The preliminary results of Lloyds’ and Just Landed’s Expat Banking Poll are in, bringing a couple surprises with them.
So far respondents have shown a strong desire for more secure investments, even if it means sacrificing returns. This extends from investment portfolios down to current and savings accounts.
For instance, while 63% of expats said they trust their bank at home “completely,” only 54% said the same for their bank abroad. Similarly, 28% of expats said they didn’t trust their bank where they lived at all–just 23% had no trust in their bank at home.
The poll’s Facebook page provided some additional insight with several additional questions. One asked whether expats would sacrifice interest if it meant keeping their money safe. 69% said yes–another 19% said yes but on the condition that other bank charges were lower.
Unsurprisingly, a majority of expats also indicated they would rather keep their money in British pounds than euros. More interesting was that many prefer the euro to the US dollar. Given a choice between British pounds, euros, gold, US dollars, Indian rupees, Australian dollars and “maybe spending,” 18% of expats picked euros as their investment of choice. Only 6% said the same for the dollar.
Our 3 key takeaways so far:
- Expats prefer dealing with either banks at home or international banks. We suspect communication and cultural differences play a big role in this. After all, it’s hard to trust a banker with your money if you have a hard time just speaking to him.
- Financial security is important to expats. We know, we know, security is important to everyone. But expats seem to value security more than returns. Hence, they will gravitate toward low-yield accounts if they perceive those banks are significantly safer.
- Surprisingly, expats aren’t rushing to get their money out of Europe. Financial crisis or no, expats aren’t making a mass exodus to dollar-denominated investments. At the end of the day though, the question remains: is Europe safer than we think… or are there simply no safe havens left?