Why You Should Never Trust Banks With Your Offshore Gold
Offshore Gold is the perfect asset to prevent your wealth being confiscated. The benefits of having an offshore gold stash is that it’s much more difficult for a creditor or government to confiscate and it doesn’t get confiscated by stealth by inflation. Gold is proven to be a safe store of value over 5,000 years. Other assets such as Crypto are great but they don’t have the track record of gold for long term wealth preservation.
Offshore gold is not reportable to your home tax authorities either.
The disadvantage of gold is that it must be stored somewhere. If you’re not going to keep it at home, which is a bad idea, you must have a safe place for it to be stored. There are a few great options for offshore gold storage, but first let’s look at why it’s a bad idea to trust banks with your precious metals. Even offshore banks in reputable jurisdictions can’t be trusted to preserve your assets.
A recent case involving the giant Swiss bank UBS and a German client highlights why you should never trust banks with your offshore gold or other physical assets that can be stored elsewhere more safely. It also shows that Swiss banking discretion and secrecy is largely a thing of the past.
The case centres around a client who was holding 299 ounces of gold, worth around $500,000 with UBS. He deposited the gold with the bank between 2003 and 2007.
In 2014 he asked for the return of his gold. UBS refused to hand it over until the customer provided proof that he had paid tax on the funds in Germany. The client thought he had his offshore gold stash safely stored in a safe place, outside his home country.
The customer refused to provide the proof and UBS terminated the banking relationship. But UBS still wouldn’t return the client’s gold. The customer was forced to take UBS to court in Switzerland to force them to return it.
Now more than 5 years later he still doesn’t have his gold back.
The Swiss court in Aargau initially decided in favour of UBS last year saying that “a dubious business relationship should be assumed” because the customer refused to sign the tax form. The customer appealed against the verdict.
The appeal court in Lausanne overturned the decision of the Court in Aargau and stated that “the Swiss money laundering law is not violated in delivery of the gold”
Even with this verdict the customer still doesn’t have his gold. The judges passed the case back to the lower court to decide how the case should be handled, according to German law.
This case shows that Switzerland has long lost it’s attraction as a money paradise.
So, how do we avoid this scenario occurring. The first thing is pretty obvious.
Never Hold Assets in Your Own Name With a Third Party
Had this UBS customer been following our advice he would have known to store his gold in a non bank facility. He would also know not to have accounts under his own name. Assets should always be owned by an offshore company, which in turn, should be owned by a trust. If this customers gold had been owned by say a Nevis company he could easily have confirmed that all taxes had been paid on his offshore gold. As there are no corporate taxes in Nevis that wouldn’t have been an issue for him.
It was also a bad idea for this customer who was German to bank in neighbouring Switzerland. Just like it’s a bad idea for a Brit to bank in Jersey or The Isle of Man. It’s best to choose somewhere far from home. Better still if they speak a different language from your home country.
Store Your Offshore Gold With Non-Bank Trusted Precious Metals Vaults
There are several precious metals dealers who offer secure storage of their client’s gold. There are vaults in most countries. The Perth Mint in Australia was always one of our favourites. You can buy and store non-allocated gold in Perth, Australia. It also comes with a guarantee from the state government of Western Australia which has a Standard & Poor’s credit rating of AA+. You can see more about the Perth Mint’s government guarantee here.
Bullion Star in Singapore offers secure storage of your offshore gold in Singapore. You can visit the storage facility at any time without an appointment, which is a nice feature. You can find out more here.
Store Your Gold in a Safe Deposit Facility
Safe Deposit Facilities exist in most major cities. It’s important to make sure it’s not connected to a bank. Das Safe in Vienna is one such facility. They used to allow you to open completely anonymous safe deposit boxes with no name and no ID required. Unfortunately they stopped this a few years back. However, you can still rent a safe deposit box under a company name. You could even rent a safe deposit box under the name of a company with bearer shares. In this way the contents of the safe deposit box, like your offshore gold, can be transferred to whoever hold the bearer shares.
Rent a Secure Storage Unit
Another solution is to rent a typical storage unit. You know the ones that are available in most towns and cities where people store their junk? Rent one of those and hide your gold stash in a small safe under a pile of junk. Pay the rent for a few years in advance and make sure it’s well secured. Rent it under the name of your offshore company. Nobody’s going to be looking in one of these places for your hidden treasure.
Have Secure, Secret Hiding Places in Your Overseas Homes
If you own second or third residences overseas you could hide your gold in secret locations within your own property. You can hide gold underground or amongst junk in the attic. You just have to use your imagination to come up with great hiding places. It’s always a good idea to have a decoy safe where you store a little cash and jewellery. That way if your forced to show an intruder to a safe you can take them to the decoy , while ignoring the real safe.
Having a stash of offshore gold is just one tool in your asset protection toolkit. It should, of course be combined with other assets like Crypto currencies and offshore bank accounts. The more diversified you are both geographically and in terms of assets the better off you’ll be in the future.
If you’d like to dive into more detail about asset protection strategies grab a copy of our Special Report – Bullet Proof Asset Protection and learn how you can open top secret bank accounts and secure your assets in the safest jurisdictions around the world. If you have wealth to protect you can’t afford not to have this!