Say that I'm a citizen of country A, I want to save all my personal savings (obtained in A legally) in another country B (I don't care about the currency, as long as it's relatively stable), and I cannot open a bank account in B (Most of B's bank require you to be a B's citizen of some sort, or in the case of Bank Of America, it requires you to visit a physical branch to open a NRA account which I cannot do given the Covid-19 situation), however I can open a international broker account (those for trading stocks, funds etc).

My question is:

  • is it possible to use such a broker account as a saving account?
  • is it legal to do so?
  • what's the downside?
  • is there other method to allow me to secure my personal saving? (USD/gold withdrawed/purchased from A's bank are unacceptable, I have trust issues with A's bank - this may sound insane :( )

I'm ok with fees, the reason I'm doing this is that I don't have confident in A's economy, the inflation has already started.

I don't have experience in tradings, and I'm not interested in it, just want so secure my savings.

Things I've tried and failed:

  • bank (that is not controlled by A) account of US, require you to be a citizen of some sort, or to be present is a US local branch
  • TranserWise, debit card is not available in my country
  • Zenus, there is long waiting list

Preferably B should not be US.

  • 4
    I expect it will very much depend which A and B you are talking about
    – AakashM
    Oct 5 '20 at 8:45
  • maybe you're looking for something like goldmoney.com, bullionvault.com ??
    – Fattie
    Oct 5 '20 at 9:59
  • I've not looked at many brokers' Ts&Cs, but I seem to remember seeing that some brokers don't allow (or at least discourage) holding cash for lengthy periods. As a staging-post between selling one lot of investments and buying another... fine. For long term savings, perhaps not.
    – TripeHound
    Oct 5 '20 at 16:38
  • You won’t be able to do this if you’re a US citizen. The US regulates overseas accounts held by its citizens so harshly that no one will set up an account for a US citizen in any country in which they’re not resident.
    – Mike Scott
    Nov 5 '20 at 11:01
  1. Yes you can buy Short Term Bond ETF, Money Market Fund, participate in "overnight deposit sweep", or park everything as cash if the broker offers interest to you.
  2. If both country A and B are signatories of Common Reporting Standard, when filling in W-8BEN or the equivalent CRS Self-Certification form of the broker in country B, you must fill in your National Tax ID of country A if you are a tax resident of country A. That way, your account information is automatically and electronically send to the tax authority of country A.
  3. Lack of face-to-face customer support from country B, wire transfer fee, currency conversion spread, high litigation cost in the event of dispute. 40% Estate Tax withheld by USA for US investment upon death, ~10% refunded after filling IRS forms, net 30% Estate Tax. In the event of broker insolvency, US Securities Investor Protection Corporation only covers first $250,000 cash.
  4. International bank from country B with branch presence in country A can remotely "introduce" you to the main branch at country B, provided that you have sufficient initial deposit at country A (e.g. USD$250,000).

This answer was written before the author stated that US is not preferred.

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