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The Republic of Singapore (also called the "Lion City") is made up of the main island of Singapore and 60 other smaller islands with a total area of 253 square miles (655 square kilometers) and 5.6 million people. Founded in 1819 as a trading centre by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, Singapore won its independence in 1965 and has rapidly emerged as one of Asia's economic "tigers".
Over the years, Singapore has attracted a large and diversified group of reputable local and international financial institutions. The Lion City is host to more than 600 financial institutions which offer a wide range of financial products and services. These include Private Banking, Asset Management, Investment Banking as well as Trust Services.
Over the last one and a half decades, Singapore has also started to position itself as an international center for trust administration, which is regarded as an important complement to the wealth management industry. In 2005 the Trustee Act was revised and at the same time mandatory Licensing was introduced for all activities relating to trust business with the Monetary Authority of Singapore as regulator.
The trust industry has since grown at a fast rate and there are some 60 licensed trust companies today. This growth is also reflected in the fast growing number of professionals active in the trust field, with the local chapter of STEP (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners) now being one of the most important ones outside the United Kingdom.
The Lion City offers geographical diversification within a highly professional, safe and stable environment. Customer confidentiality is assured by common law and by the Trustee Act while judicial independence allows a favourable tax environment offering selective tax exemptions without a tax haven.
Singapore is an important strategic choice for the EFG International and represents an alternative financial center for our private and institutional clients.