Antigua Barbados bank

Antigua offshore bank license

The Government of Antigua and Barbuda has implemented numerous policies and safeguards to properly regulate the Offshore Banking Industry.

International concerns about Money-Laundering and other illegal financial activities have promoted the Government to review, and revise the existing laws that apply to offshore Banking. As a result, there have been recent amendments to the International Business Corporation Act and the Money-Laundering (Prevention) Act. The Government's objective is to ensure that the country's reputation, within the International financial services community, is not tarnished or compromised.

We have set out below some of the provisions of these Acts which are primarily intended to create, within Antigua and Barbuda, a stable and safe operating environment for Offshore Banks:

  • All Offshore Banking affairs are subject to annual examination by designated Government Examiners.
  • Detailed customer and transaction records must be kept by all Offshore Banks.
  • An "equity to assets ratio" of at least 5% must be maintained by Banks.
  • Changes in the ownership and Board of Directors of Banks will require the prior approval of the IFSA.
  • Banks are prohibited from accepting bearer negotiable instruments.
  • Banks are prohibited from receiving or transmitting funds for persons who are not customers or account holders.
  • Each Bank must appoint a Compliance Officer who is responsible for ensuring the Bank's compliance with applicable laws.
  • A Money Laundering Supervisor has been appointed by Government and given the authority to freeze funds, derived from Money Laundering for up to 4 days with a Court Order.
  • The assets of any person convicted of money laundering can be forfeited.
  • Courts in Antigua and Barbuda are authorised to co-operate with other States in identifying, tracing, freezing or forfeiting property.

The establishment, licensing and activities of offshore Banks are governed by the provisions of the International Business Corporations Act.

Any International Business Corporation (IBC) may apply to the International Financial Sector Authority (IFSA) for a licence to carry on International (or "Offshore") Banking. Under the IBC Act, the Supervisor of International Banks is responsible for the issuance of Banking Licences.

There is a statutory requirement that Offshore Banks must maintain a minimum capital of US$5 million. Of this amount, US$1.5 million must be deposited and kept in a bank licenced to do business in Antigua and Barbuda.

As a condition of its licence, an offshore bank is required to submit financial returns to the Supervisor of banks every three (3) months. An audited financial statement must be filed annually, together with a certificate verifying current owners, directors and officers of the Bank.

The Government has endeavoured to balance the need for customer confidentiality against its desire to adequately regulate the offshore banking industry. As a result, the law expressly prohibits unauthorised disclosure of certain information relating to the Bank's operations and violators can be fined and/or imprisoned.

Statutory requirements

At least one of the directors of an Offshore Bank must be a citizen of, and resident in, Antigua and Barbuda. Corporate directors are not allowed; all directors must be natural person.

An applicant for an Offshore Banking Licence must submit pertinent biographical information on each proposed directors, shareholders (with more than 5% share-holding) and officers of the Bank. Generally, information is required on the business background of these persons.

A Banking Licence can, generally, be issued within four (4) weeks of submission of completed application documents.

As company managers and administrators, Slogold can assist you with all aspects of the formation and licensing of your offshore Banks. Specially, we can provide the following services:

  • Reservation of appropriate bank name(s).
  • Formation of the IBC prior to licence application.
  • Completion and submission of licence application.
  • Obtaining a local nominee director.
  • Providing a corporate secretary
  • Providing a Registered Office and a Registered Agent.
  • Maintaining corporate records and Registers.
  • Preparing Minutes and corporate resolutions.
  • Ensuring compliance with statutory filing requirements.
  • Liaising with Government Departments and IFSA Officials.

Our Staff will be quite happy to discuss your specific needs and requirements. We can provide you with the insight that you will require to make an informed decision.

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