|Seychelles Loses Key Offshore Banking Service|
Barclays has continued its retreat from the offshore banking business by discontinuing its banking services for non-residents in the Seychelles.
The move is part of a de-risking strategy inspired by recent large fines imposed on international banks by regulators, especially US regulators.
Earlier this month Barclays closed all UK accounts held by Jamaican residents as part of the same strategy.
Some companies in the Seychelles financial sector have expressed concern at the decision as it leaves Seychelles with less alternatives for non-residents who wish to maintain offshore accounts in foreign currencies. The Central Bank of Seychelles (CBS) has asked Barclays Bank Seychelles to delay the shutdown until clients have time to find new banks for their funds, but according to news sources, at the moment the service is scheduled to close on 31 October.
Another main bank in the Seychelles offshore sector is Bank of Muscat International Offshore (BMIO) – it had to be taken over by the CBS in November last year when it lost its correspondent banking relationship with JPM Morgan, which is following a de-risking strategy similar to Barclays'. BMIO has since been reorganised and is again providing offshore services, along with other regional banks such as Al Habib, Nouvobanq and the Mauritius Commercial Bank.
The Current clients are already considering alternative solutions including moving their funds to other jurisdictions – including Mauritius.
The opinions expressed do not constitute investment advice and specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.
Published on our website on Sep.29, 2015