09.07.07

Barclays Bank cited Seychelles as an example of good money laundering control in offshore banks

Posted in Offshore Services, Seychelles banking, Seychelles offshore jurisdiction at 6:42 pm by Robert Klien

The license to operate as an offshore bank in Ghana has been recently given to Barclays Bank of Ghana.

According to Bank of Ghana’s policy, only reputable and internationally active banks are licensed to operate in the International Financial Services Centre (IFSC). On August 28, 2007, the Central Bank issued its 1st General Banking Licence to Barclays Bank of Ghana Limited, a fully-owned subsidiary of Barclays Bank PLC. Now, Barclays Bank can operate as an offshore bank.

The General Banking Licence allows Barclays Bank of Ghana Limited to operate the first banking business under the International Banking component of the IFSC.

The IFFSC will have a full range of non-bank financial services, and is a part of a comprehensive financial sector development programme.

It is well-known that offshore banking is often associated with the hidden economy and organized crime related to through money laundering. However, Barclays Bank of Ghana and the Bank of Ghana have assured the residents of the country that they are able to check it.

Offshore banks are usually located in a low-tax jurisdictions, outside the country of residence of the depositor, called tax havens, and therefore have both financial and legal advantages such as strong privacy, low or no taxation, less restrictive legal regulation, protection against local political or financial instability and easy access to deposits.

Having offshore banking is beneficial for the country as it could increase foreign investments into Ghana, create a number of jobs, increase, revenue for government, strengthen the financial sector as well as transfer skills to Ghanaians.

At a workshop on offshore banking organized for the media, Ms. Catherine Addo of Barclays Bank cited Seychelles as an example of good offshore banking. She said that the strict control measures that are used for offshore banking branches in Seychelles and Mauritius would be applied also in Ghana. These measures include the usage of the World Checking System to double check clients’ background.

Head of Banking Supervision of the Bank of Ghana, Mr. Dela Selormey, said that also the Financial Services Authority in London would extend its surveillance into Ghana. He stated that when the Money Laundering Bill is passed into law by parliament in 2007 the measures would be strengthened.

It is good that Seychelles is considered to be a respectable offshore jurisdiction that might serve as a good example for other countries.

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