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Cook Islands: Offshore Business Sectors


The law relating to banking, the obtaining of a banking licence and banking confidentiality is contained in the Offshore Banking Act 1981 (now repealed) and the Banking Act 2003 (as amended).

The Banking Act 2003 provides for the following categories of licenses:

  • Domestic Authorizes licensees to carry on domestic banking business in and from within the Cook Islands.
  • International Authorizes licensees to carry on international banking business in or from within the Cook Islands.
  • Restricted International Authorizes licensees to carry on international banking business of a type and nature specified in the license and approved by the FSC.

With the passing of the Financial Supervisory Commission Act 2003 all applications for licences now go before the FSC.

Licensed banks must submit audited accounts each year.

At the time of writing, there are 4 domestic banks licensed in the Cook Islands and 3 international banks.

Domestic banks with a presence are:

  • ANZ Banking Group Limited
  • Bank of the Cook Islands Limited
  • Westpac Banking Corporation
  • Capital Security Bank Cook Islands Limited

International Banks in the Cook Islands are:

  • ANZ Banking Group
  • Capital Security Bank Ltd
  • Westpac Banking Corporation

Banking licence fees as from 2012 were as follows:

Application fees:

  • Domestic Bank licence NZD8,000
  • International bank licence USD10,000

Annual Fees:

  • Domestic bank USD8,000
  • International bank USD10,000

For details of the taxation regime applying to licensed banks, see Offshore Legal and Tax Regimes.



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