offshore financial centres

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Centres that provide advantageous deposit and lending rates to non-residents because of low taxation, liberal exchange controls, and low reserve requirements for banks. Some countries have made a lucrative business out of offshore banking; the Cayman Islands is currently one of the world's largest offshore centres. In Europe, Switzerland, the Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man are very popular. Such locations are often described as tax havens because they can reduce customers' tax liabilities in entirely legal ways. The USA and Japan have both established domestic offshore facilities enabling non-residents to conduct their business under more liberal regulations than domestic transactions. Their objective is to stop funds moving outside the country.

Subjects: Financial Institutions and Services.

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