Belize bank license
International Banking License
There are seven licensed international banks in Belize. While it has become harder over the last few years to start a new bank from scratch, it is still possible in Belize. In order to get license you can plan to spend US$100,000 and about twelve months of due dilligence on a class B bank and US$250,000 and approximately eighteen months on an unrestricted class A bank. The time frames will depend a bit on the nationality of your shareholders, all of whom will need to be vetted by Belize's Central Bank.
A Belize Offshore Bank can carry on the following activities within Belize:
- establish, maintain, and operate a business office in Belize; transact offshore banking business through its business office in Belize without restrictions;
- transact offshore banking business with a local entity in Belize licenced under the Banks and Financial Institutions Act, 1995.
Two categories of Belize Offshore Banks are currently available, "A" Class - Unrestricted and "B" Class - Restricted. Both types of banks needs to establish, maintain, and operate a business office (physical presence) in Belize.
The holder of an "A" Class offshore banking licence is permitted to transact offshore banking business through its business office in Belize without restrictions on that business. Authorised and paid up capital of not less than US$3,000,000 must be maintained if the licence is for a local company, or US$25,000,000 in the case of a foreign bank.
The holder of a "B" Class offshore banking is limited to transacting only such offshore banking business as is specified in its licence. Authorised and paid up capital of not less than US $1,000,000 must be maintained if the licence is for a local company, or US $15,000,000 in the case of a foreign bank.
Belize's Offshore Banking legislation stipulates that an entity is eligible to apply for an offshore banking licence if:
- it is incorporated or registered under the Companies Act or the International Business Companies Act as a company limited by shares, or if it is a foreign bank;
- its shares are in registered form and not in bearer form;
- its memorandum and articles of association are acceptable to the Central Bank;
- its authorized and paid up capital are in compliance with statutory requirements
The Offshore Banking Act enables offshore banks to obtain hard currency and operate within Belize in foreign currencies without being subject to exchange control regulations.
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