If you’re a new expat and considering what the best way is to manage your money, here's some alternatives to regular banking.
22 June 2017| Last updated on 27 June 2017
When moving abroad, you have so much going on that you need to think about, so it’s easy to forget about the important aspects, such as setting up a new bank account. There is more to consider than just where your company will put the money and what you will do with it once you have it. You need to consider long-term factors such as savings, tax and investments.
Home country banking
Maintaining a bank account back home seems to be a convenient way for some expats to manage their money overseas as it allows them to settle transactions from their home countries and Oman using a range of currencies.
Having a variety of currencies available to expats has proved beneficial because it is common for a lot of them to have remaining financial commitments back in their home country, such as investments which need to be paid for in the currency of the country that they banked with prior to moving abroad.
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Another benefit of keeping a bank account back home is that it reduces the stress of potential political instability in particular regions or countries. If you hold an bank account elsewhere, you are able to manage the risk of the fluctuations in the exchange rate.
For example, your company may pay you in riyals but due to your financial commitments at home, it will make converting your money very expensive. To prevent this from happening, if you have money in your account that is in both currencies then you will not be at risk of wasting you money due to the conversion rate.
Another option of banking is to open an International Bank account which most UK bank accounts will offer. A majority of bank accounts will allow users to manage foreign currency quickly and efficiently, however this does often come with either a monthly or annual fee.
Once you have set up this account, most banks will offer telephone support and online banking to ensure your access to your finances is easy and you’re getting paid properly without the need for currency management.
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However, this does not mean that you won’t be exposed to fluctuations in the exchange rate as well as a fee for transferring between accounts. Many people will choose this option over another because you will have the comfort of knowing that you are banking with your own home country, so if you have any issues then you won’t have any language barrier issues when trying to solve it.
On the other hand, the drawback of an International bank account is that the interest rates are low meaning long term saving will be challenging.