History

St Vincent was a major territorial dispute between France and the United Kingdom in the 18th century, with several military confrontations between the two Empires, before it was finally ceded to the British in 1783. St Vincent gained independence in 1979. About 100,000 people live on the island.

St Vincent was a French colony for most of the 1600’s, before being handed off to Britain at the end of the 1700’s. St Vincent and the Grenadines is now a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. The St Vincentian economy is well diversified. Banking, along with tourism and international trade, buoyed economic growth in the years since its independence. Its financial sector remains an important pillar of its economy, with banking taking its lead. St Vincent has become a well-known banking centre for high net worth individuals the world over. Many bankers call it “the new Switzerland”, and citizens from Western Europe and Asia use it as an important business hub. St Vincent has not suffered as many other countries did during the international economic crisis, and its banks remained stable and profitable, adding to its excellent reputation.

Banking Institutions

Despite St Vincent being a small island nation, there are 42 authorized banks. Banking in St Vincent is controlled and regulated by the Financial Services Authority of St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Laws and Regulations

St Vincent is a well-known and respected offshore banking jurisdiction. The Financial Services Authority of St Vincent and the Grenadines is the main governing and regulatory body of banks registered in St Vincent. Furthermore, as St Vincent is a member the Commonwealth of Nations, and banking deposits are stable. This includes accrued interest up to the date of maturity of the deposit or the date on which the deposit fell due. Deposits in the name of a particular person and/or company, held with different banks, are considered as being separate deposits.

Bank Secrecy

St Vincent was ranked at the 62nd position worldwide by the 2014 Financial Secrecy Index, as a calculation that has been based on its share of the global market for offshore financial services. St Vincent accounts for about 1 per cent of the global market for offshore financial services. The St Vincent Banking Law states that all employees, directors, managers, agents, etc and any persons who have access to the records of a bank are forbidden from revealing in any way any information regarding the account of any individual customer of the bank, even after their employment with the bank has been terminated.

Electronic Payments

St Vincent and the Grenadines is a member of the the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT). The SWIFT network is the safest and most secure system for financial transactions worldwide.

Banking Facilities

SFM has a relationship with an extensive network of private and major banks in St Vincent and the Grenadines. All of the banks we refer our customers to offer a full international banking platform, with multi-currency accounts (£, € & $) as well with online banking and debit/credit cards. St Vincent also offers prepaid credit card services for both corporate as well as private bank accounts.

Once your order has been completed, you will be assigned a dedicated account manager that will guide you through the bank account opening procedure. Then, we will carefully select with you a bank from one of our leading partners, that perfectly fits your requirements like a tailored suit.

Which documents are needed to open a bank account?

As a general rule the bank asks for a certified copy of the shareholder's and director's passport (beneficial owner), as well as recent proof of residence which, must be less than three months old. If the client goes to the bank in person to open the account, a certified copy of the passport is not required.

We will send you the additional documents necessary for opening the account by email, as an attachment, for you to sign and return to us preferably by special courier ( DHL, FedEx or Chronopost), along with the other documents mentioned above.