individuals and businesses to hold money in other countries, accessing alternative account products and services which can support financial security and growth.

The best country to open a foreign bank account comes down to your own personal preferences and requirements. But starting with some of the best countries for offshore banking will make it far easier to research and select the right one for you.

This guide covers some of the top offshore account countries, and also introduces Wise as an alternative provider if you’re looking to securely receive, hold, send or spend funds in a foreign currency.

Learn more about Wise

Offshore bank account overview

Opening an account with an offshore bank simply means holding an account in a foreign country, usually as a non-resident there.

Different countries, and different banks, have their own rules about offering accounts and services to foreign customers, which means it’s easier to open an offshore account in some places compared to others.

Offshore banking can give you access to different account products compared to the US — but you’ll need to invest time in research to make sure your account is secure, as you won’t get FDIC insurance as you would with most banks here.

We’ll get into things to think about when researching the best countries to open an offshore bank account in just a moment — first some pros and cons of offshore banking in general:

✅ Pros❌ Cons
  • Hold your money in more than one country and currency to diversify and spread risk

  • Access different account types which may offer better returns compared to USD accounts

  • Some countries have enhanced customer and privacy protections

  • Non-resident accounts aren’t always available, particularly for US customers

  • You’ll need to do due diligence checking to ensure the country and bank is secure and stable

  • FDIC insurance doesn’t cover overseas deposits

What to consider when choosing a country to open an offshore bank account in?

Offshore banking shouldn’t be a great mystery, but it does come with some important considerations. There’s no single best country to open an offshore bank account — so it’ll come down to your personal preferences and requirements. That means doing your homework is crucial. Here are some things to think about:

  • Check the country and banks you’re considering can offer offshore services to US citizens and residents — not all can

  • Only consider countries and currencies which are politically and economically stable

  • Look for banks which have high customer ratings and trust, as you’ll be navigating a new system

  • Check if the banking system in the country you choose has an FDIC equivalent

  • Make sure you understand tax implications of offshore banking, both in the country you select and at home

Keep your money safe, wherever you are: get a Wise Account

Wise is not a bank, but a Wise account is a secure alternative if you’re looking to hold, send or spend money in foreign currencies.

Wise is licensed and overseen by regulatory bodies in the US and a range of other countries globally, and has industry level security in place, so you know your money is safe wherever you may be.

Plus with a Wise account you can:
  • Hold, send and spend 50+ currencies

  • Get a linked debit card for spending and withdrawal in 175 countries

  • Open local account details for 10 currencies to get paid fee free

  • Exchange currencies with the mid-market exchange rate

  • If you're an US resident, you can opt in to earn interest with Wise's interest feature and benefit from FDIC passthrough insurance on USD balances (subject to change, certain limitations apply — see Program Agreement for more information)

Use a Wise Account to manage your everyday finances in dozens of currencies, and send low cost transfers to banks around the world, with the mid-market exchange rate every time.

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Please see Terms of Use for your region or visit Wise Fees & Pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information

What are some of the best countries to open offshore bank accounts in?

If you’ve decided that offshore banking is right for you, then the next step is to decide where in the world you might open an account. Let’s look at some of the best countries to open offshore bank accounts to help you pick the right one for you.


🏆 Best for: Banks with both high customer protection, and great customer reviews

Switzerland is synonymous with offshore banking thanks to its long-standing reputation for safety and privacy.

In fact, Switzerland has a sophisticated and diverse banking system that’s regarded as one of the best in the world, plus a strong and stable currency and economy.

There are plenty of banks to choose from in Switzerland, depending on whether you want an offshore bank for yourself or your business — and the good news is that Switzerland has an impressive 15 banks on the Forbes® list of the world’s best banks in 2022¹, voted for by customers.

Switzerland has strict banking regulations to keep customers safe, and a deposit protection scheme² (similar to FDIC insurance).


Singapore has a fast-growing financial center with an advanced banking infrastructure and diverse services.

Singapore is a very stable country with a cosmopolitan mix of residents, which leads to a banking industry that’s well attuned to the needs of foreign clients. 3 Singapore banks feature in the Forbes best list¹ for customer service.

