A Different View

immigrants eThe signs have changed.  HSBC is no more in Panama.  A lot of folks, myself included, are happy to see HSBC Panama exit.  Actually HSBC operations in Panama were sold to a large Colombian bank and is now, ironically, called Banistmo, which is what our local bank in Boquete was before HSBC moved in and ruined it.  HSBC’s operations in Panama were run by an affiliate bank in Mexico and the difference between dealing with HSBC in the US and Panama was the difference between night and day!  HSBC is my bank in the US and I am perfectly happy with it: nice people, great customer service, totally different from what I received in Panama.

OK, the US government wasn’t happy with HSBC in the US and accused it of money laundering and financing drug and terrorist activities.  Of course try and move money from the US to Panama to purchase a home or car and YOU will be suspected of money laundering and financing drug and terrorist activities.  So we have a US government, quickly taking on characteristics of a rogue state, that sees everyone as the enemy or at least a potential threat.  So in addition to trying to control everyone’s money, and eavesdrop on not just your telephone calls, but also those of Pope Francis and Angela Merkel.

At any rate, HSBC just released its 2013 Expat Explorer Survey which claims . . .

US AMONG WORLD’S MOST ATTRACTIVE LONG-TERM EXPAT DESTINATIONS

New York, NY – Despite on-going political and economic volatility, expats still find the U.S. an attractive place to live for the long-term. Four out of five (80%) intend to stay compared to the global average of 62%, according to HSBC’s 2013 Expat Explorer annual survey of more than 7,000 expats in nearly 100 countries around the world, one the largest international studies of its kind.

The survey shows that expats in America appear to have a particularly strong affinity for their new home and are among the least likely to relocate. Many expats living in the U.S. are ‘expat lifers,’ meaning that they moved before the year 2000: 67% compared with 39% globally. Other top destinations boasting large numbers of expat lifers include Canada (79%) and Australia (61%).

Global results:
Expat Explorer survey rankings give consideration to such factors as economics, raising children abroad and the overall expat experience. Five Asian destinations top the expat experience league table this year with Thailand coming in first1. Switzerland, China and Qatar all appear in the top three rankings for economics2, while Germany is the leading destination for raising children3.

U.S. among top countries for later life provision:
In terms of earning potential, levels of disposable in income and satisfaction with the economic outlook, the U.S. this year ranks 23rd out of 37 countries. However, when it comes to long-term financial considerations such as saving and retirement planning, America is one of the most popular expat destinations, with three quarters making pension provisions locally (75%), along with Canada (86%) and Australia (80%).

Expat family life in the U.S. is augmented by quality healthcare and education systems, ranking 10th out of 37 countries for both. Homeownership additionally stands at almost twice the global average (40% compared to 24% globally). A high number of expats also report enjoying new luxuries upon relocation to the United States including owning a better car (51% compared to a global average of 33%). These benefits contribute to the country’s rating of 12th among 24 countries for raising children. With regards to the overall expat experience, the United States ranks 23rd among 37 countries surveyed.

“This year’s Expat Explorer survey results show that the United States continues to provide long term opportunities for expats to live a better life, especially when it comes to improving their financial prospects in retirement,” said Andrew Ireland, Head of Premier & Wealth, HSBC Bank USA, N.A.

For the full global report and U.S. results, and to use the interactive tool to see how the U.S. compares to the rest of the world, visit www.expatexplorer.hsbc.com.

1 Top 10 destinations for Expat Experience

Destination Ranking
Thailand 1st
Bahrain 2nd
China 3rd
Cayman Islands 4th
Australia 5th
Singapore 6th
India 7th
Taiwan 8th
Spain 9th
Brazil 10th

2 Top 10 destinations for Expat Economics

Destination Ranking
Switzerland 1st
China 2nd
Qatar 3rd
Thailand 4th
Cayman 5th
Indonesia 6th
Germany 7th
Oman 8th
Singapore 9th
Turkey 10th

3 Top 10 destinations for Raising Children Abroad

Destination Ranking
Germany 1st
Singapore 2nd
France 3rd
New Zealand 4th
South Africa 5th
Belgium 6th
Australia 7th
Canada 8th
Spain 9th
Russia 10th

About the Expat Explorer survey
The Expat Explorer survey, now in its sixth year, is commissioned by HSBC Expat and conducted by independent research company YouGov, who questioned 7,004 expats through an online survey. The survey ran from 29th April to the 11th June 2013, with expats from nearly 100 countries taking part.

About the Expat Explorer survey The Expat Explorer survey, now in its sixth year, is commissioned by HSBC Expat and conducted by independent research company YouGov, who questioned 7,004 expats through an online survey. The survey ran from 29th April to the 11th June 2013, with expats from nearly 100 countries taking part.

The full set of sub criteria measured for each of the individual league tables is available on the Expat Explorer Interactive tool: www.expatexplorer.hsbc.com.

It doesn’t include Panama, maybe because HSBC is no longer here. But at a time when lots of folks are leaving the US for other countries, including Panama, it’s interesting that much of the world still wants to come to the US.

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