Mobility – October 2019 - 74

xpats are often rightfully
excited when they get a
new assignment. There's
the adrenaline rush of
adventure, knowing
they're about to travel
and see a new part of the world. There's the excitement of being entrusted by their company with
important responsibilities. And, yes, such opportunities can come highly compensated.
But there's also the challenge of making the most
of that good salary and ensuring that some of it is
not lost to financial missteps. After all, assignees
can find the value of their paycheck plummeting if
there's a drastic currency fluctuation in one of the
countries where they're based. Without the proper
guidance, an expat can risk inadvertently running
afoul of tax laws. Whatever bad financial decisions
people can make in their own country, assume
double or triple the loss if they're straddling their
finances across two or more nations.
Meanwhile, you as a relocation professional aren't
a financial adviser. So, you want to steer your assignees to the experts who can help them. When you do
that, some considerations are in order.
FINANCIAL EDUCATION IS PARAMOUNT.
You may not have the time or the background to explain
to assignees the intricacies of currency fluctuations and
tax compliance, but the financial professionals with
whom you partner should. But just because an expat is
face to face with a teller doesn't mean he or she has been
handed off to the proper professional.
"You can't just take an employee to a local
bank and have them have an account set up,"
says Karen Gerba, head of corporate relocation
lending at HSBC Retail Banking and Wealth
Management, at HSBC Bank, North America,
headquartered in New York City.
To avoid doing your assignee a disservice, you'll
need to vet the bank and make sure it's experienced
in working with global relocations. Unfortunately,
Gerba says, it often falls to the relocation professional to work with the client and make sure the
assignee is paired with a financial specialist such as
a tax or wealth management adviser, because often
the corporations aren't doing it on their own. "For
a lot of large, global companies, it's sort of the last
thing they think about," Gerba says.

74 Mobility | October 2019

Whether the corporation is willing to pay for financial professionals to advise a transferee is another
story, of course. That said, the mobility manager
should, at the very least, find a bank that offers
advice to expats. For instance, Gerba says HSBC Bank
recently debuted a new financial education service
for its corporations, HSBC Financial Wellness Center,
powered by EverFi Inc., a technology education company based out of Washington, D.C. There's a special
section of the website devoted solely to financial
education for expats. It's designed for international
citizens moving to the U.S., but whatever country you
have expats moving to, you want to make sure they
have access to some relevant financial education.
Fortunately, those types of financial institutions are
becoming easier to find. "Financial wellness platforms are really hot right now," Gerba says.
THE FINANCIAL INSTITUTION NEEDS TO
BE EASY FOR EXPATS TO WORK WITH.
There are a lot of reasons for this. For one, if the
bank doesn't have any or many expats, it probably isn't very expat-friendly, and it is likely
going to be more expensive to keep money in its
checking accounts. If it isn't a bank that is familiar
with cross-border international banking, and the
employee is being hit with onerous fees every time
currency is converted or there's a transfer of money
from one country to another, chances are the expat
is going to go on a complaining spree instead of a
preferred shopping spree.
The bank also should offer tools that are easy for
the expat to use. Money is complicated enough in
your own language and country. You shouldn't feel
like a stranger in a strange land at your own bank.
Ideally, look for financial institutions that strike
"the right balance between the convenience of
self-service and a customer-centric, positive experience that gives consumers the help and connectivity
to the unique products, services, and answers to meet
their needs," says Rebecca Macieira-Kaufmann, head
of the International Personal Bank U.S. (IPB U.S.), a
Citibank Business.
She cites the example of Citibank's Global Executive
Banking Package, which allows consumers to upload
any necessary documents and forms digitally, as well
as get real-time account access any time.
"We also provide multilingual live chat and dedicated phone lines-and relationship officers-to



Mobility – October 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Mobility – October 2019

Mobility – October 2019 - Cover1
Mobility – October 2019 - Cover2
Mobility – October 2019 - 1
Mobility – October 2019 - 2
Mobility – October 2019 - 3
Mobility – October 2019 - 4
Mobility – October 2019 - 5
Mobility – October 2019 - 6
Mobility – October 2019 - 7
Mobility – October 2019 - 8
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Mobility – October 2019 - Cover3
Mobility – October 2019 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility-june-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility-may-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility-april-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility-march-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility-february-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_122020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_112020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_102020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_092020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_082020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_072020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_062020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_052020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_042020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_032020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_022020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_012020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_122019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_112019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_102019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_092019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_082019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_072019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_062019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_052019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_042019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_032019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_022019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_012019
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com