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Cyprus Expat Savers Hit By Legalised Bank Robbery.

LONDON, March 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

Under threat of a total collapse of the banking system, the Cypriot government has agreed to institute a penalty of up to 9.9% on funds held in bank accounts on the island.

The details of the move are still being finalised but it is estimated that 59 000 members of the expatriate community stand to lose up to [pounds sterling]170m.

Despite timing the announcement on the eve of a bank holiday there are growing fears amongst expats that an eventual run on the banks may be inevitable. James O'Connor, an expat retiree living in Limassol, told Which Offshore, "We are all extremely worried. I put my retirement nest egg in a Cypriot bank account and thought it would be safe as it's in the EU.

"It is a scandal that my money is going to be taken from me through no fault of my own."

Which Offshore has consistently warned about this very possibility. Expats are always advised to hold funds in a safe jurisdiction such as the Isle of Man where a low proliferation of lending banks means that assets are extremely safe.

There is now major concern that the contagion will threaten the millions of expat retirees in the similarly exposed economies of Spain, Portugal and Italy.

The wealth management community is stressing that now more than ever it is vitally important to seek professional expat focussed financial advice when planning for retirement or transferring a UK pension offshore through a Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS).

Michael Brinksman, Online Content Editor at Which Offshore said, "Expert advice has always been that expats looking to secure their financial future need to take advantage of their offshore status.

"There is no excuse for leaving your hard earned cash in a vulnerable institution when it could be put to work in a secure and tax efficient offshore jurisdiction."

For more information on Which Offshore please contact Michael Brinksman, Online Content Editor. Email:

Which Offshore is an online consumer resource for those seeking information and advice pertaining to matters related to expatriate life and offshore finance. A fully independent not-for-profit organisation, our website provides an information hub full of news, guides and advice to help expats manage their work and money matters.

Whether you are a retiree seeking a quieter lifestyle, a younger person taking on a new challenge or a family in search of a better environment to raise children, Which Offshore is your first resource for the valuable and independent information you need to know.

SOURCE Which Offshore
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Publication:PR Newswire
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Mar 18, 2013
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