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What It Takes to Be Successful in Offshore Banking Bermuda
Bermuda is one of the top-rated options on the market when it comes to offshore banking. It has always been seen as a tax haven, and it has gained notoriety for the excellent deals offered in terms of tax optimization and banking.

Offshore banking in Bermuda will allow you to optimize your assets. Plus, banking abroad gives you new opportunities. Get used to a different banking system, other quality standards, and different strategies for your business.

With these thoughts in mind, Bermuda is clearly not the only option out there. Different people have different needs. But unlike other similar destinations, Bermuda has always been clean and transparent. While tax-friendly, the jurisdiction has never been involved in any scandals.

There are no leaks regarding those who bank in Bermuda, and the banking segment is stable and reliable. Banks are also used to deal with foreigners, so there should be no difficulties whatsoever. Plus, everyone speaks English.

All in all, if you are interested in offshore banking Bermuda, this article will give you all the details you need. Find out what makes Bermuda such a good destination, but also discover the drawbacks of this opportunity.

A few words about Bermuda​

Located in the Atlantic Ocean, Bermuda is basically a British Overseas Territory. It is independent, though. It is located over 600 miles from the USA and consists of 181 different islands. Obviously, not all of them are inhabited.

The largest and most important islands are connected with bridges, so they look like a massive conglomerate. Overall, Bermuda only covers 21 square miles. The climate is subtropical, yet the country is located in the so-called Hurricane Alley, so it may see some severe weather.

Bermuda makes a decent holiday destination, yet, most people appreciate it for its business sophistication. The country is well appreciated by entrepreneurs and business people looking for asset diversification and tax optimization.

Benefits of offshore banking Bermuda

Bermuda has always been a good destination for those interested in offshore applications. Even in today's society, when many tax havens can no longer stick to their status, Bermuda does something that other jurisdictions do not.

International finance center

Bermuda is one of the top class centers of commerce out there. The business environment is open and friendly to entrepreneurs – both local and international. It has a top notch infrastructure, a good economic climate, and plenty of talent to choose from if you relocate your business there.

There are more business sectors out there, and each of them can make a difference. From HNWI offices, insurance, investment funds, financial services, or electronic commerce, there is something for everyone there.

Over the past few decades, Bermuda has managed to retain its status as a tax haven. Indeed, there are lots of countries that can classify as tax havens, but many of them are losing their capabilities. For instance, along with London (UK) and New York (USA), Bermuda is one of the top three insurance centers.

Excellent technological infrastructure​

Those interested in offshore banking in Bermuda will definitely appreciate the world-class technological infrastructure. Moreover, the modern and secure physical infrastructure is not to be overlooked either. There are countries in Europe struggling to build bridges, while Bermuda has interconnected its islands.

The jurisdiction is excellent for those who want to incorporate companies and join stock exchanges. Interested in the BSX? The globally electronic securities exchange for offshore business people provides access to a plethora of products.

Regulatory excellence
Bermuda is one of the most respected tax havens out there, and for some good reasons – as a financial center, it draws positive attention from all over the world. The country has achieved the coveted EU Solvency II equivalent, which underlines its sophistication and high-quality standards.

Benefiting from great tax benefits, Bermuda has always been in a growth stage. The country has always pushed further and keeps modernizing the infrastructure and legislation in order to meet the latest requests in this industry.

Great balance
The international business segment sees Bermuda with good eyes. It is a well balanced jurisdiction and features a collaborative approach to the introduction of new and modern rules. It is preferred by professionals and those with sophisticated enterprises.

Tax neutrality
This is probably the main reason wherefore you consider offshore banking in Bermuda. You know that this country has zero tax income. There are also no corporate, capital gains, or withholding taxes – hence the tax haven status.

The low tax jurisdiction is excellent for those who want to keep more of their money without breaking the law. The system aims to support the local economy and levels any possible taxes in order to bring money into the country.

Good living standards
Should you decide to move to Bermuda for tax optimization and asset diversification, the bridges connecting islands represent the first sign that this country is not like the Caribbean. In fact, it has a high standard of living, despite its remote location.

The self governing British territory has English as an official language and boosts one of the highest standards of living out there, with great stability, a top notch legal system, excellent education, and impressive healthcare.

As if all these were not enough, the weather is great. Plus, there are plenty of things to do – lots of bars and restaurants, golf courses, world famous beaches and lots of landscapes. It also has coral reefs – something you are less likely to see in the area.

Top notch service providers
Whether you are looking for a bank, a company registration service, an accountant, or wealth management services, you will find exceptional service providers in Bermuda – family offices, trusts, legal advice, insurance, and so on.

