March 16, 2024

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Banks in St Kitts and Nevis: Your Ultimate Guide 2024

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Banks in St Kitts and Nevis: Your Ultimate Guide 2024

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Located in the heart of the Caribbean, the dual-island nation of St. Kitts and Nevis boasts not only pristine beaches and lush landscapes but also a robust and sophisticated banking system. Despite being one of the smallest countries in the region, St. Kitts and Nevis has managed to build a resilient financial infrastructure that not only serves its local population but also attracts international investors and high-net-worth individuals from around the world. In this article, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide to opening a bank account in St. Kitts and Nevis.

St Kitts and Nevis Banking System Overview

The banking system in St. Kitts and Nevis is well-regulated and provides a secure environment for your financial transactions. The country is home to both local and international banks, offering a range of services to meet your personal and business needs.

The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) regulates the banks in St. Kitts and Nevis. The ECCB's primary role is to maintain the stability of the Eastern Caribbean currency and the integrity of the banking system. This means you can trust that your investments and savings are safe in this Caribbean nation.

Confidentiality and privacy are key features of the banking system in St. Kitts and Nevis. The country's laws are designed to protect the privacy of banking clients, offering a secure platform for individuals and businesses to manage their financial affairs. This commitment to confidentiality enhances the overall appeal of St. Kitts and Nevis as a trustworthy and secure financial hub.

St. Kitts and Nevis host a diverse range of banks (approximately 15), including local institutions such as St. Kitts - Nevis - Anguilla National Bank, Development Bank, First Caribbean Bank, Bank of Nevis, and Republic Bank. Notably, three of these banks are members of the Caribbean Association of Banks, signifying their reliability and adherence to industry standards.

On top of that, entrepreneurs find St. Kitts and Nevis particularly appealing for business operations and financial diversification. Additionally, the option to acquire St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship through investment presents strategic advantages, including reduced tax liabilities and fewer restrictions on international financial dealings.

Who Can Open a Bank Account in St. Kitts and Nevis?

In St. Kitts and Nevis, both residents and non-residents have the opportunity to open bank accounts. The list of potential applicants includes:

  • Residents of St. Kitts and Nevis
  • Non-residents or foreigners
  • Companies and businesses, including international entities
  • Offshore companies and trusts
  • Investors and individuals seeking citizenship by investment 

Non-residents interested in establishing an account in St. Kitts and Nevis should be prepared for a potentially more intricate process. This often involves submitting additional documents, adhering to international compliance standards, and undergoing thorough due diligence procedures. Standard personal documentation, such as a certificate of citizenship and a valid passport from the individual's country of origin, is typically required to initiate the account opening process for non-residents.

For international businesses aiming to open bank accounts in St. Kitts and Nevis, a comprehensive set of documentation is usually necessary. This includes proof of the company's existence, such as the Certificate of Incorporation, details about the board of directors and shareholders, and information about the company's beneficiaries. The specific documentation requirements can vary between banks. 

Benefits of Opening a St. Kitts and Nevis Bank Account

Having a bank account in St. Kitts and Nevis provides numerous advantages and opportunities, particularly for international investors and businessmen.