If you’re concerned about security, Singapore is a good bet. There are 3 Singapore based banks in the Global Finance Magazine’s® top 15 safest banks in the world for 2022³, and a government backed deposit insurance scheme² protecting customer funds.

Hong Kong

🏆 Best for: Selection of products with easy accessibility and English speaking services

Businesses and individuals pick Hong Kong as a great offshore banking option, thanks to favorable access to the Chinese market, and English-speaking banking services which are internationally minded.

Hong Kong in general has a robust and extensive financial sector, with a deposit insurance scheme² in place covering most major banks.

If you’re looking for the safest bank in Hong Kong, it helps to know that Hang Seng Bank® came in top in Hong Kong on the Global Finance Magazine listing³, at 8th safest bank in Asia.

Cayman Islands

🏆 Best for: Ease of access and favorable taxation

Offshore banking in the Cayman Islands is renowned for asset protection and privacy, plus a client focused approach which allows for a simple account opening process for non-residents.

One of the big draws for Cayman is that there’s no capital gains or income tax, which means it’s considered a tax neutral location⁴.

Don’t forget, though, that income can still be taxed elsewhere in the world depending on your citizenship and residency, so you’ll still need to do your research to stay on the right side of the law.


Popular thanks to its stable political and economic environment, Belize also offers generally low minimum deposit requirements, and favorable banking regulations for non-residents.

You can choose to open an account in a range of major currencies, and at times at least, Belize banks have offered some attractive interest earning opportunities, too.

Interest rates, however, do change a lot over time, so you’ll need to double check the details of account packages available when you sign up.


If you have specific offshore account needs, here are a few more options

Some less commonly known destinations can still be great offshore banking options. Let’s look at a few more, in case you’ve not yet found the right match.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)

UAE is another popular destination in no small part because it’s a zero-tax jurisdiction.

However, if you’re looking for an offshore bank for yourself or your business, it’s also a smart one to consider thanks to its advanced banking infrastructure and popular, secure providers.

UAE has 7 banks in the Forbes list of the best banks in the world¹ according to customers — and 4 of the top 10 safest banks in the Middle East, according to Global Finance Magazine³.

Cook Islands

The Cook Islands have been seen as a leader in offshore services for over 40 years, particularly for customers looking for asset protection trusts and limited liability companies.

Cook Island banks and brokers have been dealing with expat clients for so long they’re very easy to work with, and the offshore industry is sufficiently important to the Cook Islands as a whole that it’s well respected and well regulated, offering both security and ease of service.


🏆 Best for: Businesses and individuals looking for European e-residency

Estonia offers attractive access to European markets, with low corporate tax rates and fast and easy ways to set up a business and register as an e-resident.

Digital services are absolutely the norm in Estonia, so you can expect easy online account opening and management, and secure ways to manage your finances, pay your business taxes and more.

Finally, Estonia has a deposit insurance and protection scheme² in place, so your money will be kept safe.

Best practices for offshore banking for Americans

So, there you have our rundown of 8 of the best offshore banking options around the world.

Picking the right one for you is a very personal decision, so you’ll need to invest time in comparing providers and accounts to get the best match for your needs.

Here are a few things you’ll need to think about as part of the decision making process:

  • You’ll need to thoroughly research banking laws and protections in the countries you’re considering

  • Understanding local regulations and requirements is essential — particularly as a US citizen, as some banks can’t offer services to US citizens and residents

  • Work with a reputable financial advisor or service provider to get the professional advice you need while picking an offshore location

  • It’s important to ensure tax compliance both in the offshore destination, and in your home country or country of residence — international tax advisers will cost you money, but give peace of mind

With careful thought, offshore banking can be a good choice to promote financial security and growth, diversifying your assets and spreading risk.

Use this guide to help you pick the right offshore destination for you, and check out Wise as a simple banking alternative to help you manage your international finances with low costs and easy, intuitive services.


  1. Forbes — World’s Best Banks 2022
  2. IADI — International Association of Deposit Insurers
  3. Global Finance Magazine — world’s safest banks 2022
  4. Thomson Reuters — Cayman tax

Sources checked on 04.25.2023

This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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