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 What does offshore mean?

You may have heard the term "offshore" in relation to investments or some sort of insurance – but what exactly does offshore mean? First of all it could be any type of investment, such as a bank account or a collective investment, or insurance product.

There is however no definitive definition of the term “offshore” but it is generally accepted to mean one of a number of locations which are major financial centres such as:

  • Isle of Man

  • Guernsey

  • Jersey

  • Dublin

  • Bahamas

  • Bermuda

  • Gibraltar

  • Luxembourg

  • British Virgin Islands

There are in fact a number of other countries and territories which are well known as offshore financial centres.

Offshore investments and protection – the advantages

  • Most are low, or no tax charged environments

  • Able to offer different types of investments and insurance

  • Offer confidentiality

Not all offshore centres are the same

Some offshore financial centres have limited regulation and financial security, whilst others offer financial protection which is as good, and sometimes better than the world’s main financial centres.  

Economic and political stability is another issue to consider when considering which company to use if you’re thinking of investing offshore. Only consider using a specialist offshore independent financial adviser and ensure it only uses companies based in economically and politically stable offshore centres such as Guernsey, Isle of Man, Jersey, Gibraltar etc.

Many offshore investment and insurance companies are subsidiaries of large financial institutions, although they are run as a separate business, so your information remains confidential, but secure. The parent company will of course have its reputation to protect too.

Here are some examples of offshore companies and the location where they are based which are ultimately owned by large international financial institutions. There are in fact 100s of similar companies.

Barclays Bank International Isle of Man
Canada Life International Isle of Man
Cater Allen Jersey
Friends Provident International Isle of Man
Generali International Guernsey
HSBC Bank International Isle of Man
Lloyds TSB Offshore Isle of Man
Royal Skandia Isle of Man
Scottish Life International Isle of Man
SFM Fund Managers Luxembourg
Zurich International Isle of Man

So if you’re an expatriate, and want to know more about offshore products or want to speak to an  offshore independent financial advisers, then contact us - free and without obligation on +353 874 641 868 or contact us online. is a marketing website which will put you in touch with an offshore independent financial adviser. does not provide financial advice and is not reSponsible for any advice you receive.


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