Offshore Banking

Offshore banking licenses and offshore banking is a fast growing sector in this part of the Caribbean. One of the key features to obtaining an offshore bank licence, according to the Dominica Offshore Banking Act, is that there must be total transparency in respect of the shareholders and directors of each offshore bank. The applicant cannot therefore be an International Business Company (IBC) and bearer shares are not permitted.

General Details
Dominica does not have different classes of offshore banking licences. Only one type of banking licence is granted and it allows the licencee to engage in all types of offshore banking business. If, however, the licencee also wishes to engage in domestic banking, an additional licence is necessary.

Our expertise in offshore banking allows us to take the international client through all the stages necessary to ensure that your offshore banking license application is successful, allowing you to form an offshore bank in Dominica.

Obtaining a License
The following are the requirements for obtaining an offshore bank licence in Dominica:

  • A business plan outlining the intended operation.
  • Incorporation of a local company which will be the applicant for the offshore licence.
  • Evidence of paid up capital of US$1 million in cash or readily negotiable securities.
  • Documents to allow the Minister to consider:
    • the financial reputation and standing of the applicant.
    • the applicant’s record in international business.
    • financial performance of affiliated companies for three years immediately preceding the date of the application, certified by an independent auditor
    • the audited financial net worth of each of the shareholders, associates or affiliates of the company applying for the offshore banking licence
    • the character and standing of all the shareholders/directors or proposed directors of the applicant company
  • A representative local office in Dominica.
  • Approval from the government minister for the appointment of two individuals as its authorized agent and alternate authorized agent and where the agent is a body corporate, for the appointment of such company

Requirements 5 and 6 above can be provided by our company.

Retaining a License
In order to retain its offshore banking licence, an offshore bank must:

  • have a representative office in Dominica
  • have an authorized agent and alternate authorized agent in Dominica
  • obtain the approval of the Minister for changes to the address of its principal office or in respect of its authorized agents.
  • conduct business in a manner consistent with the interest of depositors and the public, and make adequate provision against loan defaulters, devaluation of currency and deposit losses.
  • maintain paid up capital of at least US$500,000 or five percent of deposit liabilities or such other percentage as shall from time to time be fixed by order made by the Minister.
  • maintain adequate liquidity by way of cash or marketable securities, including Treasury bills or any other convertible or time deposits with a maturity of less than twelve months, with an acceptable international bank amount to at least 12 percent of total asset or such other percentage as may be determined by the Minister by order.
  • establish and maintain an accounting system to the satisfaction of the Minister.
  • pay the prescribed annual licence fee by 15th January each year.
  • submit to the International Business Unit a statement of assets and liabilities and other specified accompanying reports for every quarter within thirty (30) days of the end of the quarter.
The fee payable to the Government for an offshore banking licence is US$8,000.00 per annum. This sum is pro-rated in the year of the grant of the licence. An offshore bank desirous of carrying on general trust business is also required to pay US$4,000.00 per annum.
Offshore Bank Account
Offshore bank accounts in Dominica in the Caribbean is a viable offshore option for financial privacy. Dominica allows legitimate persons to open offshore bank accounts and perform offshore banking on the island. The establishment of a reputable offshore banking center is a major feature of Dominica’s bid to become a leading offshore financial centre. The authorities recognize that good reputation and confidentiality are the twin pillars upon which success is to be built and no reasonable efforts are spared in this regard. Dominica is only interested in bona fide international clients desirous of doing legitimate offshore banking business. The background checks on applicants are therefore very thorough and the authorities are not unwilling to err on the side of caution.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you require any further information on the application for an offshore bank account or offshore banking licence in Dominica.