How to apply for an Offshore / Expat Savings Account

Step to step application guide for Offshore Savings / Expatriate Savings

1.       Decide upon the Offshore Savings Account that is right for you

Skipton International (Skipton) provides attractive offshore savings accounts mainly to residents of the Channel Islands and also to British citizen’s resident abroad, supporting their expatriate savings needs. However, you do not need to be a British citizen to apply for these Expat Savings products, but please note we only offer offshore savings accounts in pounds sterling. Please also check that you are not resident in one of the countries we do not support before applying.

Skipton offers a range of variable rate Easy Access and Notice offshore savings products providing varying levels of commitment and Interest Rates. We also frequently offer Fixed Rate savings accounts where the rates of offshore interest are fixed until maturity. All Skipton interest is paid gross, without any deduction of tax. It is your responsibility to declare any offshore interest earned to the tax authorities applying to your individual circumstances. Particularly if you have recently moved overseas it is recommended that you obtain independent advice on the tax treatment of your expatriate savings.

Please note there is no early access to our Fixed Rate and Notice offshore savings accounts, therefore before selecting these please ensure that you are able to commit your funds to maturity or at least be able to provide the minimum amount of notice for withdrawals from your preferred Notice account. Details of maturity dates and notice periods can be found on the individual savings account web pages which may be accessed from the table at the right hand side of the Offshore Savings Page.

Please note that Easy Access and Notice accounts allow you to add further funds at any time or withdraw part of your funds (subject to any required minimum notice period). Fixed Rate accounts only allow funds to be invested at the commencement of the account which must then all be held in entirety until maturity.

Many of Skipton’s offshore savings accounts offer options for the payment of interest either annually or monthly to your nominated UK bank account. The latter option proves particularly attractive to customers who have retired overseas and seek an income from their expatriate savings.

If you might need some, but not all of your savings, in the short term and would prefer a higher return for the remainder then considering opening two different offshore account types might be appropriate for you.  One of our Customer Services team (Tel +44 (0) 1481 727374) will be pleased to discuss your requirements or any other questions you might have.

2.       Complete your application

If you are considering saving with Skipton for the first time please complete our Online Savings Application Form. Existing Skipton customers may complete the shorter Additional Account Opening Form.

Many customers (particularly expatriates) find that providing Passwords for Telephone Instructions enables them to operate their offshore accounts more flexibly, putting amounts on notice or making withdrawals to nominated accounts without any postal delays. However, please ensure that you read and understand the Indemnity within the password section of the Customer Application Form. Also, please note that joint applicants require separate passwords should you select this option.

If you are an existing Skipton customer who would like to set up a password please complete the Password Indemnity Agreement Form.

Please remember to carefully read the Declaration section of the Customer Application Form and to sign the form where requested (we will need signatures of both parties for joint accounts).

3.       Gather supporting documentation

Unfortunately, banks are targeted by criminals to launder the proceeds of crime and understandably internationally there is a strong desire to prevent the global banking system being used for such purposes. Skipton is therefore obligated to verify the identity of each and every one of our customers, an obligation which we fully support and fulfil. Therefore, before any new customer account is opened Skipton must verify identity documents such as passports and proof of address such as utility bills. The Verification of Identity section of the Customer Application Form outlines documents which are acceptable.

If you are an existing Skipton customer we can open another account for you without the need to revalidate your identity or proof of address documentation unless these have changed, for example if you have moved address or changed name.

Having each of your identity documents properly certified by a competent individual is essential to enable your offshore account to be opened.

4.       Decide how you would like to deposit funds

Skipton accepts deposits by electronic transfers (e.g. BACS, CHAPS or SWIFT).

If you wish to transfer funds please wait until advised to do so by Skipton, i.e. when we have successfully opened your savings account and have provided you with your Skipton account number. If you transfer funds before advised your funds will be automatically returned to the originating bank.

If you wish to deposit your initial funds by cheque please include a fully completed cheque made payable to “Skipton International / YOUR NAME” with your completed application form. Once your offshore account has been successfully opened Skipton will cash your cheque. If for whatever reason Skipton cannot open your account your cheque will be returned to you along with the original application documents.

5.       Post your completed Customer Application Form and supporting documentation to Skipton

Please ensure that you have all your documentation in one envelope when you post to Skipton at:-

Skipton International Limited, P.O.Box 509, Tudor House, The Bordage, St Peter Port, Guernsey, GY1 6DS, GREAT BRITAIN.

What happens once I have applied?

1.       Skipton receives and processes your application

Depending upon where you live it could take a few days for your Customer Application Form to reach us in Guernsey. However, we endeavour to process most applications on the day of receipt. In the event that Skipton cannot open an account we will advise you accordingly.

2.       Your savings account is opened

Skipton will confirm your account is opened, include your new offshore account number and advise you how to transfer money to us. At that stage you will be able to transfer funds into your account by electronic transfer.