Not that long ago, offshore banking truly only was for the super-wealthy because only they had the means to jet off to the Bahamas or Cayman Islands every time they needed to make a transaction. Registered agents could be used for handling the offshore accounts, but even with their help a trip to the offshore center was usually required.
Now, you can open an account at just about any international bank without ever leaving your home. All it takes is a few notarized documents and you’ve got remote banking in the country of your choice.
In some offshore banking centers, such as Belize, you can manage your accounts completely online. However, depositors should realize that remote banking does have its limitations. It is recommended that offshore depositors get a registered agent.
Defining the Scope of the Registered Agent
When assigning a registered agent to handle transactions on your behalf, it is critical that you specifically define which types of transactions the agent can complete. Most international banks will already have these limitations in place, such as requiring notarized confirmation from you for large transactions. Further, it is important that you define exactly how and when communication will take place with the agent.
Most of the communications with the banking agent will likely be done via email. However, most depositors should ensure that there is an open line of direct communication as well, such as phone or even in-person contact.
Be Wary of Remote Banking for Privacy
While remote banking does make life much easier, be aware that digital transactions can easily be traced. The IRS most definitely has high-level hackers on staff who intercept data between depositors and their foreign banks. If banking secrecy is of top concern, then you need to visit your bank directly and/or assign a registered agent to handle transactions discreetly.