  1. Financial Privacy: Offshore bank accounts in St. Kitts and Nevis may offer a heightened level of financial privacy compared to some other jurisdictions in Europe or Northern America. Despite changes due to international pressure on tax transparency, the country has historically maintained robust banking secrecy laws.
  2. Asset Protection: A St. Kitts and Nevis offshore bank account can be a crucial element of an asset protection strategy, shielding your assets from potential legal actions or creditors in your home country.
  3. Tax Planning: St. Kitts and Nevis is renowned for its favorable tax environment with no personal taxes such as global income tax, wealth tax, inheritance tax, etc. Offshore accounts in the country may provide tax advantages. 
  4. Diversification: Holding assets in St. Kitts and Nevis allows for diversification, spreading risk across different economies and legal systems and contributing to a well-rounded and resilient financial portfolio.
  5. Ease of Access: St. Kitts and Nevis, being a well-connected and accessible jurisdiction, facilitates the opening and management of accounts through modern banking infrastructure and international financial services.
  6. Stability: The political and economic stability in St. Kitts and Nevis enhances the overall stability of your financial holdings, providing a secure environment for your assets.
  7. Currency Flexibility: Banks provide services such as foreign currency accounts, which allow transactions in major global currencies, which is advantageous for international business operations.
  8. Investment Opportunities: Access to local and regional investment opportunities in the Caribbean, within St. Kitts and Nevis, can be advantageous for those interested in the region's economic activities, such as investing in premium real estate or hotels. 
  9. Citizenship by Investment: St. Kitts and Nevis offers a Citizenship by Investment (CBI) program, allowing individuals to acquire citizenship through a qualifying investment of at least USD 250,000. Introduced in 1984, it is the longest-standing citizenship by investment program in the world. As a citizen of St. Kitts and Nevis, you can enjoy a tax-friendly environment, visa-free travel to 157 countries, and the freedom to live, work, and study in this beautiful Caribbean nation. The program is anchored on the principles of integrity, confidentiality, and international compliance.

Banks in St Kitts and Nevis

There are a variety of banks and financial institutions located in St. Kitts and Nevis. Overall, St. Kitts and Nevis has both local and international banks operating within its borders.

Bank Name Bank Overview
The Bank of Nevis (BON) It provides offshore banking and financial services to international clients. This bank was founded in 1985 and is a member of the Caribbean Association of Banks. It provides banking services for both individuals and businesses, including wire transfers and online banking. In 2019, it signed an agreement to take over the banking operations of the Royal Bank of Canada and the RBTT Bank of Trinidad and Tobago in the country.
SKNA National Bank It stands for the St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla National Bank. It is the oldest national bank in St. Kitts and Nevis, having been founded in 1971. It is the country's largest bank and offers both personal and business banking services. It is well known as a national bank that offers business development loans.
FirstCaribbean International Bank (CIBC Bank) It is the largest, regionally-listed bank in the English and Dutch speaking Caribbean. It provides high-touch, relationship-oriented banking and wealth management services to middle-market companies, entrepreneurs, and high-net-worth individuals and families, as well as asset management services to institutional investors.
Development Bank It promotes economic growth and development by providing financial and advisory services to viable ventures and programs in the fields of business, industry, agriculture, education, and housing.
Eastern Caribbean Central Bank It was established in October 1983. The primary goal is to ensure the stability of the Eastern Caribbean currency and the integrity of the banking system.
St. Kitts Cooperative Credit Union It offers financial services, including loans and wealth management.
Hamilton Reserve Bank It is the largest global bank in the entire Caribbean region, with worldwide offices. It provides private banking powered by Temenos technology, which is the same core banking software that runs 80% of the world’s largest banks.
Republic Bank It is a leading Caribbean financial institution, offering personal banking, loans, and wealth management services.
Nevis Co-Operative Credit Union It offers convenient 24/7 access to mobile banking service. Enrolled members can enjoy a range of features, including checking accounts, transferring funds, paying bills, depositing checks, and more, all with the same high level of security.
International Merchant Bank Limited It boasts a team with extensive expertise in both local and global trade finance and banking for businesses.

Top Banks in St Kitts and Nevis for Foreigners

Most foreigners prefer setting up a bank account with the top banks in St. Kitts and Nevis in order to manage their personal funds and operate their businesses. Please find the list of banks below:

Bank Services and Products Monthly Service Fees Account Activation Commissions

Hamilton Reserve Bank

Online and mobile banking,
Personal banking, Business banking, Financial services, etc.
None EC$100,000 for legal entities
EC$50,000 for individuals
EC$0 for most transactions

SKNA

Savings accounts,
Checking accounts,
Money market accounts,
Certificate of deposit,
Fixed deposit account,
Salary accounts,
Business banking, etc.
No monthly fees for accounts held by individuals From EC$25 to EC$1,000, depending on the type of bank account It is recommended to check with the bank

