International Banking – Global Bank Account
As more and more people are traveling for long periods of time, whether for work, leisure or retirement, banks are increasingly becoming aware of the need for a worldwide presence. The leader of the pack at this point is HSBC, who advertise themselves as ‘The World’s Local Bank’, but there are others who also provide the service, and most banks now will wire foreign currency to your local bank or credit union. There are advantages and disadvantages to both approaches, and it’s worthwhile spending some time researching your options as the financial savings can be significant.
HSBC, Barclays, other global accounts. These are often very convenient and allow monies to be paid into an account in one country (e.g. salary, pension, etc), and withdrawn in the local currency of your host location. They also have access to your credit history in your home location, and so are fully aware of your financial standing, should you need to borrow money for international use. However, there is a price for this convenience; you are usually expected to have a high minimum income level or asset amount, which have to be held in one of their accounts , which gives them rather more control over your net worth than you light like, and you are somewhat tied in to their products.
As a final note, if you are allocated a relocation consultant as part of your employment transfer package, this is one of those tedious jobs that can be made far more simple by them. And if not, ask for recommendations at work for who they use, and contact the branch in advance – they may have a personal banker who can smooth the way or send paperwork to be completed in advance, and the more that can be done without having to sit in yet another office, the better.