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Offshore Bank Accounts - Account Opening

By Gerard Field   As a CEO of an international private bank, I find clients will spend much time and effort in selecting the right offshore jurisdiction for them taking into account the legal framework, regulations and whether the jurisdictions meet their individual requirements for what they require to be that asset protection, privacy, and strength of regulator to name a few key areas.     Once jurisdiction has been selected then a review of the banking partners that are available will be a key determinant of using that jurisdiction. Considerations will include how strong the bank is in terms of a...
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The Cook Island – International Finance Center

In the heart of the South Pacific is the nation of the Cook Islands. Situated south of Hawaii and in the same time zone, Cook Islands is an independent nation, in free association with New Zealand, so all are New Zealand citizens. The Cook Islands established itself as an international finance center in the early 1980s, with the enactment of the International Companies Act 1981-82 and the International Trusts Act 1984. Since that time, through amendments to those acts and subsequent legislation, the Cook Islands has developed a robust asset protection framework. Its focus on protecting wealth has developed in...
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Interview - Cook Islands Trusts and Foundations

When were trust and foundation law introduced in your jurisdiction English common law and equity were formerly adapted from New Zealand through the Cook Islands Act 1915, prior to the Cook Islands acquiring self-governance in 1965.  The common law concept of a trust has been in the Cook Islands for about a century.  However it was the Cook Islands who invented the modern asset protection trust through its innovative legislation, the International Trusts Act 1984, which has been substantially embraced by many offshore finance jurisdictions. The Hague Convention on Trusts does not apply in the Cook Islands.  Seeking to capitalize...

Cook Islands: An Ideal Place to Protect Your Wealth

By Leo Zhang. As a leading international finance center for three decades, the Cook Islands is a prime choice for sophisticated international services for the most discerning wealthy clients and corporate entities. Located in the South Pacific northeast of New Zealand, east of Tahiti, and south of Hawaii, the country boasts an ideal location and a global client reach for its legal and financial services. The Cook Islands is known for its innovative services and ability to respond quickly to changes in and d emands from the global market . With the recent changes in the global banking environment, the...
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Profile - Cook Islands

Executive Summary:Located in the South Pacific Ocean approximately half-way between New Zealand and Hawaii, the Cook Islands are a widely scattered group of islands occupying a surface area of about 240 sq km. As a legacy of its status as a British protectorate, the legal system is based on English common law and the official language is English, but the jurisdiction is now a self-governing democracy. The Cook Islands geographic isolation and their lack of natural resources have hindered economic development.Offshore financial and fiduciary services are now the second largest contributor to Government finances, and there are special regimes for...

An Outstanding Achievement for the Cook Islands

The Cook Islands Anti Money Laundering/Countering the Financing of Terrorism (“AML/CFT”) regime is officially one of the best in the world. The APG is a regional body of the Financial Action Task Force (“FATF”), the independent inter-governmental body that develops and promotes policies to protect the global financial system from money laundering and terrorist financing. The Cook Islands MER was tabled and adopted at the APG’s annual meeting held in Kathmandu, Nepal (21-27 July 2018). The APG has 41 member countries from around the Asia/Pacific region all of which were in attendance at the meeting represented by 520 delegates. The...

The Cook Islands “Largely Compliant” in Latest Mutual Evaluation Review

The Cook Islands achieves top rank in technical compliance following an Anti-Money Laundering/Countering the Financing of Terrorism Mutual Evaluation review. The Cook Islands has received one of the highest assessments in the latest Mutual Evaluation report and is one of two members of the Asia Pacific Group on regular follow up reporting. FSC Commissioner, Louise Wittwer, said the review was a significant achievement for a jurisdiction of this size and reflective of the very high level of commitment from the Cook Islands Government and Crown Agencies to ensure their anti-money laundering legislative framework meets international standards. The review culminated in...
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Interview - Cook Islands Trusts and Foundations

Q:Compared with other jurisdictions, what is unique in Cook Islands in terms of asset protection? A:The Cook Islands had the first asset protection features in its trust legislation and is regarded as having the strongest legislation.  Precedents with our highly regarded court system and the expertise and service of our trustee companies has resulted in the Cook Islands as the premier asset protection trust jurisdiction. Political stability, New Zealand currency, and renowned experts give clients comfort and confidence in our services. Q: What are the most popular asset-protection products on the islands? How can they protect the interests of investors?...