Expat banking made easy

Written by: Skipton International Posted: 05/01/2021

BLASIA_Skipton_SingaporeBecoming an expat can be an exciting adventure. And it’s important to find a banking partner who can support your needs and keep you connected to home

Over the past 20 years, Asia has become a powerhouse of global growth. Investments in technological breakthroughs and entrepreneurs seizing every opportunity have resulted in countries such as Hong Kong, Singapore and China exploding onto the scene with cutting-edge businesses.

To support this surge, specialist skills have been sought worldwide to keep abreast of evolving trends, resulting in the emergence of numerous expat communities – all of which enjoy the Asian culture and lifestyle.

The Singapore government, for example, is investing heavily in financial technology, or fintech, and businesses are constantly looking to attract foreign expertise and skills in industries such as telecommunications and information technology, as well as finance.

However, when it comes to savings, many British expats prefer to stick closer to home.

Becoming an expat can be a life-changing and exciting event – a whole new lifestyle awaits. However, you may face limited choices for UK savings accounts, as many UK banks and building societies do not accept applications from overseas residents.

Skipton International specialises in providing expat sterling savings accounts, understanding the challenges that expats sometimes encounter, and offering a simple and straightforward process to open accounts.

A range of sterling savings accounts will meet most expat savings needs – easy access, notice and, occasionally, fixed rate bonds – and Skipton’s online service and telephone banking ensures access wherever you might be located in the world.

Based in Guernsey in the Channel Islands, Skipton International is located in one of the world’s most well-established financial centres, and it is no surprise that Skipton has savings customers in more than 100 countries. 

Since the early 1960s, savers from the UK and around the world have chosen to place their money and confidence in Guernsey’s banks.

In the subsequent 50-plus years, those in Guernsey’s banking sector have responded to new cultural and digital trends to ensure that the services they provide are those demanded by savers and their family members.

Individuals who are not resident in Guernsey are not taxed by the jurisdiction. This means that while non-residents can hold cash deposits without incurring any liability to Guernsey income tax, the reporting obligations rest with the individual at their place of tax residency.

Guernsey has legislation to meet the obligations of FATCA and was an early adopter of the Common Reporting Standard (CRS).

BLASIA_Skipton_Caroline and John BrownExpats in Singapore

Caroline and John Brown (pictured) are expats who live in Singapore. Caroline says: “The reason why people value Skipton International is because, as well as having an Asian bank account, it is important to have an account with connections to the UK.

“However, most banks and building societies in the UK are not friendly to having customers who are based overseas. Skipton International is different in that it recognises that people want to retain their connections and does not make it difficult to do so. 

“We appreciate the flexibility and responsiveness of Skipton International compared with traditional banks and building societies. For example, if you want to transfer money between a UK high-street bank and an Asian account, it’s a nightmare, but Skipton does not put obstacles in the way.”

Nigel Pascoe, Skipton International’s Business Development Director, says: “The last decade has seen the world change enormously. With the ongoing Brexit trade deal saga, and the impact of Covid-19, the world remains truly tumultuous.

“Savers have also faced challenging times, with interest rates falling to historic lows. The recent news about NS&I reducing its rates has proven to be extremely disappointing for those who have savings with the provider, including expats who had perhaps assumed their money would continue to earn attractive returns.

“The advantage of saving with Skipton International is that we operate a simple model whereby all decisions are made locally and swiftly. Our aim is to be open and transparent with our customers and we do our best to offer simple and customer-friendly products. We really do understand the expat market and the challenges it can bring.”

The final word goes to Caroline Brown: “My husband and I moved to Asia 10 years ago and have lived in Singapore, Hong Kong, China and Japan.

“We still want to maintain our connections to the UK and one of the frustrations we have experienced here is dealing with UK banks and building societies. 

“On occasions, we have found ourselves unable to complete certain transactions and have had to wait until we have flown back to the UK to see family. This is inconvenient and we have ended up losing out on the best interest rates.

“In the current environment, especially when we cannot fly due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Skipton International has shown that they are different. They are flexible and customer-centric. They understand that we cannot pop into branches or that it is not always possible to wait for something to arrive in the post. 

“Skipton International has enabled us to transfer money quickly and effortlessly between our Asian bank and Skipton. They are an approachable business and we can message our contact at Skipton International at anytime.

“We would highly recommend anyone with a busy lifestyle living overseas to give Skipton International a call and see how they can help you.” 

To find out more, telephone (+44) 1481 730730 or visit www.skiptoninternational.com

• This advertising feature was first published in the Asia Edition of Businesslife in December 2020

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