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Seychelles Banking: Easy Rules, World Class

Jun 2, 2008
Seychelles Banking: One of The Best In The World To Transact With.

The Republic of Seychelles comprises of 155 islands spread randomly in the lap of the calm Indian Ocean. Seychelles have population of about 81,000. English, French and Seychellois Creole are the three official languages of the country.

The capital of Seychelles is Victoria. Seychelles gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1976. The people of Seychelles are hardworking and trustworthy. That is why Seychelles has continued its development even after it decided to cast the British crown aside. The economy of Seychelles has developed greatly after its independence.

This growth has been caused by the practical steps being taken by the government of Seychelles to ensure the economy's growth and to exploit its dependence on the flourishing tourism sector.

In the past few years Seychelles has recognized the importance of the finance and financial services sectors, and that of offshore companies with the introduction of the zero Seychelles tax company as well. The government of Seychelles has focused on the development of these offerings by taking several legislative steps.

The Seychelles Monetary Authority was established in 1978 as the bank of issue. It later became the Central Bank of Seychelles in 1983. Other government banks operating in Seychelles are the Seychelles Savings Bank and the Development Bank of Seychelles.

Five major commercial banks operate in the Seychelles, namely Barclays, Nouvobanq, Banque Francaise Commerciale Ocean Indien, Bank of Baroda, and Habib Bank. Development of an offshore banking center was announced in 1999.

Seychelles banking is governed by the Financial Institutions Act 1984 as amended in 1995. The licenses to banking companies are only issued to those banks which have been incorporated under the Companies Act 1972 or foreign companies which have been registered under the same act.

The banking license issuing authority in Seychelles is the offshore Banking Department of the Central Bank. Licenses are usually issued separately for domestic and offshore banking. But in some cases licenses are issued for both at the same time. When licenses are issued for both offshore and domestic banking, the bank has to provide offshore and domestic Seychelles banking services a different branches.

Banks providing offshore Seychelles banking services are permitted to maintain numbered accounts for their clients. The annual license fee for Seychelles banking companies is not very large. This fee is payable to the Central Bank in any convertible currency. Currently there are five licensed foreign banks in the Seychelles, and two domestic banks which have been listed above.

As the Government of Seychelles is particularly interested in developing the financial sector and tuning it to compete with other tax havens and banking centers such as the Cayman Islands, Switzerland, and Mauritius banking, special dispensation has been granted to the taxation of banks.

All of the licensed offshore Seychelles banking companies are exempted from taxes and duties for a period of 20 years from the date on which license was granted to them. This 20 year tax holiday serve as an attractive incentive to banks willing to go offshore.

An offshore or non domestic bank may decide to pay business tax in Seychelles on its taxable income as agreed with the Commissioner of Taxes.

The National Assembly of Seychelles passed the Central Bank of Seychelles Act 2004 in December 2004. This Act is aimed at providing legislation to enable the Central Bank to operate as an independent institution without any intervention from the government, and to ensure independent growth and regulation of the banking sector ensuring in it, confidence, transparency and efficiency.
About the Author
Ramapati Singhania specializes in creating and managing web businesses. His latest website http://www.incorporation-offshore-saves-wealth.com focuses on helping you to incorporate offshore companies in Seychelles, Mauritius and BVI. You can also visit his blog, http://www.ramapatisinghania.com
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