International banking business is so termed because it refers to the provision of banking services for parties who are not resident in Saint Lucia. The International Banking sector came about as part of the establishment of the International Financial Services Sector of St. Lucia in the year 2000 and in the year 2001 St. Lucia licensed its first international bank. The International Banking sector is governed by the International Banks Act, Chapter 12.17 of the 2008 Revised Laws of Saint Lucia (The International Banks Act), which is a compilation of the International Banks Act 43 of 1999 and amendments and the International Banks Regulations Statutory Instrument 97/2000 and amendments.
A valid licence is required to carry on international banking business from Saint Lucia. The International Banks Act allows for two (2) classes of licences to be issued to within the sector namely:
CLASS “A”: permitted to conduct banking business with third parties and requiring minimum paid up capital of USD 1 million.
CLASS “B”: restricted to conducting banking business with a specific group of persons (not exceeding 10) and requiring minimum paid-up capital of USD 250,000.
Both classes of licensee are required to maintain a Security Deposit of USD 100,000, which cannot be disposed of, pledged, hypothecated or otherwise encumbered without the prior notification or approval of the Authority.
International banking businesses are required to pay annual licence fees of USD 25,000 in the case of Class A and USD 15,000 in the case of Class B.
Requirements for Licence or Registration
An applicant seeking to be licenced in the International Banking sector in St Lucia must, as a precursor to the application, first seek the Authority’s consent to become incorporated as an International Business Company for that purpose.
Following incorporation, the substantive application, comprising the application from as prescribed in Form 1 of Schedule 1, duly completed, must be submitted to the Authority accompanied by:
- The prescribed application fee (USD 500)
- Due diligence information in respect of all promoters
- A comprehensive business plan
- A restricted list statement (in the case of a Class B application)
Any other documents or additional information that may be required.