Saint Vincent and the Grenadines: Offshore Legal and Tax Regimes
Regulation of Banking
All banks are either granted Class I or Class II offshore banking licences. A Class I bank must establish and maintain a capital fund with fully paid-up capital of not less than USD1,000,000 or its equivalent in another currency, and Class I banks are required to hold a deposit or invest the sum of USD500,000 or its equivalent in another currency, in such a manner as the Authority may prescribe. A Class II bank must establish and maintain a Capital fund with fully paid-up capital of USD500,000 or its equivalent in another currency. In addition, Class II banks are required to hold a deposit or invest the sum of USD100,000 or its equivalent in another currency in such a manner as the Authority may prescribe.
Under the International Banks Act, 1996 and associated regulations an international bank must have a place of business within Saint Vincent and designate a licensed registered agent resident in the jurisdiction. They must also have local employees An offshore bank must have a minimum of two directors who must be natural persons (rather than a corporate entity) and at least one must be resident in Saint Vincent. Director appointments are subject to the approval of IFSA. Only registered shares may be issued, and these may not be transferred or disposed of without prior permission of the regulator.
Annual audited accounts must be submitted to the regulator, and the auditors must be engaged at the time of the application. The annual accounts must be submitted within three months of the close of the business year, unless an extension has been approved. An application for registration must include the names of all shareholders, the names of all bank officers or managers and evidence must be supplied that the applicant or some person connected with the bank has banking experience. The application must include the name of the applicant’s lawyers and their written agreement to serve.