BON

Current accounts, Savings accounts,
Foreign currency accounts,
Online and mobile banking, etc.
From EC$11,70 to EC$58,50, depending on the type of bank account It is recommended to check with the bank From EC$1,76 to EC$111,70, depending on the type of transaction

CIBC Bank

Bank accounts for various purposes, e.g. trading, escrow, investments, savings, merchant and others,
Electronic banking, etc.
EC$25 for checking accounts per month
EC$10 for savings accounts per month
A detailed schedule of charges can be found on this website.
None EC$3.00 + stamp duty for debits/withdrawals fee
EC$130 and EC$78 for international wire via branch and via internet respectively

Republic Bank

E-banking,
Business accounts,
Personal accounts,
Cash,
Credit/debit cards,
Loans, etc.
Up to EC$15 for business account
EC$0 for saving accounts
One time set-up fee is EC$0 Commissions are outlined in this schedule of rates


Online Banking in St. Kitts and Nevis

Almost all banks in St. Kitts and Nevis provide their clients with online and mobile banking. Their digital banking platform and mobile application are tailored to save time and financial resources while also promoting environmental sustainability. You can benefit from the following services using online and mobile banking: 

  • Check Your Balance: Stay updated on your account balances effortlessly through our online banking portal and mobile app. You can monitor your finances at your convenience.
  • Make Transfers: Easily transfer funds between your accounts, make local transfers to other customers, send money to accounts at other local banks, and even make international transfers.
  • Pay Bills: Streamline your bill payments by using our digital banking services. You can pay your bills online with just a few clicks, saving you the hassle of traditional paper-based transactions.
  • Environmentally Friendly Statements: Contribute to environmental conservation by opting for online account statements. You will save paper and reduce your carbon footprint while still having access to your financial records.
  • Secure Banking: Rest assured with our two-step verification process, which adds an extra layer of security to confidential transactions. You will be able to protect your financial information with advanced security measures.
  • Card Security Controls: Take control of your debit and credit cards with our card security features. You may receive real-time notifications for card transactions, verify your mobile location for enhanced security while traveling, and even freeze your card instantly if it is lost or stolen.

Document Requirements for Opening a Bank Account in St. Kitts and Nevis

For Individuals

To facilitate a smooth and compliant banking process when opening an account with the leading banks in St. Kitts and Nevis, individuals are required to submit specific documents. The following list outlines the necessary documentation:

  1. Proof of Address:
  • Valid driver’s license, or
  • Recent bank statement, or
  • Utility bills,or
  • Letter from your property owner. 

2. Proof of Income:

  • Recent payslip/paystub or recent letter of employment.
  • Bank statements showing your source of income.

3. Identification:

  • Passport or government-issued ID, with a photograph.

4. Tax Identification Number:

  • Required for foreign nationals, dual-citizens, and non-residents.

5. Additional Supporting Documents:

  • Duly completed application form and your intention to open a bank account.
  • A letter of recommendation from a reputable bank or professional.

For Legal Entities (Businesses)

If you are looking to establish a business presence in St. Kitts and Nevis, it is crucial to understand the comprehensive set of business documentation required for opening a business bank account. Here are the necessary documents:

1. Corporate Documents:

  • Certificate of Incorporation.
  • Articles of Incorporation.
  • Notice of Directors.
  • Notice of Appointment of a Company Secretary.
  • Notice of Registered Address.
  • The By-laws of the Company.

2. Ownership Information:

  • Information on shareholders holding more than 10% of the paid-up share capital.

3. Banking Resolution:

  • Director’s Resolution to Open Account signed by no fewer than the number of directors required to make up a quorum.

4. Financial Documentation:

  • Management accounts for the last 3 years or other proof of the integrity of the source of funds (e.g., banker’s reference and bank statement from the previous banker).
  • The most recent Annual Return filed with the registrar and identification documents of those persons named in the Annual Return, except where a company is named as a shareholder.
  • Annual Reports/Audited Financial Statements for the last three years, including a description and place of the principal line(s) of business, list of major business units, potential suppliers, and customers.
  • Registration Certificate (Certificate of Registration of a Regulated Entity, if applicable).

