Banking in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Saint Vincent as an International Finance Centre
The financial sector in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines made up of the following financial institutions. Licensed International Banks - Six (6) Banks
The following is a complete and updated list of all the banks licensed to conduct international banking business in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
All of the banks listed below carry Class A International Banking Licenses.
If an entity’s name does not appear on this list, this means that it does not hold an international banking license of any kind in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. There are at present no banks with Class II international banking licenses.If you wish to get guidande to open a Bank account in Saint Vincent, click here
European Commerce Bank
21 BK 1999
The Financial Services Centre
Paul’s Avenue, P.O. Box 1822
Kingstown, St. Vincent
Tel: (784) 456-1460 Fax: (784) 456-1455
Contact: Mr. Marcus Ballantyne
Euro Pacific Bank
111 Euro House
Financial Service Centre,
Jaycees Building, Stoney Ground
St. Vincent & the Grenadines
Tel: (784) 453-2086 Fax: (784) 453-2085
Loyal Bank Limited
Cedar Hill Crest
P.O. Box 1825
Kingstown, St. Vincent
Tel: (784) 485-6705 Fax: (784) 451-2757
B2B Bank Limited
P.O. Box 2043
St. Clair Investments Arnos Vale Building
2nd Floor, Suite A
St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Tel: +1 (784) 482-9656
Fax: +1 (784) 482-9656
Contact: Mr. Walt Clarke
Guide to open an account in Saint Vincent for non residents. NOTE: The Financial Services Authority wishes to advise that an entity called “Overseas First Federal” is representing itself as an Offshore Financial Company, via the website http://www.overseasfirstfederal.com/. This entity purports to offer banking services through a trust company located in St. Vincent and the Grenadines called “Overseas First Union”.
Information provided on the entity’s website states that “Overseas First Federal” is operating in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, with its address at Sutherland’s Building, Murray Road, Kingstown, St. Vincent. Contact details include: Tel: 1(786)515-9722 and Fax: 1(786)309-2776
The Authority wishes to advise that it is not aware of any such business housed at the foregoing address and the photograph representation of the building on the website does not depict either the Sutherland’s Building in Kingstown, St. Vincent or any building in the vicinity of Sutherland’s Building. In addition, the country area code for St. Vincent and the Grenadines is not ‘1786’.
The Authority wishes to further advise that “Overseas First Federal” and “Overseas First Union” are not and have never been licensed by the Financial Services Authority of St. Vincent and the Grenadines to provide banking services or any other services.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines was a colony of Britain that became independent in 1979. Since then it has maintained many of the traditions of Britain, while developing its own unique Vincentian civilization. Its parliamentary system of democracy mirrors that of Westminster – as does the evolution of the two party system in St. Vincent . The legal system is that of the common law, with a common Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal and the final appeal in the Downing Street Privy Council.
While the financial services sector is a prominent part of the investment development strategy of the country, tourism is the prime income earner, and agriculture generally comes in second. In 2003 the revenue from the film industry surpassed that of agriculture, with the filming of Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean, starring Johnny Depp.
The tourism industry thrives largely on the beauty and prime sailing destination of the Grenadine islands, as well as the hospitable and open populace. Islands like Mustique, the Tobago Cays, Bequia, Union Island, Mayreau and Canouan are musts stops for sailors.
The island of St. Vincent has a rich cultural heritage, with historic peoples of the Ciboney, the Arawaks, Caribs, and Garifuna to name a few.
St. Vincent has a long tradition of banking and finance with Barclays Bank being the first international bank with operations here in 1837 and the first indigenous bank First St. Vincent Bank set up in 1909. Currently there are three indigenous commercial banks, as well as three other commercial domestic banks operating in St. Vincent and the Grenadines .
Swiss lawyers introduced St. Vincent and the Grenadines to the international financial services sector in 1976. Three years later the country gained independence from Britain and embarked on the process of nation building – setting up the foundations of an independent nation state. When the country was more mature it was able to take a second look at the international finance industry in 1996 and take the policy decision to move this sector into the forefront of the national economy. The international finance legislation was overhauled and a package of financial laws was introduced.
The laws provide the basis for the formation of the following entities:
•International Business Companies – including SCCs as well as hybrid companies
•International Insurance Companies
•Limited Liability Companies.
The international entities registered in St. Vincent and the Grenadines are not subject to taxation. Favorable tax laws are common also in the domestic economy, where there is no capital gains tax, no inheritance tax, no tax on dividends and corporate tax ranges from 10 – 35%. There is freedom to repatriate capital and profits up to USD100,000. Amounts exceeding that sum require approval before repatriation, which is usually given. Also there are no exchange controls on current transactions under USD100,000.
Regulated and licensed agents and trustees, known in St. Vincent and the Grenadines as Registered Agents, provide international financial services. The Financial Services Authority supervises these agents.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines has a small, carefully vetted and properly regulated international private banking sector. At present there are only four banks licensed to conduct international banking business. The regulatory body, the Financial Services Authority, has concentrated its efforts on ensuring that only banks with a real presence, and sound business operations and policies, operate in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. There are no shell banks licensed in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. All banks have been and will be subject to further on-site examinations by the authorities every 12-18 months.
The ECCB promotes and maintains the monetary stability of the single common currency (the Eastern Caribbean dollar) of the group of eight small island economies, including Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
The ECCB is an organ of the Member governments and it has its headquarters in St. Kitts and Nevis. The highest decision making body of the Bank is the Monetary Council comprising ministers of government from the participating states.
The role and function of the ECCB includes:
• To issue currency notes and coins in the territories of participating governments
• Supervise and regulate (mainly) domestic banks of the member states.
All domestic commercial banks in St. Vincent and the Grenadines are regulated by the ECCB. St. Vincent and the Grenadines, as a result of substantive legislative and administrative review over the past two years, has an anti money-laundering regime that is on a par with the highest of international standards. The FATF have recognized the substantial progress made by St. Vincent and the Grenadines in this regard.