Choose Global Money Consultants for Your Saint Lucia International Banking Licence Services
In addition to providing exceptional asset and privacy protections, operating in Saint Lucia comes with substantial financial savings and benefits. However, in order to legally operate an international bank in Saint Lucia, a somewhat in-depth application process for a Saint Lucia International Banking Licence must be commenced and completed. Under Saint Lucia’s International Banks Act, an international bank can be established within Saint Lucia if certain requirements are fulfilled. These requirements include the completion and submission of an application to Saint Lucia’s Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA), and specific capital requirements must also be fulfilled. Luckily Global Money Consultants has years of experience with providing relevant assistance and advice for the entire Saint Lucia international banking license application process.
Understanding the Saint Lucia International Banking Licence Application Process
Filing a Saint Lucia international banking licence application with the FSRA is the first step towards establishing an international bank in Saint Lucia. This application allows the FSRA to conduct its own due diligence review of your bank’s parent company. Applications submitted to the FSRA are submitted for either the Class “A” or Class “B” Saint Lucia International Banking Licence. The Class “A” Saint Lucia International Banking Licence provides a general, unrestricted banking licence, while the Class “B” Saint Lucia International Banking Licence restricts the potential clients your international bank can conduct business with. Applications for Class “B” Licences must provide a list of the different persons the bank will conduct business with. However, the Licence “B” potential client list can be modified following the establishment of the international bank.
Understanding the Saint Lucia International Banking Licence Capital Requirements
Both the Class “A” and Class “B” Licences impose minimum capital requirements. Furthermore, an international bank must fulfill both the minimum capital requirement, while maintaining a $100,000.00 deposit held at a FSRA approved bank. Also required is a written declaration that the bank will maintain and keep the $100,000.00 deposit clear and free from any and all encumbrances during the entire term of the licence.
The Class “A” Bank License capital requirements include:
• The maintenance of an $100,000.00 deposit held by an FSRA-approved bank; AND
• Fulfillment of a paid up capital minimum of $1,000,000.00.
The Class “B” Bank Licence capital requirements include:
• The maintenance of an $100,000.00 deposit held by an FSRA-approved bank; AND
• Fulfillment of a paid up capital minimum of $250,000.00.
Full Details & applicable procedure regarding Saint Lucia International Banking Licenses
The licensing of an International Bank is a fairly involved and rigorous procedure requiring a considerable amount of information about the principals, their business affairs and their plans for the new entity. This is a necessity as extensive due diligence is carried out by the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (ESRA) to protect Saint Lucia’s reputation as a safe and respected jurisdiction to do business.
An International Bank may apply for one of two classes of license.
Class A License which permits the applicant to conduct international banking business with third parties or if you like the general public.
Class B License (Restricted/Private license) which permits the applicant to conduct business ONLY with persons listed at the time of the application.
Under any of the two licenses the applicant or licensee is prohibited from engaging in certain types of business with residents of St. Lucia.
An International Bank must be first incorporated as an International Business Company (IBC). A tentative or preliminary application to the Director of the FSRA for the approval of the IBC, must first be made prior to incorporating the IBC as the Bank. Most of the time, application to the FSRA and application for the respective license are being done simultaneously.
An applicant, as an IBC may elect to be exempt from tax or be subject to tax at a rate of 1%.
Licensees are not subject to exchange controls.
With respect to a Class A license, the applicant must have and maintain fully paid-up capital of at least US$1,000,000, while a Class B license requires at least US$250,000.
Moreover, it is also required for an application under either class, that a deposit of US$100,000 be made in an approved bank (not necessarily in Saint Lucia) or as otherwise prescribed on application.
It is to be noted that whilst the Act stipulates minimum capital requirements, the actual capital requirement in each case will be determined by the FSRA based on the nature of the business to be undertaken.
a) cash in hand or on deposit with an institution licensed under the Banking Act of Saint Lucia or with a Bank in good standing under the laws of a recognized country or jurisdiction, or with other financial institutions approved by the FSRA from time to time
b) bonds, debentures or other evidence of debt/indebtedness issued or guaranteed by the Government of St. Lucia; the Government of the UK or of the USA or Canada; any other recognized country or jurisdiction or such other government as may be approved from time to time by the FSRA
c) bonds, debentures etc issued or guaranteed by any municipal corporation and secured by rates or taxes levied and collectable by such municipal corporation under the authority of the governments mentioned in above paragraph (b) i.e. of St. Lucia, UK, USA and Canada.
d) other equity or debt securities quoted and subject to an active listing on an approved Stock Exchange; provided that such securities shall be included as allowable assets only to the extent of fifty (50%) percent of the total assets of the applicant
e) real estate property located in St. Lucia by way of a subsidiary
f) accounts receivable, net of provision of bad and doubtful debts
g) irrevocable letters of credit issued or confirmed by an institution licensed under the Banking Act of St. Lucia, or by financial institutions chartered and in good standing under the laws of any recognized country, or by other financial institutions approved by the Minister from time to time.
The business plan and projections submitted with the application will need to demonstrate that the bank will be able to maintain liquidity levels adequate to its ongoing needs and planned operations.
It is required to have a Registered Agent, a Registered Office and to file annual audited financial statements.
a) details of the proposed company which will hold the license
b) listing of the shareholders and their percentage holding; directors and officers and their addresses
c) very detailed curriculum vitae (resumes) of the principals’ qualifications and experience (past/present) that makes them suitable applicants to run a financial entity
d) certified passports, police certificates of character and three (3) references (one which must be from a recognized financial institution)
e) evidence of liability insurance in the amount of US$500,000 may, at the discretion of FSRA be required
f) engagement letter from an acceptable auditor
g) pro-forma balance sheet, certified by the auditors demonstrating compliance with the capital requirements
There are special provisions maintaining the confidentiality of the info submitted to the FSRA on application and also protecting the confidentiality of the affairs of the licensee or the affairs of customers. The shareholders are not made public and they are only known to the FSRA and the Registered Agent
All licensees must have at least two directors (natural persons) and at least one must be a resident of St. Lucia.
a) Government & Professional Fees
CLASS A – US$55,000 to US$58,000
CLASS B – US$45,000 to US$48,000
b) Annual Fees
CLASS A – Government Fees US$26,000; Registered Agent/Office US$18,000; Resident Director US$6,000
CLASS B – Government Fees US$16,000; Registered Agent/Office US$18,000; Resident Director US$6,000
c) Other Applicable Fees
In the region of US$10,000 to US$15,000 depending on the extent of time needed etc.
a) detailed business plan for the proposed company/Bank (including organizational chart; economic benefits chart; feasibility study)
b) certified evidence of capital
c) statutory declaration for each shareholder
d) bank, legal and accounting references of shareholders
e) statement of amount and type of shares each shareholder holds
f) resume of each director, and all senior management personnel
g) other applicable documentation pertaining to financial statements, auditors, accountants, attorneys-at-law etc
Global Money Consultants specializes in the facilitating the successful completion and submission of Applications for a Saint Lucia International Banking Licence. Contact us today for more information regarding the International Banking Licence application process.