Latin America third largest offshore centre globally, research suggests

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Although a crackdown on offshore accounts in the US has prompted the withdrawal of funds from Caribbean and Panama, Latin America continues to be a major offshore player, data provider Timetric suggests.

Following the global financial crisis, a crackdown on offshore holdings hit the US, prompting a vast movement of funds from offshore centres in Panama and the Caribbean.

“Despite this shift, the region remains the third largest offshore centre globally, thanks to new funds predominantly coming from Latin America,” the firm said.

Switzerland continues to be the largest worldwide player in offshore holdings, with over 80% of funds held in Switzerland being for foreign clients. The UK and Channel Islands stands at number two, with assets under management of US$1,800 billion at the end of 2011.

Singapore however, is the world’s fastest growing wealth centre, with assets under management of US$550 billion at the end of 2011 – compared to a mere US$50 billion in 2000. According to new research from WealthInsight, Singapore is expected to overtake Switzerland as the world’s largest offshore private banking market by 2020.

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