There has been a sharp rise in remote working in recent years, which has paved the way for many people to relocate overseas and carry out their work in a new country. Many people are investing in property in St Lucia and relocating here to work, which I believe is a fantastic choice due to the gorgeous climate, beautiful natural surroundings, laid-back atmosphere and the low cost of living. |
Within my network, I know many people who have relocated and continue to conduct business with clients back at home (or in other countries). For the majority, they have found getting paid, dealing with various currencies and taxes to be the most stressful aspect. To alleviate this stress, I encourage any expat who will be handling numerous currencies to set up an international bank account prior to moving. This could save you a small fortune in the long run.
Benefits of an International Bank Account
This account type allows you to easily handle a variety of currencies, transfer funds between accounts in different countries, and even play the exchange rates to boost income. The key benefit is that all of this can be done with minimum fees; this is ideal for professionals who will working with clients based in different countries.
Many banks offer this account type, with some even having dedicated international teams. I would recommend that you to shop around and speak to multiple banks to find the best deals. Be warned, High Street banks offer services for expats, but many have steep fees which should be avoided at all costs. To make the most of your money, this account should be used exclusively for sending/receiving different currencies and for saving.
Opening a Local Account
I also urge you to open a local account shortly after you purchase your property in St Lucia. This should be used for daily transactions and for any cash withdrawals. You can then transfer your income from your offshore account into this one and use it as you need. If you were to continue using your UK bank, you would face hefty currency conversion fees, whilst international accounts may also have charges.
Speak to a Financial Advisor
For the best guidance and support, you should speak to an expat financial advisor. They can inform you on different banks and how to make your money work for you, as well as any tax commitments if you open an offshore account. They can also help you to find an account backed by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS); this will provide you with compensation if you were to lose money.
If you have recently purchased property in St Lucia and you plan on working on the island with clients back home, it is in your best interest to open an international bank account and a local one here. To discuss handling currencies and getting the most out of your hard-earned money, contact me today and I am happy to discuss this topic in more detail.
Adam Gobat is a renowned expert on the Caribbean, with a passion for its culture, history, people and places. His indepth local knowledge and wealth of experience in property in St Lucia are key to the marketing and sales of the luxury villas and penthouses in The Landings, one of the most desirable freehold beachfront developments in the Caribbean.
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