Samoa Bank license

Offshore banking license on Samoa

Samoan offshore banks licenses

An International Company registered in Samoa must make an application to the Registrar’s Office for a licence to conduct banking activity. Licensed banks operating from Samoa enjoy all of the benefits of International Companies such as flexibility, confidentiality, and a tax exempt status whilst being able to carry on the business of a bank. These licenses are useful for the derivation of tax free banking profits, provision of confidential banking services, and for the minimisation of a corporate group’s banking and taxation expenses.

By adopting a balanced approach to regulation, the Samoan jurisdiction offers a stable and commercial offshore banking environment.

Classes of banking Licence

The legislation provides for a three-tier licensing system The classes of banking licences issued pursuant to the provisions of the Offshore Banking Act 1987 are an "A" Class Licence, "B1" Licence and a "B2" Licence.

"A" Class Licence

This is an unrestricted banking licence which would normally be granted to subsidiaries of established banks, financial institutions, or experienced bankers with appropriate financial backing. The paid up capital requirement is a minimum of US$10,000,000.

"B1" Class Licence

This category of licence entitles the holder to accept deposits from the public and is essentially designed for offshore deposit taking, consumer finance, or merchant banking activities. Cheque book facilities may be offered. A "B1" licence is restricted in that it may only accept deposits above a minimum level as set by the Registrar. A "B1" bank cannot accept its own shares as security nor can it make unsecured advances to its directors exceeding 1% of its paid up capital. These banks actively derive a tax free banking profit through the provision of specialist banking services to the general public. As with the "A" Class licence, the "B1" Class licence is generally only available to those who have an association with an onshore bank or reputable financial institution. The paid up capital requirement is a minimum of US$2,000,000.

"B2" Class License

This category is a "captive" or "in-house" banking licence, normally used for the treasury operations of an associated group of companies. The licensee is not allowed to accept deposits from the public or to offer cheque book facilities. Unlike the "A" or "B1" class licence, the "B2" class licence is essentially a tax planning tool whereby group funds and profits can be efficiently transferred and managed. The paid up capital requirement is a minimum of US$250,000.

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