The reform under public consultation includes tax on remittances sent abroad, on the payment or crediting of interest, commissions and other financial expenses by natural or legal persons domiciled in Costa Rica.
From the order by the Ministry of Finance published in La Gaceta:
Using a levy on foreign banks the aim is to generate funds of up to $20 million in order to strengthen the Development Banking System.
According to the chief of the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Commerce (MEIC), Mayi Antillon, discussions have been initiated with the Ministry of Finance, to establish the parameters of the instrument. According to the official, the aim is to strengthen the capital of the National Development Trust (Finade), which provides an important share to the System.
During 2010 the 'off shore' banks reported a 17.4% decline in their loan portfolio.
In November 2010, according to information from Banco de Guatemala, the loan portfolio was $ 1,450 million, 17.4% lower than the $ 1,751 million reported at year-end in 2009.
Flavio Montenegro, general manager of G&T Continental Bank, told Elperiodico.com.gt, "There are two factors which explain the behavior of off shore banks over the past year. The first relates to the exchange rate variation which reduces Dollar amounts after conversion to Quetzales ... The second factor was that during 2010 there was an excess in Dollar liquidity due to slower economic growth".
The proposed modifications to the Banking Law will establish minimum deposits and limitations to investments.
The General Secretary of the Presidency is currently analyzing the proposal, and it could reach the Legislative soon.
"Among the new measures there is a $12.500 minimum for opening accounts", publishes PrensaLibre.com. "Another modification will force offshore companies to diversify their investments, concentrating no more than 30% of their equity in debt. Today there is no limit."
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