The general idea is fairly simple to understand. Bermuda is not an underdeveloped country where you can keep your money by ditching taxes. Instead, you can handle every aspect of your business in a quality country with great services.

International cooperation
Most countries associated with low taxes are seen as bad by developed jurisdictions with robbing governments. Bermuda is a bit different, though. While helping people avoid tax, the country is transparent. You want tax optimization, but you also want an internationally respected country.

This is what makes Bermuda so appreciated. Its transparency and infrastructure stand out. Besides, it has tax partnerships with over 100 countries. It is one of the first countries that adopt the CRS and is rated as a solid first-class home by the OECD.

Business orientation
Bermuda allows immigrating your business and bank accounts. It pays special attention to international clients’ needs in order to promote a welcoming environment. Besides, getting a work permit or residency is much easier than years ago.

Disadvantages of offshore banking Bermuda

Now, offshore banking Bermuda will clearly put you in a safe and respected jurisdiction. However, Bermuda is not for everyone. Nothing is perfect, and this jurisdiction makes no exception either. So, what are the disadvantages of banking in Bermuda?

Fees and expenses
Given the clean reputation and respected profile of this country, expect to pay more to bank there. Therefore, banking fees could put some people off. Even the most basic accounts will cost you around $10 a month for maintenance.

Considering such accounts are normally free all over the world, this expense is quite problematic. The country will not ask for too many taxes, but there has to be a way to make money – since foreigners appreciate local banks, banking fees represent one of the easiest ways.

The government taxes banks, and banks pass these fees to customers – simple as that. You will get top-notch service from highly qualified professionals, though – plus, think about the savings in taxes, so these fees could be worth it.

Illegal misconceptions
Although Bermuda has a top-notch reputation, the truth is having a bank account in a different country is often associated with the necessity to hide money from the government. Bermuda is known as a tax haven, so those who bank there are associated with crime and tax evasion.

The problem is many old-fashioned bureaucrats do not understand too much about wealth management or asset diversification. These myths will not go away too soon, but at the end of the day – who cares? Keep it transparent and honest, and there will be nothing to be concerned about.

Only a few options
The main problem with offshore banking Bermuda is that your options are quite limited. There is not too much to choose from when trying to open an account. There are four major options in Bermuda. The good news is there is not too much research to do, but you can also face some limitations.

On the other hand, if you take a look at other similar jurisdictions, you will see they normally have about 10 banks dealing with foreigners. Bottom line, while quality is great, your options are a bit limited, especially if none of these banks can meet your requirements.

Insignificant deposit insurance
Finally, you might expect the deposit insurance to be quite high, given the fees and expenses associated with offshore banking Bermuda. Well, you will be surprised – Bermuda’s deposit insurance is incredibly low.

In fact, the country did not even offer deposit insurance before 2011. All in all, you will find only deposits up to $25,000 are actually insured. Other countries may provide up to 10 times more than that. Sure, there is not too much risk in the short term, but the lack of insurance could be an issue.

Offshore banking Bermuda – Step by step instructions​

The good news about offshore banking Bermuda is there is not too much hassle. The process is quite straightforward – after all, the country has gained notoriety for catering to international clients’ necessities, so there should be no issues at all.

Choosing the right bank
There are four banks in Bermuda. This is good because at least you do not have too much research to do. It can also be a bad thing if none of them can meet your needs. All in all, deciding on the right bank is probably the most complicated part of the process.

Banks to choose from in Bermuda include:
If you are after something basic that any of these banks can offer, you can choose randomly. There is nothing to be concerned about. However, HSBC Bank Bermuda is common in other countries – those with bad experiences from other countries will probably stay away from it.

All in all, when choosing a bank, you need to do it with your personal expectations and needs in mind. Research each type of account in each bank and find out more about the fees, expenses, limitations, and rules.

If you are not sure about one thing or another, you can get in touch with the customer service. Banks in Bermuda rely on highly trained professionals who can give you some hints about what might work for you. Do all this research before starting the application.

Offshore banking Bermuda done online​

Bermuda is not that easy to access. Isolated in the Atlantic Ocean, it can put a lot of people off. Given its location, it also provides the possibility to open an account remotely – you can do everything over the Internet.

The process is straightforward and easy – you will have step-by-step instructions on what to send and when to do it, one thing at a time. The process is streamlined, so people choose this path even if they are actually in Bermuda.

Just like for any other bank, you need to gather a bunch of documents first. You should normally provide some documentation regarding your identity, references, some statements from your current bank, and the classic proof of address.

Different banks have different requirements. Once you decide on a bank, simply check their list and see what it asks for. Even if you bring in all the required documents, there may still be some additional requests if something is not clear enough.

