Grenada: Offshore Business Sectors
The principal legislation is the Offshore Banking Act 2003, which provides a comprehensive framework for the licencing and supervision of offshore banks. Before a licence is granted by the Minister of Finance, routine checks are made of the applicants. There two types of licences, class 1 (unrestricted) and class 11 (restricted).
Banking confidentiality is statutory. Section 28 (1) of the Offshore Banking Act in particular sets out the general rule that "no person who has aquired knowledge in his capacity as director, manager, secretary, officer, employee or agent of a licensee or as Registrar or a person authorised under subsection 21 (4) to assist him, shall disclose to any person or governmental authority the identity, assets, liabilities, transactions or other information in respect of a depositor or customer of such licensee." Confidentiality and secrecy in Grenada's offshore financial services sector is strictly enforced and both criminal and civil consequences are visited on those who disclose confidential information. The Act states that any person who contravenes the confidentiality provisions commits an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine of one hundred thousand dollars or imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to both such fine and imprisonment.
Disclosure of information by a Grenada licensed offshore bank is only permitted in those cases which are expressly provided for in the law. Such cases include a disclosure:
- with written authorization of the depositor;
- for the purpose of performance of the person's duties within the scope of his or her employment or in conformity with the provisions of the Offshore Banking Act;
- when required to make the disclosure by any court of competent jurisdiction within Grenada.