Madeira: Offshore Business Sectors
This page was last updated on 10 Oct 2018.
The Bank of Portugal oversees and regulates banking matters; the regulations are the same as those that apply to the establishment of financial institutions in mainland Portugal and involve prior authorization from the Bank of Portugal or the Ministry of Finance. The capital requirement for a bank to be licensed in Portugal is now €17.5 million (previously it was as high as 3.5 billion escudos.)
There are many international banks established in Madeira. It takes from one to two months for the licence application to be processed. A bank must pay an annual licence fee of €21,500. Before 2002, around 40 banks and other financial institutions were licensed to operate under the Free Trade Zone Legislation. They included such household names as Chemical Bank, Citibank, Deutsche Bank and ABN-Amro.
Under the 'acceptable state aid' scheme approved by the EU in late 2002 and extended in 2006, newly-established financial services companies were longer able to take advantage of the MIBC regime. Most banking clients are from Western Europe and Latin America.