You can form a new bank and obtain an offshore banking license in Vanuatu in order to operate a financial institution. The bank can operate as a regular bank. With this time of license you can accept depositors from anywhere in the world outside of Vanuatu.
UPDATE: As an update to this article, please note the following:
- We do not help people get banking licenses. We only set up companies.
- A Vanuatu agent informed us that the the Vanuatu governments stopped giving license to foreigners.
So, this article is for INFORMATIONAL purposes only.
Here are some answers to frequent questions.
How much is the minimum paid-up capitalization to form a bank and obtain an international banking license in Vanuatu?
It is US$500,000 or foreign currency equivalent. One or more directors, founders or others they designate may maintain signatory authority over the account. This is not an expense, but merely a capital reserve requirement in order to obtain a banking license.
Where can I keep the initial capital?
The paid-up capital is not required to be held by the Vanuatu Reserve Bank or another financial institution in Vanuatu. Regulators prefer the funds to be held by a reputable, well known bank either inside or outside of Vanuatu. The Vanuatu government and requires proof of funds. This can be in the form of a letter from the bank holding the funds or an original bank statement, that you, indeed, have have these funds in reserve.
Furthermore, the Reserve Bank decides as to the value and type of minimum capital to be maintained by your institution. For example, they will decide whether or not the funds should be held in cash, gold, stock or other form of investment or combination thereof, depending on the purpose of your institution. This is also determined by the size and type of assets and liabilities of your licensed entity. These safeguards are in place to maintain the integrity and reputation of the nation’s banking sector and to instill confidence in the investing public that Vanuatu is a safe place to deposit and maintain funds.
Does Vanuatu only offer banking licenses to banks that pre-exist in other jurisdictions (like other countries such as Nevis) or is a new bank formation allowed?
The financial authorities are willing to grant international banking licenses to private individuals for new institutions originating in Vanuatu. The authorities are prepared to issue new international bank licenses to private individual. Regulators want to make sure that people who desire a license are reputable people who can provide evidence that they intend to use the bank for legal, ethical purposes and that they have the needed capital reserves to launch such an organization.
How much does it cost to register a new bank in Vanuatu?
The government charges a total of The total of US$16,750. This includes the application for license, the first year’s license fees and the first annual company registration fee. In addition to that, there are our fees for forming the company, preparing the license, submitting the business plan, staff costs and completing the needed legal filings required to obtain a license.
How long does it take?
When the application is complete and submitted, the Reserve Bank must issue the license, if it meets all their criterion, within four months. The regulators look over the application, check reference and do a background check and check to make sure that the application is completed honestly and properly. They will contact references and do their best to make sure that the principals are of sound and moral character.
What type of ongoing reports do I need to provide to the licensing authorities?
Quarterly management and operational financial affairs need to be reported quarterly by an offshore bank in Vanuatu. The reports need to show the nature of the bank’s operations during the quarter and various types of financial information. This will be contained in the quarterly report to issued by authorities. The bank is required to keep records so that the annual accounts can be completed, prepared, audited and submitted to regulators on an annual basis. An international bank is required to maintain records so that annual accounts can be prepared, audited and submitted to the authorities each year.
Are the financial details of the directors and shareholders filed in the public records? While this information must be provided in order to obtain a banking license in Vanuatu, it is maintained by the Reserve Bank and not made available to the public.
Is an office in Vanuatu required?
Yes, an office manned by at least one employee is legally required. The Reserve Bank intends that you maintain at least one senior representative in of the bank in Vanuatu. The exact number of staff members can increase depending on the activities of the bank and the amount of business activity in your institution.