25 Jun 2009

Cook Islands govt says new authority will improve offshore finance sector

11:46 am on 25 June 2009

A Cook Islands Government official says setting up a financial services development authority will improve the way problems in the offshore finance sector are handled.

Parliament will shortly discuss the Financial Services Development Authority Bill which will set up a statutory body to be responsible for marketing the Cook Islands as an offshore financial services destination.

The sector was once black listed over money laundering concerns but the Cook Island's government brought in legislation which satisfied the international watchdog groups.

Lorraine Allan from the Cook Islands Financial Supervisory Commission says in recent years the industry has suffered from a lack of growth and this new agency will ensure the country keeps up to date with international developments in the offshore finance industry.

"At the moment in the Cook Islands there are six trustee companies and they really deal with the government singularly on issues rather than having a uniform approach and this will give them somewhere to go and the industry's concerns can be dealt with in one sort of single form."

Lorraine Allan from the Cook Islands Financial Supervisory Commission.