I’ve done a lot of work recently for a company that arranges for their clients to conduct their finances in offshore jurisdictions. I must be writing great copy, because I’m starting to believe my own hype: I want an offshore bank account. I WANT ONE SO BAD.
The hilarious thing about this is, I don’t make a lot of money. I don’t make a lot of money by normal checking account standards, let alone the kind of cash one would need to possess in order to logically conclude that an offshore bank account is a sound financial decision.
I’m not sure what about it attracts me so much. It could be the Jason Bourne fan in me; I have previously written about how jazzed I would be if I found a Swiss bank account number embedded in my shoulder that gave me access to a dozen passports and enough currency to say to a perfect stranger, “I’ll give you ten thousand dollars to drive me to Paris.”
I’d actually have to say this, since I don’t drive. But that’s a story for another time.
The self-absorbed, snobby brat in me would love to pull out a completely blank debit card and say, “Oh, this? It’s linked to my anonymous offshore bank account.”
The travel addict in me wants any excuse to make frequent visits Vanuatu, or Mauritius, or the Caymans, or any of the other dozens of offshore havens there are out there. “Sorry, I won’t be available next week. My bank manager in the Seychelles wants to have a word with me.”
A number of offshore tax havens cater specifically to those who have recently come into a lot of money, whether by inheritance or the lottery or whatever. As I’m cranking out page after page of SEO-heavy drivel, I’m fantasizing about calling up this same client one day and saying, “Hi, remember me? I need an offshore bank account – fast.”
The thing I love best, though, is a service that companies like my client offer – the Virtual Office.
For many offshore banking activities, a registered address in that offshore jurisdiction is necessary. Because these companies are establishing themselves as experts in offshore banking, they have offices in these offshore locations that clients can use as official addresses. Which, OK, that’s pretty cool. I imagine – again, with the Bourne thing – Julia Stiles sitting in a charming apartment with a mother of a back room hooked up to every conceivable network on the planet, waiting to collect my L.L. Bean catalogs and letters from my dad.
But they can also send and receive faxes for you; answer a dedicated phone number as if they’re your secretary and either take a message or forward the call to you while you’re on your yacht or whatever; and, should you find yourself needing to completely fake someone out and pretend that your offshore shelf company is in fact operating at that address, you can use their conference room and auxiliary staff.