British expats turn to Web banking - A&L

Source: Alliance & Leicester

More expats than ever before are turning to the web to manage their finances.

Research by the offshore savings bank, Alliance & Leicester International Limited (ALIL), has found that 92 per cent* of expats use online banking to keep their finances in check - yet seven in 10 are missing out on the benefits of an offshore savings account.

Ever increasing access to the online world means it is effortless for people living abroad to keep an eye on news, family and friends and, as ALIL's research shows, most importantly their finances. The survey reveals the main benefits of banking online for expats include being able to access their funds anytime, anywhere (41%) and access to better rates online (26%).

However, although there is a high proportion of expats using the internet for banking, only a third (30%) are using it to access an offshore savings account. Therefore 70 per cent of expats are missing out on the benefits of saving offshore, such as access to superior rates of return, the ability to hold or send funds in a range of currencies other than Sterling and to plan their tax affairs in a way that is relevant to the country in which they live or work.

Simon Hull, Managing Director of Alliance & Leicester International comments: "With internet access now so readily available, offshore consumers should take advantage of internet banking and saving. As well as offering speedy transfers and an up-to-date snapshot of your finances, the offshore banking and savings market is quickly developing many of the online facilities already available from its onshore counterparts."

ALIL's research found that 70 per cent of expats look for an account offering online capabilities when it comes to selecting an offshore savings provider.

Across Europe internet usage is on the increase, 54 per cent of households accessed the web in the EU27** during the first quarter of 2007, compared with 49 per cent during the first quarter of 2006. In 2007, the highest proportions of households with internet access were recorded in Iceland (84%), the Netherlands (83%), Sweden (79%) and Denmark (78%). The lowest levels were registered in Belgium (10%), Bulgaria (19%), Romania (22%) and Greece (25%).

Simon Hull continues: "24-hour access to money is a necessity for most expats. The eSaver Offshore accounts have unique online functionality. It provides expat customers with access to a great rate in a secure online environment, that helps them both manage and set up their account more quickly and easily than any other offshore online account."

Alliance & Leicester International's eSaver Offshore is the first and only offshore savings account to offer an online application process without the need for a 'wet' signature, so setting up an eSaver Offshore savings account could not be easier. By allowing customers to both set up and manage their accounts online, eSaver Offshore guarantees access to funds anytime and anywhere in the world, in addition to a highly competitive rate of interest of 6.51% gross/AER on balances of £1,000 to £1 million.

*Research carried out on, Expat Network and British Expats. Almost 750 expatriates were asked their opinions on moving abroad, savings accounts and their savings habits during June and July 2007.

**Survey from Eurostat.

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