Offshore Banking Jurisdictions
September 27, 2016
Nowadays more and more individuals and entrepreneurs set up offshore companies and open banking accounts off shore. Therefore, detailed information about offshore banking jurisdictions will be useful for everyone who plans to go offshore.
Hong Kong is the most popular offshore banking jurisdiction. This is the center with the largest banks and stable financial system. Moreover, Hong Kong offers the profitable conditions for bank accounts owners and for storing money. Confidentiality and safety of banking accounts in Hong Kong are not at high level but instead the Government of Hong Kong provides flexible taxation for companies created there. Besides, the procedure of company registration is simple and there are no foreign exchange regulations. It makes Hong Kong the biggest offshore center for company incorporation and opening banking accounts.
Companies in Belize are free from taxation and there are no requirements to submit tax declarations. It guarantees security and safety from creditors. Offshore banking accounts are guarded by legislation and court requests are not allowed. Government in Belize doesn’t pursue companies for tax forestalling under the law. But in Belize all financial organizations are under strict financial control. For instance, if to compare Belize and USA, banks in Belize have to keep more information in financial documents than banks in USA; all deposits are insured and are subject to diligent audit. Information about shareholders, managers, directors of Belize companies doesn’t go beyond the organization, so it isn’t necessary to show the list of owners publicly and to use bearer shares.
BVI is considered as the best offshore jurisdiction for opening offshore bank account. It happens because BVI banks provide clients with personal confidentiality and with access to accounts all the year round. The Government’s policy is directed to establish close relationships with business owners. Often business owners from Asia and Europe go to BVI to start their business because of high level of financial services quality and Offshore International Business Organization. The process of company registration in BVI is simple and easy and usually takes 4 working days. Registered BVI companies can use professional services, for example: administration of a company, insurance, trustee business, mutual funds, intellectual property and many others.
The Seychelles banks have detailed personal data about owners of companies created in the Seychelles. Authorized officers of companies, which have rights to sign documents, have to confirm the personality and provide a notarized copy of a passport, reference from the bank, description of a company, and planned proceeds. But in spite of it, the legislation of the Seychelles doesn’t allow to transfer information between financial organizations or Government. The only case when such information can be disclosed is when it concerns criminal investigation or when the Seychelles court took an uncommon decision regarding opening such information for appropriate authorities.
It is easy to open a bank account in Panama. But it doesn’t mean that such account doesn’t keep private information in secrecy. All clients’ personal data are known only to the bank. Interested persons can appeal to court to receive private information, but such information will be disclosed only in case of the serious crime. Government of Panama seeks to provide the high level of privacy and it guarantees secrecy for companies and owners of banking accounts. Panama doesn’t have a central national bank which could help in case of appearance of unfavorable circumstances. But banking organizations in Panama adhere to strict policy in their financial work and don’t practice risky mortgages. Offshore companies in Panama do not pay any tax on interest earnings.
Cyprus attracts investors and business owners because of low tax rates and well organized banks. The Government adheres to policy of confidentiality for companies and it makes Cyprus one of the best financial centers in the world. Cyprus as a full member of the European Union signed up the EU requirement regarding Saving Tax. Cyprus undertakes all possible measures to make life of companies easy. For example, the process of opening a bank account is quickly and simple and there is no taxes for some offshore accounts that depends on a domicile of the account owner. For pensioners who moved to Cyprus there are also attractive conditions: income tax doesn’t exceed 5% and if income is earned outside Cyprus, then emigrants do not pay any fees. But EU Tax Saving Directive concerns everyone and even in Cyprus it is not possible to avoid it. So, on the one hand Cyprus is one of the most compliant offshore jurisdictions, but on the other hand it is stable, safe and reliable center.
The banking system in Mauritius can seem tangled, but only at first sight. Some special banks provide their services mainly for trade financing and activity related with working capital, so they deal with all currencies. Some commercial banks offer payment cards and provide international business companies with different banking services: online banking, deposits and lending, foreign exchange trading, securities, investments, consultations and accounting, trusteeships. The Government of Mauritius demands from banks to identify individuals from whose name money or securities are arrived into the bank account. Business owners often choose Mauritius to set up an offshore company. Mauritius has signed double taxation agreements with most countries in the region and therefore it attracts business.
St. Vincent was a part of British Commonwealth, but now it is an autonomous island that obtained its independence in 1979. St. Vincent is situated in the Caribbean Sea, 90 miles to the west of Barbados. According to legislation companies in St. Vincent do not pay corporation tax, capital gains tax and some other taxes. Banks offer such services as: internet banking, individual and business accounts, payment cards, term deposits, international transfers, currency trading and precious metals. Banks in St. Vincent guarantee a high level of confidentiality.