Cook Islands

corporate Bank Account

Opening a business bank account in Cook Islands

The Cook Islands is widely known in the offshore industry for the establishment of trusts under the International Trusts Act 1984. Cook Islands trust structures have been widely used for wealth management, succession planning, and asset protection.

However, trusts with choice of law of the Cook Islands, and their underlying vehicles tend to bank overseas, in other financial centres, such as Singapore and Hong Kong.

The Cook Islands' banking sector is very small, comprising only four banks.

The regulation and oversight of these banks are managed by the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) of the Cook Islands.

Like in other offshore financial centers, the FSC issues both, domestic banking licenses for banks serving resident clientele and international banking licenses for banks serving nonresident clientele. Currently, all international banking licensees also hold domestic banking licenses.

The banking sector in the jurisdiction consists of two local banks, the Bank of the Cook Islands and Capital Security Bank (CSB), along with an Australia-based bank, ANZ, and the largest banking group in Papua New Guinea, BSP.

Traditionally, offshore companies have been using Capital Security Bank, which opens corporate bank accounts to companies incorporated in the Cook Islands and other offshore jurisdictions, and personal bank accounts to nonresident individuals. They also serve both Cook Islands and foreign trusts and foundations.

CSB’s main service is the provision of investment accounts to invest and trade in securities, precious metals, and other investment products such as certificates of deposit, and cash accounts for transactional purposes are opened on a case-by-case basis and generally along with an investment account.

The minimum initial deposit required by CSB to open an account is USD 250,000.

Other banks operating in the Cook Islands primarily focus on domestic and regional banking services. For instance, the Bank of the Cook Islands largely focuses on domestic retail banking, whereas ANZ and BSP in both domestic retail banking and commercial banking for companies trading between the Cook Islands and countries within the Pacific Region such as Australia or New Zealand.

At Flag Theory, we assist companies incorporated in the Cook Islands and other offshore jurisdictions, as well as nonresident individuals to open bank accounts in Capital Security Bank, primarily for investment purposes.

We work with 1 different banks in Cook Islands, each bank has different eligibility requirements, types of accounts available and onboarding processes.
We invite you to carefully review each banks requirements and services to better understand if their banking services meet your needs.

Bank Accounts in Cook Islands

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Bank Option 1

Account Details

Corporate
Not Required
USD 250,000

Country Details

Cook Islands
NZD
Avarua
Oceania
21,388

The Cook Islands is an archipelago of fifteen small islands, located in the South Pacific Ocean, between Hawaii and New Zealand. It is a member of the Commonwealth and it is freely associated with New Zealand. Cook Islands citizens are also New Zealand citizens.

The islands have a combined area of 236 sq. km, but the Exclusive Economic Zone occupies more than 1,800,000 square kilometers of ocean.

It is populated by about 21,000 inhabitants. Most of them living in Rarotonga Island, where is found its capital Avarua and its international airport.

Its official languages are the Cook Islands Māori and English. Its official currency is the Cook Islands dollar and the New Zealand dollar, the first pegged to the second.

The Cook Islands is a dependency with a representative parliamentary democracy, where the Chief Minister is the Head of State. The islands are self-governing in free association with New Zealand and are fully responsible for internal affairs. New Zealand retains some external affairs responsibilities, in consultation with the Cook Islands.

Its economy, like other South Pacific islands economies, is hampered by its isolation, lack of exploitable natural resources, a natural disaster-prone location, and poor infrastructure. Tourism is the main source of income and, to a lesser extent, the cultivation of tropical fruits and their processing, manufacture of clothing and handicrafts.

In addition to tourism, the other main economic sector is the offshore industry. The Cook Islands has attractive legislation that makes it possible to set up tax-free international companies, offshore banks, insurance companies, and asset protection trusts.

Services & Fees

Our banking support service is not just a mere introduction to the bank. We assist you in filling out the business questionnaires appropriately and help you understand and provide business details, commercial information and purpose/use of the bank account that a given bank wants to know in order to approve your account application. Banks want certainty and clarity on how the account will be used. Everything must be watertight. We will work with you to make sure there is minimal 'back and forth' and a smooth account opening process.

Bank Account opening requirements are subject to change at the discretion of the bank. There might be additional fees charged by the bank itself. Bank account opening is not guaranteed and is subject to the bank policies and compliance department. There might be restrictions on UBO nationalities, business activities and/or jurisdictions. A refund is available if the account is not successfully opened subject to our terms of service (20% to partly cover service and payment processing and administrative costs apply).

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