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Onshore and offshore Banking.

Onshore and offshore banks offer similar services, including current and saving accounts, foreign exchange, lending facilities, debit and credit cards. Some offshore centres are known to provide opportunities for established banks to be able to offer a restricted range of services, being under the management of another bank, the holder of a full banking license. These banks are known as cubicle banks, and they have many benefits in terms of set-up costs, significant tax reduction, less rigid supervision.

Many offshore centres have joined the Offshore Group of Banking Supervisors, which is an international organization for inter-country cooperation, the members of which have adopted the laws and regulations and well as introduces procedures similar to onshore countries that follow the Basel principles. These principles include a due diligence and ‘know’ your customer procedures in order to ensure the legitimacy of the client or clients.

However, it still allows the banks ensure a high level of privacy and confidentiality, as banks within diverse jurisdictions do not cooperate in terms of information exchange on rejected clients. There is also no precise definition accepted by all countries that would state what a legitimate and illegitimate source of money is. In addition, the lack of exchange control regulations in major part of offshore countries is another benefit integrated into offshore banking daily activities.

Some offshore centres offer an opportunity to open a bank account by distance, without the necessity to travel and visit a bank, providing that all requested documents are notarized correctly and are in order it allows the bank to make the due diligence on a future customer with ease. 

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