Seychelles ready to support Sri Lanka’s probe on offshore bank accounts

Posted in International relations, Offshore Banking, Offshore Services, Seychelles government, Seychelles offshore jurisdiction at 2:16 pm by Robert Klien

The government of Seychelles is ready to cooperate with the Sri Lankan government in its efforts to investigate into fraud and corruption, especially with regard to offshore bank accounts and assets in the Seychelles.

The Seychelles is already cooperating with the Sri Lankan government through the Finance Investigation Unit in Seychelles with regard to investigations into any fraud and corruption.

Seychelles Environment, Energy and Climate Change Minister Didlier Dogley said that Seychelles has signed the OECD guidelines for offshore banking to keep offshore dealings transparent. So, all information on transactions can be inspected and checked by authorized bodies. He noted that owners have to be declared for each account opened in Seychelles. Earlier in other jurisdictions, people were able to open a briefcase and didn’t have to declare ownership, while this is impossible today as all jurisdictions are reviewed. The minister said that Seychelles is “one of the countries that is clean” as it is abiding by all international rules.

The Seychelles is ready to help the Sri Lankan government in investigating fraud and corruption. “We have made sure that we are not allowing the wrong people into our country. So if there is any investigation, Seychelles will cooperate as long as it is reciprocal on both sides,” the minister added.


Norway says DNB Bank must explain Seychelles policy

Posted in Business and Economy, Offshore Banking, Offshore Services, Seychelles companies, Seychelles offshore jurisdiction at 2:24 pm by Robert Klien

Norway’s biggest bank DNB must provide a written explanation of its policy of helping clients register offshore companies in the Seychelles, the Norwegian industry minister said in a statement on April 4.

Trade and Industry Minister Monica Maeland said: “DNB says this should not have happened and that the bank should not have participated.”

The Norwegian government is the bank’s top owner with a stake of 34%. DNB’s Seychelles activities were first reported by daily Aftenposten, quoting leaked documents from Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca.

The leak involves more than 11.5 million documents from the files of the law firm, revealing details of hundreds of thousands of clients in multiple jurisdictions.

DNB said in a separate statement it regretted assisting about 40 customers in establishing the offshore companies between 2006 and 2010, and that the practice had ended.


Afreximbank promotes its products on Seychelles market

Posted in Business and Economy, Offshore Banking, Seychelles banking at 1:32 pm by Robert Klien

The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) aims to increase awareness of the bank and its products on the Seychelles market in a view to find ways to improve ease of access to credit for Seychelles’ business community.

A forum was organized by the bank to promote increased trade financing for Seychelles businesses by showcasing the line-up of financing programmes and facilities available from Afreximbank to the Seychellois business community. There were also presentations and case studies on how to access them. The bank offers include credit, loans and guarantees.

The forum was attended by the Minister for Finance, Trade and the Blue Economy Jean-Paul Adam; the Afreximbank regional manager of Southern Africa based in Harare, Zimbabwe, Gift Simwaka; the Governor of the Central Bank, Caroline Abel; representatives of Seychelles’ private sector organisations such as the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, bankers’ associations, exporters associations as well as those of government-owned entities operating commercially in the country. The Central Bank of Seychelles was facilitating the event as a shareholder of the Afreximbank.

Afreximbank, headquartered in Cairo, Egypt, was established in October 1993 as a Pan African Exim Bank in order to stimulate a consistent expansion, diversification and development of African trade, while operating as a first class, profit oriented financial institution and a centre of excellence in African trade matters.


Seychelles can become African financial technology hub

Posted in Business and Economy, Financial Services, Offshore Banking, Seychelles banking at 4:10 pm by Robert Klien

At the 17th anniversary lecture of the Central Bank of Seychelles (CBS), Seychelles has been praised as having the potential to become the financial technology hub for African countries.

The event’s guest speaker, Arun Jain, chairman and chief executive of Polaris Financial Technology Ltd., a leading global financial technology company, said: “Being an archipelago in the African continent with a small population, Seychelles has the natural advantage for creating a niche for itself in the financial technology space. It has the potential to become the Financial Technology Hub for African countries and extend its expertise to neighbouring countries and position itself as a global financial technology stronghold. The late adoption of automation will be a boon for Seychelles since they will get the most advanced technology unlike some developed countries which still run on legacy systems.”

Other guests at the event were Seychelles’ President James Michel, the Governor of CBS Pierre Laporte, and the chairman of the Seychelles Bankers Association Michael Benstrong, who is also the managing director of the Seychelles Savings Bank.

Mr Jain addressed ministers, foreign dignitaries, bureaucrats, bankers, businessmen and academicians speaking on the theme of “Technological Innovations Driving Financial Services”.
He stressed the role of
– Smarter Identity – Single Identity for every citizen which could be used for
(a) banking transactions,
(b) social commerce transactions,
(c) government to citizen transactions;
– Smarter Infrastructure – Shared Financial Technology Infrastructure where all banks invest as shareholders and pay-per-use to drive efficiency.


Government of Seychelles to sell shares in Savings Bank

Posted in Offshore Banking, Seychelles government at 7:02 pm by Robert Klien

As of April 20, 2011, people having accounts with the Seychelles Savings Bank (SSB) will be able to buy the government’s shares in this bank. This was announced by finance minister Danny Faure on April 14.

According to Mr Faure, during the 1st phase of the process, all applications will be processed from April 20. This will be over a period of 2 weeks and will close on May 5.

