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The Principality of Monaco has been a sovereign state since 8 January 1297. It became a constitutional monarchy on 17 December 1962.
It is a member of most international organisations and has signed special agreements with numerous countries.
The French-Monegasque customs union has enabled the Principality to become integrated into the European Community customs area, even though it not a member of the community.
The country's political stability, good public administration, efficient security system and particularly attractive tax system make Monaco an international business centre.
The finance and insurance sector, made up of nearly EUR 117 billion in customer deposits, represented 16.8% of Monaco's GDP in 2015. These assets are not subject to any Monegasque income tax or capital tax. The bodies that safeguard and monitor banking activity in Monaco are:
Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Résolution, ACPR (Prudential Supervisory Authority);
Commission de Contrôle des Activités Financières, CCAF (Financial Activities Supervisory Commission);
Service d'Information et de Contrôle sur les Circuits Financiers, SICCFIN (the national financial intelligence services).