Liechtenstein: Offshore Business Sectors
Banking, especially private banking, is Liechtenstein's flagship financial service, although its trust regime, modelled on common law precedents, is unique among civil law jurisdictions, and is widely used. The variety and great flexibility of the corporate forms available in Liechtenstein, coupled with excellent tax-saving possibilities, has encouraged an inflow of holding and investment management companies. See Offshore Legal and Tax Regimes for details.
Early figures suggested that the EU's Savings Tax Directive, which forced Liechtenstein to impose a withholding tax on returns from savings paid to citizens of EU Member States, has had little impact on the country's highly successful private banking sector.
The administration has recently been developing legislation for captive insurance and collective investment sectors.
By the end of 2012, a total of 40 insurance undertakings were domiciled in Liechtenstein. The direct insurance companies operate almost exclusively pursuant to the free movement of services in the EEA area and Switzerland.
A Law on Asset Management (Asset Management Act, AMA) entered into force on 1 January 2006. This Act lays the foundation for asset management companies as new, internationally recognized financial intermediaries. The Financial Markets Authority supervises implementation of the Asset Management Act and related ordinances as well as compliance with regulations.
At the end of 2012 there were 20 fund management companies and 557 investment funds operating in Liechtenstein. At the end of 2012 assets under management in Liechtenstein stood at CHF37.2billion.
This section of the Lowtax site describes the most important types of offshore business activity carried out from Liechtenstein.