The sale of shares in the SSB was announced by President James Michel’s in his state-of-the-nation address in February 2011.

The government’s 40% share in the SSB amounts to 240 000 shares (equivalent to R24 million). Depending on the subscription received during the 1st phase, in the 2nd phase of the sale, the Ministry may offer for sale to the general public the remaining portion of the 240 000 shares.

The execution of the sale will be coordinated by the Ministry of Finance, the Central Bank of Seychelles and the Seychelles Savings Bank.


Seychelles Savings Bank cuts interest rates

Posted in Offshore Banking, Seychelles banking, Seychelles government at 2:14 pm by Robert Klien

A further cut in interest rates on various types of loans and advances will be made by the Seychelles Savings Bank. The new rates will come into effect from July 1.

Nevertheless, savers will still benefit from existing rates because there will be no reduction in interest rates on all types of deposits.

As mentioned by President Michel in his National Day speech, the prime lending rates (PLR) on housing loans and commercial loans will be reduced to 6% and 7% respectively.

It is worth noting that this will be the 4th reduction in lending rates during the last 9 months, the 1st taking effect on October 1, 2009, followed by one on December 1, 2009, and the 3rd on March 15, 2010.

According to the bank, during this period the maximum benefit was passed on to borrowers in the commercial sector, which has seen a huge reduction of 10%, from a PLR as high as 17% in September to 7% from July 1.

The bank expects the cut in interest rates to encourage people to borrow money at a more affordable rate, which should result in accelerated economic activity and benefit everybody in the long run.


DBS to issue bonds to boost Seychelles’ economy

Posted in Offshore Banking, Seychelles banking at 3:41 pm by Robert Klien

With a view to raise capital and to accelerate lending, the Development Bank of Seychelles (DBS) has announced its plans to launch 2 bond issues for a total amount of R100 million.

It should be noted that this followed recent President’s and the bank’s board announcements that the government was considering ways of stimulating the economy by means of lowering interest rates.

Lending rates have been already slashed by the Development Bank from 15% to 10% as from April 1. The new bond issue will allow it to cut rates further.

In its press release, the Bank said that the 2 bonds will be issued for a value of R50 million each and will be launched on July 1. The 1st will be a 2-year bond with an interest rate of 5% per annum, while the 2nd will be a 3-year bond at 5.5% per annum. Both bonds will be available from July 1. Both residents and non-residents will be allowed to by the bonds. Issued singly or jointly, they will be transferable through the Central Bank of Seychelles at any time before they mature.


Seychelles Bankers’ Association warn of credit card fraud

Posted in Financial Services, Offshore Banking, Seychelles banking at 3:17 pm by Robert Klien

A number of incidents have taken place where the owners of bank cards have lost their money after requesting its transfer over the phone. That is why the Seychelles Bankers’ Association warned customers to be careful regarding this.

Mohinder Singh Phogat, The chairman of the Seychelles Bankers’ Association, said that there are types of cards the owners of which can ask through e-mail or telephone for transferring money but, in the absence of the card, they give their card and pin numbers over the phone.

There have been cases when fraudsters have stolen cards and requested such transactions in order to contact recipients of the money asking them to transfer the money elsewhere. In this process the money gets lost. Phogat said that experienced operators like major hotels are familiar with the checks necessary to avoid such fraud while smaller establishments are sometimes likely to become victims of the fraud.

The Seychelles Bankers’ Association is urging bank customers to adhere to guidelines that are given by the banks with a view to avoid being defrauded in scams.


Prince of Saudi Arabia in tourism talks with Seychellois President

Posted in International relations, Offshore Banking, Seychelles banking, Seychelles government, Tourism industry at 10:24 pm by Robert Klien

On May 28, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia visited President James Michel at State House. The Prince and the President held talks in the presence of Nouvobanq managing director Ahmed Saeed and Minister for National Development Jacquelin Dugasse.

It should be noted that Prince Alwaleed bin Talal was talking about investing in the tourism industry in Seychelles. He told the media that the jurisdiction to a great extent depends on tourism, and that he would be visiting shortly the Four Seasons. He also mentioned the Raffles hotel on Praslin to be inaugurated in the end of next year as it is important for economic and tourism development.

Prince Alwaleed told President Michel that he is looking forward to having more projects in tourism in the jurisdiction.

Saudi Arabian delegation arrived to Seychelles from Mauritius and went home after a few hours.


Barclays Bank staff organizes annual Make a Difference Day

Posted in Offshore Banking at 11:46 am by Robert Klien

On November 8, 2008, Barclays Bank Seychelles’ annual Make a Difference Day was launched in the presence of Vincent Meriton, the Minister for Community Development, Youth, Sports and Culture.

This launch was a day of activities run by Barclays Bank staff who offer to community projects their time rather than money and offshore banking services.

The activities organised this year included :
– a day out for Silhouette schoolchildren (watching the movie Wall-E at Deepam Cinema, La Salle d’Oeuvres, visiting the Botanical Gardens, lunch and visiting the National Council for Children’s headquarters);
– a sports extravaganza at the Roche Caïman complex for 50 secondary school students to try new sports;
– Microsoft applications training at the Foyer de Nazareth home (Barclays’ IT team provided basic PC training and an introduction to MS Word and Excel to boys aged 4-17).
– tree planting and a guided tour at the Biodiversity Centre, Barbarons;
– tree planting at Anse Source d’Argent, La Digue.

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