One’s Own Banker: Getting an Offshore Banking License in Saint Lucia

Recently, our clients have become increasingly interested in obtaining an offshore banking license. This interest stems from the…

Recently, our clients have become increasingly interested in obtaining an offshore banking license. This interest stems from the toughening of AML/KYC requirements for banks and payment systems, as well as growing service and money transfer rates.

Facing the above issues, one pauses to think: what if I opened my own bank? In this article, we will review in detail the offshore banking license issue process, the jurisdictions worth considering, and the application requirements.

Why obtain an offshore banking license?

A personal bank offers a great variety of functionalities, with the option not only to provide services to one’s own group of companies at fair prices but also to work with customers worldwide (with the right type of the license).

You will be able to deliver the whole range of banking services, including the issue of personal and corporate cards, setting up deposits and corporate accounts, and many more.

What types of offshore banking licenses are there?

Offshore banking licenses are often classified as limited and full licenses.

The difference is that limited licenses allow the provision of services to a fixed number of counteragents approved by the regulator issuing the offshore banking license. The list of counteragents is submitted along with the license application and can only be extended in the future only with the regulator’s consent. On the one hand, this restriction may seem detrimental but if you are creating an offshore bank only to service your company or holding, this could be a very effective and convenient investment.

Virtually every offshore jurisdiction offers banking licenses but there are a number of locations distinguished by many years’ positive experience of license issues — Saint Lucia and Vanuatu.

Offshore banking license in Saint Lucia: how to get one?

Saint Lucia is a classic tax-free offshore. Registering an offshore bank in Saint Lucia is much easier, cheaper, and quicker than in the EU, USA, and other regions.

The first stage is incorporating a company for the bank. To do that, one needs to submit a package of documents along with an application form which includes information about the company name, contact data, areas of activity, and key participants; as well as documents concerning the shareholder, director, and beneficiary of the company to be registered in Saint Lucia.

The second step is to obtain a banking license. It is required to provide the application form, select a bank class, specify the source of the authorized capital and submit a charter declaration and a business plan for a period of at least three years, and other documents envisaged for the Saint Lucia banking license issue.

Having received the banking license in Saint Lucia, it is necessary to provide proof of authorized capital and also of a security deposit of $100,000.

On average, it takes 6 months to obtain the offshore banking license.

Bank registration requirements in Saint Lucia

To set up an offshore bank in Saint Lucia one needs:

  • To have at least 2 directors – individuals, one of them being a resident of Saint Lucia
  • To appoint an auditor (not necessarily a Saint Lucia resident) and a representative in Saint Lucia

All offshore banks in Saint Lucia must regularly submit various statements in accordance with the local legislation, including annual audits prepared by an approved auditor.

How much does it cost to get an offshore banking license in Saint Lucia?

To obtain the license, one has to place a security deposit of $100,000 in a bank account (not necessarily in Saint Lucia) and contribute a minimum capital of $250,000-2,200,00, depending on the license class.

Getting an offshore banking license is not an easy process. Experts at SBSB Law Firm will be happy to help you obtain the license within the shortest time possible, also warning you about all the hidden pitfalls of offshore jurisdictions. Do not hesitate to message us via our Telegram chat for a free consultation.

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