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How To Open An Offshore Bank In Antigua

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Class I International Banking License

According to fsrc.gov.ag to start a Class I International Bank, you need a paid-up capital of $3,000,000, and of this amount, $500,000 must be deposited with the Commissioner (or in a manner approved by the Commission on the recommendation of the appropriate official).

Class II International Banking License

If you operate a Class II International Bank, you can deal with a restricted list of customers only.  These customers must be approved by the Commission, or it must be specified as part of the terms on which the license is granted.

To start a Class II International Bank, you need a paid-up capital of $500,000, and of this, $100,000 must be deposited with the Commission or in a manner approved by the Commission.

Class III International Banking & Trust License

If you operate the same, you are allowed to carry on banking services for an unrestricted list of customers.  For this license, a paid-up capital of no less than $3,000,000 is required, of which an amount of $500,000 has to be deposited with the Commission.

Common Requirements For All License Types

In terms of the IBC Act, all licensed banks must maintain a physical presence in Antigua and Barbuda.  A physical presence is defined as:

  1. It must have its own separate office large enough to accommodate at least two staff members with computers and equipment to facilitate clients
  2. It must have a minimum of one full-time employee
  3. This employee mentioned above, or at least one other employee of the corporation, must be capable of understanding the business of the corporation, and the individual should be versed in due diligence to the extent that he or she will recognize and refuse to participate in money laundering.
  4. Physical records must be kept and remitted monthly to Antigua and Barbuda. The documents must be stored in a reproducible medium to facilitate transactions in the event of an inquiry. The corporation must ensure that it has the facilities and the means to make current information available.

 

Click Here For Offshore Company Incorporation

Compliance And Inspections

International Banks will be inspected on-site annually. These inspections will investigate accordance with:

  • all relevant laws,
  • regulations,
  • international banking standards
  • Know Your Customer (KYC) Standards
  • Maintenance of transaction records
  • Maintenance of customer records
  • Procedures for reporting suspicious transactions in terms of the
    • Money Laundering (Prevention) Act of 1996
    • The Prevention of Terrorism Act of 2005
    • Money Laundering (Prevention) Regulations of 2007

Procedures 

Applicants must submit an application in the prescribed form along with Articles of Incorporation or Continuance and the required fees.

At this point, the Supervisor of International Banks and Trust Corporations can have the applicant corporation and its actual or proposed directors and officers and its financial circumstances and its affiliates and associates investigated.  The costs of this due diligence are borne by the applicant and are payable in advance.

The license must be issued or refused within three months after application, or, if additional information is required, within fourteen days after the receipt of the data.

If a license is denied, an appeal to the Board can be made within 30-days.  If the Board also refuses the permit, a request to the minister can be made within 30-days after that. The minister’s decision is final.

Supporting Documents Required 

  1. Personal Histories 

Personal histories must be provided for every:

  • Director
  • Senior Officer
  • Natural Person who is the direct or indirect legal or beneficial owner of five percent or more of any stock of the bank.
  1. References 

For every person indicated above, two references must be supplied by well-established banks in support of:

  • The nature of their knowledge and experience with that person
  • The extent of their knowledge and experience with that person

For every person indicated above, two additional professional references in support of:

  • The nature of their knowledge and experience with that person
  • The extent of their knowledge and experience with that person

 

 

  1. Business Plan 

A comprehensive business plan including charts of the ownership structure of the bank:

  • It must identify each ultimate, direct or indirect legal or beneficial owner of 5% or more of the bank’s stock
  • All the companies, partnerships, trusts or other arrangements through which the stock is held.
  1. In The Case Of Partnerships, Trusts Or Other Arrangements

Applicants must provide:

  • The name
  • The Jurisdiction under whose laws they are organized
  • In the case of a trust:
    • The name of all trustees
    • Address of all trustees
    • The telephone and fax numbers of all trustees
  1. Statements Of Physical Presence

This must provide the address of all the offices of the bank in Antigua and Barbuda and abroad, including:

  • Branches
  • Agencies
  • Representatives
  • Other
  1. Statement Of Financial Relationships

In respect of the bank in Antigua and Barbuda and elsewhere, the:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Telephone Number
  • Fax number

of all:

  • Principal Banks
  • Investment Houses
  • Financial Services Provides
  • Correspondents
  1. Declaration Of Legal Representative

Applicants must provide details of their principal legal representatives used in Antigua and Barbuda and abroad:

  • The Name
  • Address
  • Telephone Number
  • Fax Number
  • Contact Person
  1. Policies And Procedures 

Applicants must supply detailed information about the bank’s Know Your Customer:

  • Policies
  • Procedures
  • Account Opening Forms
  • Documents to support Internal policies on money-laundering prevention and detection

 

Offshore Company

Click Here For Offshore Bank Account Application

 

  1. Statement On Bank’s Proposed Online Presence

The applicant must disclose the intended use of the internet by the bank:

  • Will it have a website?
  • Will it allow online-banking?
  • If so, how will the bank’s Know Your Customer policies be implemented during online account openings?
  • Will online banking also allow the acceptance of customer instructions?
  1. Marketing Material Disclosure

The bank must disclose all the brochures and promotional material that will be used to market its products and services:

  • Copy of all advertising material
  • Schedule of all advertising placements

Readers should note that this article is only intended to convey general information on these issues and that FAS CPA & Consultants (FAS) in no way intends for the contents of this article to be construed as accounting, business, financial, investment, legal, tax, or other professional advice or services.  This article cannot serve as a substitute for such professional services or advice.  Any decision or action that may affect the reader’s business should not rely solely on the contents of this article, but should rather be consulted on with a qualified professional adviser. FAS shall not be responsible for any loss sustained by any person who relies on this presentation.  This article is subject to change at any time and for any reason. Click here to email us and start your project.

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Fulton Abraham Sanchez, CPA

Fulton Abraham Sánchez, CPA I am Certified Public Accountant, specialized in Tax Planning & Offshore Strategies for Real Estate, Hedge/Equity Funds, Fintech, Crypto, Expats, IRS Debt Resolution. You can email me fa@fascpaconsultants.com and follow us on Facebook : FAS CPA & Consultants.

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