You can usually submit everything online, yet some people can also choose to do it by post. It takes ages, though, so stick to the online option. Again, it depends on what the bank requires, so you have to double check again.

From that point on, each bank has a different policy, and you will be guided accordingly – procedures may depend on the type of account you are trying to open. Generally speaking, you should be able to wire money in as soon as your application is approved.

Offshore banking Bermuda done in person​

While opening a bank account online is fairly simple and straightforward, some people would rather do everything in person – they can ask all the questions they want and ask for more explanations until everything is crystal clear.

Unlike banks in other jurisdictions, the ones in Bermuda will not disappoint in terms of doing everything online. It makes sense – after all, since it is such an isolated country, banks have come up with a perfect alternative.

With all these, there are situations when offshore banking Bermuda is better done in person.

For example, you will be allowed to open most types of accounts over the Internet, but there might be some exceptions. If you are only after a classic savings account, there should be no issues at all. But if you want something more sophisticated that implies huge amounts of money, going there is a must.

Then, it also depends on how sophisticated your offshore strategy is. Some people keep things simple – others are after a more complex scheme. The more sophisticated your case is, the more documents you will be asked for. You will keep going back and forth.

With these thoughts in mind, doing everything in person could be a better choice.

Last, but not least, if you are offshore banking in Bermuda with the idea to retire there at some point, maybe this is the right opportunity to visit this beautiful country and get used to it. It makes a good holiday destination and there are lots of things you can do in there – beaches, bars and great entertainment.

Top banks in Bermuda explained​

Having access to four banks only would not require too much research. Sure, the list could grow longer in the future, but at the moment, you only have four options. Here are a few details you should know about each of them.

Based on Moody, the local banking system has a high credit quality and good asset quality. Liquidity is part of the game too, so the system is considered stable. Local banks are regulated. There are no more options because local laws are quite strict regarding foreign banks coming over and operating locally.

Bermuda Commercial Bank
The Bermuda Commercial Bank has been operating since 1969. It is part of the Somers Limited conglomerate and acts like a subsidiary. This is the only bank in Bermuda that has specialized in high networth people, corporate and commercial services.

Just like other local banks, it is regulated by the monetary authority in Bermuda. It provides access to a bunch of different services and products – such as checking accounts, treasury services, electronic banking, credit cards, fixed deposit accounts or drafts, among many others.

Running with less than 100 employees, the bank had assets worth $780 million in 2017. Back in the day, the institution was known as the Bermuda Provident Bank, but it has successfully reinvented itself over the past years.

Clarien Bank
Those who have banked in Bermuda decades ago may remember the Capital G Bank. This is the former name of the Clarien Bank. The institution operates as a subsidiary of CHW Limited, which merged with the Capital G Bank. The merge occurred in 2014, hence the name change.

The bank has been around since 1975 and is headquartered locally – Hamilton. It is mostly specialized in lending services, such as residential mortgages and lending of real estate. However, clients can also opt for personal and business banking.

The bank offers access to both debit and credit cards. With around 200 employees, the bank is privately owned and had a total income of over $55 million in 2016. Having limited options in Bermuda ensures current banks run on profit.

Butterfield Bank
Butterfield Bank is a classic option in Bermuda. Established in 1858 and headquartered in Hamilton, this is the oldest banking institution in the country. It is also listed on the stock exchange and covers around 40% of the overall market share in Bermuda.

Butterfield Bank has also expanded internationally and can serve areas like Switzerland, the Cayman Islands or Bahamas. It is regulated locally and provides access to services in other tax havens, making it easier for those who want to transfer their wealth.

There are about 1,200 people working for this bank, which has assets worth around $11 billion.

HSBC Bank Bermuda
When it comes to total assets, HSBC Bank Bermuda is only overcome by the Butterfield Bank. It was established in 1889 and represents one of the oldest local banks. The name was given in 2004, after HSBC (UK) acquired the banking institution.

It counts more than 1,200 employees and offers a wide range of services. It excels in wealth management, business, and commercial banking. Other than that, it covers more than 40% of the total deposits on the island.


As a short final conclusion, offshore banking Bermuda is not as sophisticated as it may seem. From many points of view, Bermuda is the most appreciated tax haven in terms of professionalism, services, and quality standards.

Indeed, there are only four local banks, but each of them stands out. Find one that can meet your needs, and you will be pleasantly surprised by the professional services. Make sure you truly understand what each account comes with, though – from fees to actual restrictions.

At the end of the day, it makes no difference if you want to relocate to Bermuda, diversify your assets or just optimize tax by transferring your business there. The good news is you do have options, but you have to plan everything in small details.