Note: It is essential to be aware that the list of required documents may expand, and additional documentation, certification, notarization, and translation may be requested by the bank.

How to Open a Bank Account in St. Kitts and Nevis

Opening a bank account in St. Kitts and Nevis is a crucial step for individuals and businesses aiming to set up or expand their financial presence in the Caribbean. Follow these steps to successfully open a bank account:

Step 1. Select Your Preferred Bank

Start by selecting a bank in St. Kitts and Nevis that aligns with your financial needs and preferences. The country offers several reputable banks, each providing a range of services. You should make an informed decision that best aligns with your unique financial goals and preferences.

Step 2. Review Bank Fees

Thoroughly examine the fees associated with your chosen bank, covering aspects such as ATM withdrawals, account maintenance, international wires, and overdrafts. You are advised to inquire about any potential discounts, promotions, or special packages that the bank may offer.

Step 3. Collect The Required Documentation

Gather the necessary documentation, including identification, proof of address, and proof of income. Please note that specific document requirements may vary between banks. You have to check the bank's official website or contact corporate lawyers to obtain a comprehensive and up-to-date list of the required documents.

Step 4. Arrange a Personal Visit to the Bank

Schedule an appointment with your chosen bank to initiate the account-opening process. Alternatively, you may use a proxy service and prepare a power of attorney. Ensure you bring all the required documentation with you.

Step 5. Meet with a Bank Representative

During your appointment, meet with a bank representative who will guide you through the application process. They will review your documents and offer guidance as needed. Take this opportunity to address any questions or concerns you may have about the account application.

Step 6. Complete the Application Form

Fill out the bank's account application form, providing accurate and complete information. This typically includes details such as your full name, date of birth, contact information, and employment details.

Step 7. Submit Required Documents

Present the necessary documentation to the bank representative for verification, including your passport, national identification card, proof of address (e.g., utility bill or bank statement), and proof of income (e.g., payslips or bank statements). Be prepared to provide any additional documentation that the bank may request during the verification process. 

Step 8. Review The Agreement

Carefully review the terms and conditions of the bank's account agreement. Ensure that you understand the fees, minimum balance requirements, and any other relevant details. Pay close attention to the policies regarding account maintenance, withdrawal limits, and any potential penalties or charges associated with specific transactions. 

Step 9. Make Initial Deposit

Make the initial deposit into your new account, as required by the bank. Confirm the minimum deposit amount with the bank. Different types of accounts, such as savings, checking, or investment accounts, may have varying minimum deposit requirements. Additionally, the minimum deposit amount can be influenced by whether you are opening a personal or business account.

Step 10. Account Activation

Upon approval of your application and the successful completion of the initial deposit, your bank account will be activated, and you will be provided with essential account details such as your account number. The bank will furnish you with the necessary information to access electronic banking services.

Step 11. Access Your Account

Once your account is operational, you have the opportunity to leverage the bank's services, such as online and mobile banking, allowing you to efficiently oversee and control your financial affairs from the convenience of your preferred digital platform.

Please keep in mind that the account opening process may involve various steps and documentation, leading to back-and-forth communication with the bank. Professional services can assist in simplifying and managing these complexities for you.

FAQ about Banking in St.Kitts and Nevis

Can Foreigners Open a Bank Account in Saint Kitts and Nevis? 

Yes, foreigners can open a bank account in Saint Kitts and Nevis. Each bank has its own set of requirements. Bank account opening is subject to the bank's review and approval. 

Are Banks Safe in Nevis? 

Yes, banks are safe in Nevis. Nevis has become one of the Caribbean's most secure offshore financial centers as a result of its high degree of stability. Consequently, a Nevis bank account is relatively more reliable compared to other Caribbean countries. 

Are Crypto Currencies Accepted by Banks in St. Kitts and Nevis? 

