Bermuda: Offshore Investment
Until 2003, foreign banks were not permitted to operate in Bermuda, but in that year HSBC took over the Bank of Bermuda.
The Bermuda Monetary Authority supervises Bermudian banks. Each bank maintains its own trust company and the domestic banks operate a joint clearing system. Although few in number, the Bermudian banks have expanded throughout the world and have subsidiaries in the major financial centres. They offer a full range of banking services.
The early decision of the Bermuda Government to exclude foreign banks may have owed more to self-interest than to fear of money-laundering or the OECD, but it turns out to have been very successful, leading not only to Bermuda's high reputation but to the establishment of strong, local banks, something that has eluded almost all other IOFCs.
A number of financial advisory and securities firms with foreign involvement have been established in Bermuda, some in connection with the Stock Exchange.
Through an accident of geography, Bermuda was not included in the EU's Savings Tax Directive, which has been in operation since 1st July, 2005.