Banking advice issued for international movers
International movers relocating to another country have been warned of another thing they need to bear in mind alongside the more obvious headaches.
Andrew Wood, executive director of financial advisers PFS International, has suggested that increasingly expats are failing to keep enough money in bank accounts and are being charged excessive fees because of it.
Speaking to the Telegraph, Mr Wood said that by failing to keep a close eye on accounts, be they in their original country or their new country of residence, expats could find themselves facing a small fortune in fees.
Many banks include minimum balance requirements and if accounts fall below that level then the bank can make fixed charges for each month the account is open.
The newspaper states that these fees can vary between US$20 (£12) and $40 (£24) per month.
Mr Wood said: “Minimum required balances vary a great deal. I am aware of some banks in Jersey who require $50,000 or more, which in my view is very unreasonable.
“The key factor when managing expat banking is to ensure that you have the accounts you actually need and that you then use them to your own best advantage to ensure that you manage your affairs effectively.”
Those moving to Asia will need to pay even closer attention, Mr Wood says, with the minimum balances there potentially even higher for foreign currencies.
He added: “If you had a minimum requirement of $50,000 and you let the balance fall below that, to say $45,000, you may be charged $25 per month, or $300 per year.
“That is expensive banking when you consider that your account may have very little movements.”
According to the publication, the interest paid by banks globally at the minute is so small that very high balances are needed in order to offset even the simplest international transfers.
Many expats choose to keep bank accounts open in the country they are moving from as well as opening new accounts in their chosen country upon moving overseas.