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Gibraltar - Banking
Overdraft facilities and loans are available at most banks, but with no previous credit history with a bank, the application is unlikely to be approved. Applicants may need to wait several months before finally being able to apply, depending on personal circumstances and credit history. For those who choose to stay with a same bank they were in their home country, this whole process is easier as the financial history of the applicant is known. Mortgages for properties in Gibraltar can be obtained easily if applicants can prove that they have the income to make repayments. It is impossible to obtain these with some banks in other countries, so applying for a mortgage can be done before moving to Gibraltar.
As is the case in most European countries, current accounts are ideal for day to day transactions, such as daily spending, paying bills and money transferring. Deposits can be made by cheque, cash or money transfer, while withdrawals can be made at an ATM or at any branch of the account holder's bank. ATMs in Gibraltar are placed at all banks and shopping areas, while fee charges depend on the type of card one possesses. Users are also charged when withdrawing money at ATMs abroad. Those who wish to travel should notify the bank so that any charges can be minimized. Many residents of Gibraltar cross the Spanish border on a daily basis for work or leisure, so it is important to be careful with cash withdrawals while in Spain.
Easy access savings accounts can give account holders access to their money when needed, but they might have a lower interest rate. Fixed term savings generally limit the amount of access in return for a higher interest rate. Banks in Gibraltar also provide other products such as pensions, and can offer help to those who wish to invest their money. Gibraltar is an English speaking state so there are not many language barriers when dealing with the banks.
Transferring from abroad is a straightforward procedure as many of the banks based in Gibraltar are international and it doesn't take much time to make the transfer. Cheques in other currencies can be paid into Gibraltar bank accounts, but the process can take several weeks to clear, depending upon their origin and the amount. On the other hand, direct transfers may only take a few days. It is also possible to open bank accounts in other currencies. The Euro and the US dollar are two of the most popular currencies in Gibraltar. This can be useful to those who regularly receive payments in other currencies and will help to minimize charges.
There are many European banks which have a presence in Gibraltar and these include Santander, ABN Amro, Barclays and Natwest. Opening an account before arriving in Gibraltar should be fairly simple if expats already have an account with one of these banks, as they would already have some credit history.
Banking advantages in Gibraltar
Banking is one of the main pillars of Gibraltar's economy, with assets totaling over EUR 7.8 billion, and many major International banks have offices in this country. Statistics are available on the Gibraltar FSC http://www.fsc.gi/fsc/home.htm website. The legal system in Gibraltar is similar to the one in the United Kingdom. Its legislation is based on English common law. The banking sector is regulated by the Financial Services Commissioner, appointed by the Governor of Gibraltar on behalf of the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Banking in Gibraltar offers many advantages to customers.
Clients of Gibraltar banks enjoy the EU deposit protection scheme of EUR 100,000 for accounts held in Gibraltar. Some banks may also hold some client deposits in other jurisdictions to enjoy additional protection and diversification. Favorable tax status means that no tax is payable on interestgenerated on account holders’ savings, but Gibraltar still cannot be considered as an offshore jurisdiction in its classical meaning. In compliance with European Union Tax Savings directive, all interest paid to individuals who are residents of the European Union is the subject to Exchange of Information arrangements. All banks in Gibraltar are compliant with USD and UK FATCA as well.
Most of the banks having offices in Gibraltar enjoy the ability to “Passport” their products to major countries in the European Union. Gibraltar promotes itself as a very compliant jurisdiction, and all these banks are licensed and fully regulated by the Financial Services Commission. Banks in Gibraltar
The institutions listed below are all authorized under the Financial Services (Banking) Act for deposit taking business. Most of these banks are also authorized to conduct investment business and other types of regulated business.
Bank J. Safra Sarasin (Gibraltar) Ltd
Barclays Bank PLC
Credit Suisse (Gibraltar) Limited
IDT Financial Services Limited
Jyske Bank (Gibraltar) Limited
Leeds Building Society
Lloyds Bank (Gibraltar) Limited (Lloyds Bank International)
Lombard Odier & Cie (Gibraltar) Limited
NatWest Offshore Limited (The Royal Bank of Scotland International Limited)
Newcastle Building Society
Norwich & Peterborough Building Society
SG Hambros Bank (Gibraltar) Ltd
Turicum Private Banks
Union Bancaire Privee (Europe) SA
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