Offshore Banking Bahamas
The Bahamas lie in the Atlantic Ocean and is made up of a number of islands, stretching from the coast of Florida and all the way down to the Cuban coastline. The Bahamas is one of the largest, and more internationally recognized successful tax havens in the world. The attractiveness of the Bahamas in terms of offshore banking is merely accredited to the fact that it is a no tax jurisdiction and also because there are superior banking privacy policies in place.
Although the Bahamas has grown into worldwide financial center leader prominent in offshore banking, upon which much of the attractiveness of the offshore banking was due to the strict confidentiality and privacy laws, it is important to note that the Bahamas have international agreements with several countries, whereby the advantages of taxation exemptions and relaxations may not be guaranteed. As an example, the Bahamas has a Mutual Assistance treaty with the US, the UK, and Canada has provisions that allow the exchange of personal (not financial) information. In this case the disclosure of information is strictly limited to criminal matters.
It is good to point out that the act of tax evasion is not considered a crime in Bahamas, and no court will find tax evasion to be sufficient to get a ruling. Additionally, there is a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the Bahamas and the Australian anti-money laundering regulatory body AUSTRAC. Such agreements have sparked criticisms from some, where the integrity and commitment to secrecy of the Bahamas as an offshore jurisdiction is in doubt. New banking legislation permits Bahamian banks to disclose the existence of company or individual accounts. Once a Bahamas bank account is being opened for legitimate reasons none of the above treaties or agreements should affect the tax planning and asset management goals intended, and those offshore banks accounts will be fully protected by the Bahamian secrecy laws.
The Bahamas has a history of over 40 years in the business of international and offshore activity. There is an excess of 350 establishments licensed to conduct banking activities. Many of these banks are subsidiaries or branches of internationally owned financial institutions. Over half of these banks offer trust services as well as regular banking operations, and it is obvious that the banking community in the Bahamas does specialize in private banking, portfolio management, and mutual fund administration. Offshore Banks and such establishments are regulated by the Banks Act and The Banks and Trust Regulations Act. One very assuring feature of the Bahamian regulatory systems is the strength of the Bahamian dollar which lends to the protection against instability.
Offshore banks in Bahamas are all very modernized making the process of banking very easy and globally accessible through electronic banking, debit and credit card transactions. Many banks accept deposits and withdrawal or account applications online. Many international banks also over supplemental service such as online stock trading, foreign currency exchanges.
Unlike many other jurisdictions, offshore banks will be granted to only Bahamas IBCs and some banks may accept other listed IBCs such as BVI IBCs. As an advance financial center, there are many qualified and registered businesses that offer company formation services, which also offer bank account opening services as well. Banking in the Bahamas is easy and can be managed via mail, internet phone or fax. Bahamas offshore banks provide a wide spectrum of international banking, corporate and trust services as well as extended portfolio management and asset and wealth management services. Some banks even offer custodian accounts for securities holding, and all banks accept deposits in major currencies. Most banks do not list services, fees and other information on sites and prefer to be contacted for consultations.
The specific application requirements for offshore bank account in Bahamas will vary from institution to institution, but standard set of documents required are: company incorporation documents- memorandum of association, articles of association, the Certificate of incorporation, proof of identity, passport copies, and expect back ground check, be able to show/prove source of funds, and prove that the funds are not from any illegal activity. Bahamas banks specialize in international consults and you will find that many banks can handle non English speaking clients with officers speaking French, German, Russian, Italian and other major languages.
The Bahamas is considered a safe and secure repository for the financial assets of wealthy corporations and individuals.