Offshore Banking in India

  • Sumit Kumar Sharma
  • Show Author Details
  • Sumit Kumar Sharma

    LL.M. student at National University of Study and Research in Law, India

  • img Download Full Paper


Offshore banking, a prominent sector within the financial industry, is particularly appealing to emerging markets due to its relatively lax regulatory environment compared to domestic financial markets. Offshore Financial Centres (OFCs) offer a plethora of advantages including favorable tax structures, financial stability, and confidentiality, which attract both individuals and corporations. However, the practice also poses several risks such as diminished financial security, increased regulatory scrutiny, restricted access, and susceptibility to fraud. The concept originated with banks on the British Channel Islands, evolving into a significant global financial intermediary. Offshore banks primarily serve non-residents and operate in foreign currencies, leveraging minimal taxation and enhanced privacy to attract deposits and investments. In India, the establishment of an OFC has been proposed to bolster the nation's financial sector, inspired by successful models in places like Hong Kong and the Cayman Islands. The Reserve Bank of India introduced Offshore Banking Units (OBUs) in 2002, which function within Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to facilitate international banking activities. These OBUs operate under a different set of regulations compared to domestic banks, offering services like project financing and syndicated loans in foreign currencies. The potential benefits of establishing an OFC in India include greater access to international funds, enhanced financial intermediation, and improved banking expertise. However, the practical challenges are significant, given India's current economic conditions and the intense global competition among financial centers. Key policy changes, such as the internationalization of the rupee and relaxation of exchange controls, are necessary to realize this vision. The implications for India's economy include the need for robust regulatory frameworks to manage the influx and outflow of international funds, ensuring stability and growth within the domestic financial system.


Research Paper


International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 7, Issue 3, Page 2915 - 2926


Creative Commons

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution -NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) (, which permits remixing, adapting, and building upon the work for non-commercial use, provided the original work is properly cited.


Copyright © IJLMH 2021