HSBC Treasury Management Profiles 2018 -

Current section, Introduction

Introduction

Luxembourg is an advanced economy with the highest per capita income in the OECD. A strong services sector, notably banking and financial services (contributing 24.7 per cent of GDP), drives the economy. It also attracts a high number of foreign workers: more than 40 per cent of total employment is filled by non-residents, while some 45 per cent of residents are foreigners who do not hold Luxembourg citizenship. To remain competitive, and mindful of being overly dependent on one sector, investment and support has been given not only to promoting diversification within the financial sector but to establishing a successful ICT sector, among others. According to the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, the ICT sector has grown faster than the Luxembourg economy as a whole: Luxembourg was ranked 9th in the 2017 ICT development index published by the International Telecommunications Union. GDP growth is estimated to have reached 3.4 per cent in 2017, up from 3.1 per cent in 2016. Growth is predicted to strengthen significantly to 4 per cent by 2019, according to the OECD, boosted by domestic demand, particularly consumption and investment, and growth in the domestic financial sector. Growth in domestic demand will see unemployment levels decline further: unemployment was 5.6 per cent in January 2018, the lowest rate since 2011.

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Legal and regulatory

  • Foreign exchange and domestic currency (EUR) accounts can be held by residents both domestically and abroad. Resident domestic currency accounts are convertible into foreign currency
  • Non-resident bank accounts are permitted in both foreign and domestic currency. Non-resident domestic currency accounts can be held abroad and are convertible into foreign currency
  • All transactions between residents and non-residents must be reported to the central bank

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Taxation

  • Resident companies are subject to taxation on their worldwide income
  • Non-resident companies are taxed on their Luxembourg-sourced income only
  • The standard rate of corporation tax for companies whose taxable income exceeds EUR30,000 is 22.47 per cent
  • A 15 per cent withholding tax is levied on interest and dividends paid to resident and non-resident companies

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Payment instruments and systems

  • Credit transfers are used for both high-value corporate and low-value retail payment transactions. Cheques are rarely used; cheque books are no longer provided by banks. Payment cards are increasingly popular. The Digicash app for mobile payments is used by approximately 20 per cent of Luxembourgers
  • Luxembourg operates two national payment systems: TARGET2-LU, an RTGS system, and STEP2, for domestic and cross-border SEPA payments

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Cash management

  • Domestic and cross-border notional pooling and cash concentration are permitted between resident and non-resident accounts
  • Automated collection methods are used by medium-sized and large businesses in Luxembourg

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Electronic banking

  • All the major banks offer the bank-independent MultiLine (Luxembourg’s domestic version of Germany’s MultiCash) electronic banking application alongside or instead of proprietary solutions. Large companies can also use SWIFT for Corporates
  • Internet and mobile banking services are provided by all of the country’s banks for both corporate and retail purposes. Online and mobile banking services were used by 73 per cent and 52 per cent of individuals respectively in 2018
  • The MyBank e-mandate solution facilitates online/mobile payments without requiring the provision of personal bank account details to third parties

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To read the full report on Luxembourg and to discover more on these and other topics, including banking and trade, please click on the Download PDF option.

Sources:

  • Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce
  • Measuring the Information Society Report, 2017, International Telecommunications Union
  • European Commission

The materials contained on this page were assembled in April 2017 (unless otherwise dated).

 

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