No, crypto currencies are not accepted by banks in St. Kitts and Nevis. While cryptocurrencies are accepted as a source of funds, they cannot be used to make purchases or open bank accounts at the moment of writing. 

Is Internet Banking Available in St. Kitts and Nevis? 

Yes, internet banking is available in St. Kitts and Nevis. Many banks offer online banking platforms that allow customers to access their accounts, make transactions, and manage their finances remotely. 

Are There Any Offshore Banking Opportunities in St. Kitts and Nevis? 

Yes, there are offshore banking opportunities in St. Kitts and Nevis. This country offers offshore banking opportunities through banks like Bank of Nevis International Limited (BONI) and other financial institutions. These services are available to international clients seeking privacy and asset protection.

Are there any restrictions on foreign currency transactions in St. Kitts and Nevis? 

No, there are no restrictions on foreign currency transactions. St. Kitts and Nevis do not have any major restrictions on foreign currency transactions. However, it is advisable to check with the specific bank for any currency-related policies and requirements.

Can a Saint Kitts and Nevis Passport Facilitate the Process of Opening a Bank Account? 

Yes, a Saint Kitts and Nevis passport can facilitate the process of opening a bank account, but it does not guarantee automatic approval. Having a second passport of St. Kitts and Nevis may be viewed positively by some banks, but other factors will also be considered during the account opening process. 

Can I Maintain Dual Citizenship with St. Kitts and Nevis Through the CBI Program? 

Yes, you can maintain dual citizenship with St. Kitts and Nevis through the CBI program. Dual citizenship is allowed in St. Kitts and Nevis. You do not need to renounce your current citizenship to become a citizen of St. Kitts and Nevis through the CBI program. 

Are There any Language Requirements for the St. Kitts and Nevis CBI Program? 

No, there are no specific language requirements for the St. Kitts and Nevis CBI program.

Saint Kitts and Nevis

Residence Benefits

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Visa free travel to 157 countries

Including the E.U. and Schengen area, the U.K., Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, and others. U.S. B1/B2 tourist visa (valid up to 10 years)

00000002

Global mobility and freedom

Up to 6 months, expedited processing option up to 60 days

00000003

Fully remote application process

We take care of the paperwork and help you prepare and submit your application - you receive your passport via DHL Express. No residency requirements to maintain citizenship status

00000004

Global mobility and freedom

No tax on inheritance, capital gains, foreign income, dividends, interest, or royalties

00000005

Business opportunities

Establish a company in Saint Kitts to diversify business risks and optimize your tax obligations

00000006

Global mobility and freedom

investors can purchase a ‘qualifying’ share of ownership in 5-star luxury hotels/resorts with a potential annual return of 2-4% from hotel operations. Capital investment can be recovered in 7 years

00000007

Dual citizenship is permitted

No need to renounce your previous citizenship when obtaining a St. Kitts and Nevis passport

00000007

Global mobility and freedom

Saint Kitts and Nevis

Citizenship

Processing Time and Terms

Enter your estimated application start date for St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship and receive a clear timetable for the entire procedure

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Thank you! Your submission has been received!
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1

Sign a service agreement, fill out application forms, and pay the initial service and due diligence fees.

14

We compile a document package and submit it for due diligence performed by St. Kitts CBI unit

120

Due diligence and background check conducted by the state

30

We submit your citizenship application once we receive the approval, and you make payment of the outstanding investment amount, government fees, stamp duty, and other fees.

14

We supervise the issuance of your passport by St. Kitts and Nevis and send your Certificate of Citizenship and passport by DHL Express.

There are Always Options to EXPAND YOUR BOUNDARIES! Let's Discuss Yours

Every client is unique

Every case requires an individual approach and solution. Our years of experience in the industry allow us to provide both.

We will answer all your questions and provide detailed information about the available second passport and residency programs to help you make the right choice.

Victoria

Lead Attorney at Golden Harbors

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Victoria

Lead Attorney at Golden Harbors

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