The Nevis International Banking Ordinance, No 1 of 2014 was designed to enable international banking to be carried on by international banks from within Nevis and to encourage the development of Nevis as a responsible international financial centre.The banking legislation is comprehensive with a strong built-in regulatory framework to ensure that a bank licensed under the legislation can be properly monitored to safeguard depositor’s funds and ensure that the bank maintains acceptable accounting standards and satisfies capital requirements.
To deter the establishment of brass plate banks and to protect the reputation of the jurisdiction, the Ordinance provides that no licence can be issued to an individual. Licences are granted only to eligible companies or qualified foreign banks. A licensee is required to have a physical place in Nevis approved by the Regulator of International Banking which will also be its registered office.
An eligible company includes a body corporate which has been incorporated under the Companies Ordinance which is a wholly owned subsidiary of a bank which is indigenous to St. Kitts and Nevis and regulated by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank; or a subsidiary of a qualified foreign bank which has been incorporated under the Companies Ordinance; or a body corporate which has been incorporated under the Companies Ordinance of which the chief executive officer at the time of its application for a licence, has at least ten years’ experience in banking or finance.
A qualified foreign bank is defined as a bank with adequate capitalization and assets that is licensed to conduct domestic banking in its jurisdiction of incorporation, or a financial institution that is directly or indirectly a wholly owned subsidiary of a foreign bank.
Once an application is made and all requirements are satisfied, a licence will be issued to the successful applicant upon the payment of a prescribed licensing fee.
The Ordinance permits the identification and the investigation of all directors, beneficial owners and senior managers of an international bank in Nevis. Only fit and proper persons will be permitted to hold a directorship, senior management or shareholding position in an international bank.
|The matter in respect of which the prescribed fee is payable||USD|
|Initial License fee||50,000.00|
|Annual license fee||50,000.00|
Offences in respect of which liability to conviction may be discharged by payment of fixed penalty
|Section of Ordinance||Section of Ordinance||Fixed Penalty|
|6 (2)||Carrying on International Banking within Nevis without a license||Not exceeding $500,000.00 and a further penalty of $50,000.00 for each day in default|
|15 (11)||Breach of condition of license||$25,000.00 and a further penalty of $1,000.00 for each day in default|
|16 (2)||Failure to display copy of current license||$25,000.00 and a further penalty of $1,000.00 for each month in default|
|17||Unauthorised use of the word “bank” in name||$25,000.00 and a further penalty of $1,000.00 for each day in default|
|21||Appointment of a person debarred from management||$25,000.00 and a further penalty of $1,000.00 for each day in default|
|25, 26, 27, 28||Failure of director to disclose and declare interest||$10,000 for each contravention|
|29||Disclosure of confidential information||$20,000.00|
|31||Failure to forward to the Regulator and shareholders, copies of Annual Audited Financial Statements by the prescribed date or forwarding returns after the prescribed date||$25,000.00 and a further penalty of $1,000.00 for each month in default|
|76||Failure to report to the Regulator any abandoned property in its possession or failure to deposit or convey to the Administration and abandoned property||$25,000.00 and a further penalty of $1,000.00 for each day in default|
|77(1) and (2)||Conducting international banking from within Nevis during any period in which a licensee/director/officer does not hold a license|
Not exceeding $250,00.00 (Licensee)
Up to $50,000.00 (director/officer)
|78||Engaging in advertising practices contrary to Ordinance||$10,000.00 and a further penalty of $1,000.00 for each day in default|
|79||Making false statements and obstruction||$50,000.00|
|10(4)||Failure to submit returns as required by the Regulator||$5,000.00|
The Application and supporting forms for international banking licences are available below. You are strongly advised to contact the International Banking Division to discuss your proposals before completing and submitting an application form.