Turks & Caicos Islands
The Turks & Caicos Islands (‘TCI’) is a relatively new player in the offshore banking world. This country consists of a group of 20 tropical islands with total land area of 430 sq. km situated in the North Atlantic Ocean just south of the Bahamas. There are approximately 38,500 people on the islands with the majority, 80%, being of African descent. The economy is growing with tourism, fishing and financial services as the main employers. The official language is English and the US-dollar is national currency. No exchange controls presently exist, TCI status is that of a tax-free jurisdiction. The islands enjoy modern telecommunications, frequent flights to the USA and other neighboring islands.
Bank secrecy is supreme on this small Caribbean tax haven. In 1973, the Turks & Caicos Islands became became a British protectorate with Queen Elizabeth II acting as Head of State. The government is stable with a Governor for TCI representing the Queen. The Islands follow Common Law, based on English Common Law and some old Bahamian and Jamaican statutes.
In 1981, TCI introduced the Companies Ordinance, which was the foundation of the island’s finance centre. TCI’s legislation for trusts create an element of privacy as there is no requirement that the trust be registered with the government. Turks & Caicos officials will not allow ‘dirty money’ or ‘fraudulent activity’ and business professionals using the islands maybe subject to background checks from the FBI or Interpol.
Turks & Caicos is responsive to the need of international investors, with a tax-free status and no double tax or exchange of fiscal information treaties exist with any other country. The financial industry is well regulated by the TCI Financial Services Commission committing Turks & Caicos to maintaining the highest standards of quality and integrity. Offshore financial services include banking, insurance, company formation, trusts, mutual funds and partnerships. The Turks & Caicos Islands is a competent offshore banking centre with representative offices for some of the world’s elite international banks for both individual and corporate requirements.