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St Vincent & the Grenadines

International Banking Licence

International Banking Licence

To obtain an international banking license from the Financial Services Authority, the company has to ensure that its operations can adequately be defined as banking business. Banking business according to the International Banks Act, Chapter 99 of the Revised Laws of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, 2009 is described as:

  1. the business of receiving funds through
  • the acceptance of monetary deposits that are repayable on demand or after notice or any similar operation,
  • the sale or placement of bonds, certificates, notes or other securities and the use of them, either in whole or in part, for loans or investment for the risk of the customer; and
  1. any other activity recognised by the Central Bank or the Authority as customary banking practice and which a financial institution may additionally be authorised to do.

A company must first obtain a license from the Financial Services Authority before it engages in banking business. The two classes of international banks which are licensed by the FSA are Class A international banks with capital requirements of US$3M and a statutory deposit of US$500,000 and Class B international bank with capital requirements of US$0.5M and a statutory deposit of US$100,000.

Additional information and the International Banks Act may be found on our website at the following links:

http://dev.svgfsa.com/mdocs-posts/international-banks-act/

http://dev.svgfsa.com/mdocs-posts/international-banking-application-checklist/  

http://dev.svgfsa.com/mdocs-posts/application-for-an-international-banking-licence/

http://dev.svgfsa.com/mdocs-posts/fsa-personal-questionnaire-for-international-banking-license-application/ 

Please note that a Class B international banking license when issued requires the licensee to maintain a fully paid-up capital of US$500,000 or its equivalent in another currency. Additionally, the licensee must deposit or invest US$100,000 in a manner which the Financial Services Authority (FSA) reasonably prescribes. Please also note that the business activity of a Class B international bank is restricted to those persons mentioned in its initial application to the FSA. Any new clients which the Bank obtains subsequent to licensing must be approved by the FSA.

In addition to the above requirements, all international banks are required to have a physical place of business in St.Vincent and the Grenadines, a minimum of two employees and a registered agent in accordance with Section 8 of the International Banks Act, Chapter 99 of the Revised Laws of St Vincent and the Grenadines. Additional information on establishing a Class B bank may be found on our website www.svgfsa.com

International banks are precluded from conducting banking business with residents of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, from investing in any asset that represents a claim on any resident, and from buying bonds or other securities issued by the State. In order to obtain a licence, they must establish a physical presence in the country, have at least two local employees (one at senior management level), and have at least two directors approved by the FSA, one of which must be a resident of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. There are two kinds of licence: class A imposes no restrictions on the international bank’s offshore business activities; class B allows the international bank to conduct business only with non-resident persons specifically named in an undertaking accompanying the licence application. All international banks are subject to onsite inspections at least once every 12-18 months.

Some additional points to note:

 CLASS A

  1. Non-refundable application fee of US$1,000.00 is payable
  2. Each Class A bank must establish and maintain a capital fund with fully paid-up capital of not less than one million US dollars (US$1,000,000.00) or its equivalent in another currency
  3. Class A banks are required to hold a deposit or invest the sum of five hundred thousand US dollars (US$500,000.00) or its equivalent in another currency, in such a manner as the Authority may prescribe.
  4. Designate and notify the Authority by name a registered agent, which is not an official of the bank, to act as its registered agent in the state.
  5. Class A license fees US$10,000.00
  6. Class A annual renewal Fees US$10,000.00

CLASS B

  1. Non-refundable application fee of US$1,000.00 is payable
  2. Each Class B bank must establish and maintain a Capital fund with fully paid-up capital of five hundred thousand United States dollars (US$500,000.00) or its equivalent in another currency
  3. Class B banks are required to hold a deposit or invest the sum of one hundred thousand United States dollars (US$100,000.00) or its equivalent in another currency in such a manner as the Authority may prescribed
  4. Designate and notify the Authority by name a registered agent, which is not an official of the bank, to act as its registered agent in the state.
  5. Class B license fees US$10,000.00
  6. Class B annual renewal fees US$5,000.00

The application process will take 4-6 weeks, provided that all relevant documents are submitted at the time the application is made.

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International Banking Licence