Vanuatu offers the possibility to establish a privately owned offshore banking institution with very reasonable capital requirements and governmental fees. The recent change in banking laws creating a new 2002 International Banking Act established a more regulated financial environment to oversee the continued expansion of the offshore banking sector.
Vanuatu is an established offshore financial center offering a wide range of offshore services and company products. The jurisdiction offers an International Banking Licence through the International Banking Act [CAP. 280] which is regulated by the Reserve Bank of Vanuatu. Learn more about Vanuatu as an Offshore Financial Centre.
The Vanuatu International Banking Act defines a Banking business as:
and uses such deposits or the proceeds of such sales or placements, either in whole or in part, for loans or investments for the account and at the risk of the person.
2. A person is taken to be carrying on banking business if the person:
It is required that all beneficial owners and directors are in good financial standing with a clean financial history together with a CV and background that is capable of fulfilling the financial obligations required for the maintaining of an international banking license.
The applicant is expected to have a pain-in capital of more than 500,000 USD, which is the minimum threshold. All liability, debts or loans are such that the sum total of all transactions capital remains above 500,000 USD.
Signatory authority may come from a director or beneficial owner, who will be given authority over accounts. The paid-in capital required to open an International Bank in Vanuatu is not required to be held by the Vanuatu Reserve Bank or any other Vanuatu financial institution. Vanuatu financial regulator officers require that funds are held in a reputable financial institution, whether it is within Vanuatu or abroad.
Depending on the purpose of the financial institution the assets may be held in various forms, which will be advised by the Reserve Bank of Vanuatu whether funds are held in cash, stock gold or investments which is often determined by the assets and liabilities.
It is important to note that one must establish the credibility that such a financial institution is to be used for ethical reasons and that such capital used is acceptable and comes from reputed individuals that show one's intentions.
The license will be revoked if the international bank is not used within the first three months of its inception or during its operations is not used for a period of three months or more.
Refusal of an international banking licence is usually justified because the applicant has a criminal history, is not qualified or does not have a shareholder or director qualified to meet the financial obligations required for keeping the bank in good standing.
Vanuatu Governmental fee is 16,750 USD which includes application and registration for the licence and first year of the annual company registration fee.
Members associated with the International Bank are protected by law any and all details concerning personal, company or financial related information, unless required by officers of the Reserve Bank or local authorities for the sake of regulatory compliance.
Information is not shared with foreign governmental bodies. All information is protected by law, according to the International Bank Act, unless:
"the foreign regulatory authority or the foreign law enforcement authority is subject to adequate legal restrictions on further disclosure; and...that the information disclosed is reasonably required by the foreign authority for the purpose of its regulatory or law enforcement functions."
Essentially stating that information is kept private unless foreign authorities have reason to believe the applicant is dealing in criminal behavior and have already sufficient evidence against the applicant.
Necessary documents for an international banking license include:
*Requirements are for all members associated with the international banking licence including: beneficial owner(s), shareholder(s), member(s), director(s), secretary:
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