3 Jun 2004

Cook Islands court order gags information on offshore banking licence

3:58 pm on 3 June 2004

The Cook Islands Financial Supervisory Commission is recalling a press release announcing the board's decision on banks' licence applications after being slapped with an injunction taken out by offshore banking companies.

Chief Justice Lawrie Greig in his decision gave the commission seven days to file a reply to the order.

Under the new Banking Act passed last year, the licences of all banks were extended to 1 June 2004.

Banks wanting to renew their licences after that date were required to apply for a new licence under the provisions of the new Act.

These provisions are considerably more extensive than was previously the case and are designed to bring the bank licencing and supervision regime in the Cook Islands up to best international standards.

Lawyer John McFadzien says international offshore banking matters are confidential and the media are not at liberty to report the outcome of future court proceedings on the injunction.