120810_update-development-oAs much as half of the world’s capital is estimated to flow through international business and financial centres, making banking activity the most important in these centres.

Labuan International Business and Financial Centre has grown to become the home in Asia Pacific for 60 banks, including 15 investment banks, 11 of which are conventional and 4 operate under Shariah principles up to the end of 2008.

Banks licensed to operate in Labuan can conduct transactions with Malaysian residents as of January 19th, 2010, Labuan banks can now co-locate an office (or offices) in any part of Malaysia. This liberalisation is expected to drive the sector to even greater growth as banks that previously did not have a presence in Labuan now have a tremendous opportunity to do so given the added incentive of operating onshore.

Furthermore, Labuan banks are allowed a range of special benefits, including the right to use non-Ringgit funding sources, the ability to service clients in the ASEAN region, and avail themselves of Labuan’s DTA benefits.

They can also offer a wide range of banking services including the provision of credit facilities and the receipt of deposits, investment banking, Islamic banking, securitisation, factoring, development finance and leasing.