In the popular imagination, international banking is most commonly associated with secretive Swiss accounts and offshore holdings. In reality, international banking is primarily concerned with the same transactions available at your local branch; it is separated by experience with the complexities of international business and investment, and how they can best be navigated for the convenience and fiscal benefit of clients. The benefits of international banking include the ability to invest in the economies of developing countries, the protection of capital from certain types of litigation, and less extreme interest rate fluctuation. International banks also offer a number of financial services that help to facilitate global trade, including letters of credit. Choosing an international bank will involve a number of criteria, from the economic and political stability of its country of origin to the quality of its investment portfolio, to basic customer service. As the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) does not insure foreign banks, these considerations are especially important to U.S. firms wishing to bank abroad.
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