New rules could make offshore banks extinct


The government has gathered banking and other industry experts to address a challenge which could end the offshore banking sector as we know it.

New demands by the Organisation  for Economic Cooperation and Development are being imposed by the wealthiest countries that are claiming harm to their tax base by offshore banks.

The new rules, which are to be enforced by the threat of de-risking, by correspondent banks, will now require offshore banks to be treated no differently from on-shore banks,” according to the government.

“Tax rates and dealings in local currency, among other requirements, would compel the two categories of banks to become virtually indistinguishable,” the government says.

“That outcome would surely mean that offshore banks would be a creature of history,” a brief cabinet statement added.

Several proposals were put forward to ease the transition, including amendments to the IBC (International Business Corporation) law, to the (Regional) Banking Act, and a licensing regime by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB).

Offshore banks are an important sector of the Antigua and Barbuda economy and of other states in the ECCU; the banks provide high income jobs to accountants, lawyers, bankers and other professionals, while connecting the states with high-net-worth individuals.

The Financial Services Regulatory Commission will examine the subject and present a paper within 30 days for the Cabinet’s examination and approval.

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  1. Sad to see how we are here in the Caribbean at the whim and fancy of these developed countries, lecturing to us what we can and cannot do. Or Else!. And make no mistake we may think we are independent but when it comes to our survival we realize we are very much dependent. The other sad part is that our people really do not take notice and really do not care. When we are cash strapped and cannot earn a dollar in Foreign exchange they blame the government. Not looking further how Europe, America and to some extend Canada put the squeeze on us. And they will buy good from these very same countries and go on vacation to these very same countries. I wonder when or if ever we can rid ourselves from the shackles of economic slavery that we are under. Will there ever come a time when we can say to them the hell with you and give them the middle finger without suffering any consequences.

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