Offshore Bank Cayman Islands, Bank License Cayman Islands, Offshore Bank, Formation of a Bank – Bank License – Asset management company

Bank License Cayman Islands:  Setting Up a Bank in the Cayman Islands

Offshore Bank License- Licensing Requirements Cayman Islands

Setting Up a Bank in the Cayman Islands

ETC sets up, in collaboration with the relevant law firm in the state where the new bank has its registered office, financial services companies which are approved for providing banking services. Within the context of setting up a bank, as a rule, a feasibility study is first of all prepared in order to find out which country comes into question with regard to the registered office (e.g. England, Germany, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Belize, the Cayman Islands, New Zealand etc.). This depends on many material facts such as:

  • Is the financial services company to be/must it be subject to the supervision and the regulations of the central bank of the country in question, e.g. if loans on favourable terms from the central bank in question or from the European Central Bank are expected to be generated.
  • Is the bank expected to set up a branch or a representative office within the territory of the EEA ?
  • Where is it intended for the banking services to be offered? (the law of the”provider state” also takes effect within the context of banking law.

If the relevant issues have been cleared up, only specific countries, as a rule, are left as a possibility for the particular plan to set up a bank.

What is needed for an application for a A-Bank licence and what ETC will do for you

Full Bank in the Cayman Islands (“A” Licence):

The Cayman Islands, in particular, is a worthwhile location for the setting up of a  bank with an “A” licence. The share capital (initial capital) is just CI$400,000. The bank functions as a full bank in that sense and is allowed to offer all banking services. It is subject to the supervision of the central bank and the regulatory authority. First of all a public limited company is set up in the Cayman Islands as a company of the bank. This public limited company then applies to the regulatory authority (central bank/supervisory authority for financial services, which is analogous to the Banks and Trust Companies Law) for admission as a bank. It is necessary to have an eligible business establishment in the Cayman Islands. Even business premises with “teller positions” may also be opened accordingly. Within the management area of the bank two people are needed who have recognised training as bankers and business experience in the banking business. A trust solution is not possible. A law firm as an authorised agent may, in this sense, be interposed, if necessary.

Otherwise it is a requirement that at least one director of the bank has his usual residence in the Cayman Islands, that is a house in his own name and who is present “for the sake of external appearances” on the Cayman Islands for at least 51% of the year. We can be of assistance with the search for accommodation on the Cayman Islands incl. taking care of visa matters in return for a corresponding legal fee. The same applies to the appropriate registered office of the business, that is the renting of an office. We are also in a position to make suitable people available whose usual residence is in the Cayman Islands as directors or to search for suitable people through appropriate job advertisements and job interviews.

Obtaining authorisation takes approx. 6 months. The fees depend on the services. We can create an Internet presence for the bank with online banking software. We can arrange a suitable provider for this. In the case of the “appearance” of the bank in Germany (representation or branch office) the provisions of German Banking Law must be observed, in this case §53 a//FF. If the bank is intended to function purely as an online bank, we have solutions with regard to the skilled operation of the business. If the Cayman Island Bank is intended to appear in other countries in the form of a representative office or branch office, the corresponding banking laws of the countries must be observed.

Within the “A” licence area a distinction is made between banks which transact business in and outwith the Cayman Islands and banks which only carry out “offshore” business operations.

Advantages of a Full Bank in the Cayman Islands:

  • small amount of start-up capital
  • no taxation, even banks do not pay any taxes
  • protection of assets
  • anonymity
  • legal security

Possible Disadvantages:

  • relatively high annual state fees, between 160,000 and 400,000 USD. However, as a counter to this, there are no taxes
  • POSSIBLY rather expensive to arrange within the context of the usual residence of the two directors, but this can be resolved.


The fees are made up as follows:

  • state fees to the Cayman Islands
  • ETC legal fees and a lawyer in the Cayman Islands
  • fees for the authorisation process, business plan etc.

You should expect to pay at least 49,000 GBP for these items.

  • fees to a firm of auditors, e.g. Moodys
  • a proper registered office in the Cayman Iands (office)
  • POSSIBLY accommodation for directors, visa matters etc.

On the horizon: additional fees

As a rule, the matter is not dealt with by “just obtaining authorisation as a full bank in this sense”. The following cost items frequently come on top of this:

  • office in the country where the registered office is located (business premises set up in a normal business way)
  • online banking system and electronic interfaces
  • homepage of the bank
  • fees to the external rating agency,firm of auditors
  • if the bank intends to offer its services in the EU, Germany and/or other countries: E.G. fees for the authorisation and/or recognition process(es) E.G. as defined by §§ 53 of the German Banking Law (representative office or branch)
  • execution of the linkage (membership) of the deposit guarantee fund
  • if, according to domestic law, the option exists of an authorised agent “being able to be interposed” in the country where the registered office is located (law firm in the country where the registered office is located, that is the director is not usually resident in the country where the bank has its registered office): legal fees as defined by the duties assigned

Difference between an “A” and  a “B”  Bank Licence in the Cayman Islands

An “A” licence enables businesses to be run as a full bank (or also called a universal bank) that can offer the full spectrum of banking and financial services transactions that you are familiar with from HSBC, Deutsche Bank or Commerzbank. It can make current accounts available, issue credit cards and give out loans.

   1. the lending business or loan business: current account loans, discount loans, loans by way of bank guarantees, development loans, funds for construction, loans on real estate

   2. the deposit-taking business in order to raise funds: deposit-taking transactions (e.g. savings accounts, call deposits, fixed-term deposits), bank debenture bonds

   3. services: payment transactions, cash business, transfers, collection transactions, currency transactions, document business within the context of foreign trade

   4. Investment business in the form of securities business: custody and administration, issue, purchase and sale of securities, asset management

   5. Other services: acting as an agent for other financial services products (life insurance policies etc.), property business, consultancy services, issue of credit cards and traveller’s cheques

A “B” licence, on the other hand, expressly excludes current accounts. However, the Cayman Islands allow current accounts in the case of “B” licences in relation to legal persons who are involved in business transactions on the Cayman Islands.

Furthermore, under a “B” licence funds can only be invested in facilities if this investment represents a loan from a foreign company.

Among the “B” licence/special banks are real banks, investment banks and savings banks. “B” licence banks & trust funds may only become passive participants in the SWIFT trade, that is they need a bank acting as an intermediary for reconciliation purposes. With regard to SWIFT this means, in detail, that in the case of such banks it mainly involves investment banks, special banks without any particular connection to overseas or banks that handle their international business through an association with “A” licence banks (Raiffeisen [cooperative] banks, for example).

A bank with an “A” licence, with permission to carry out banking transactions within and outwith the Cayman Islands, pays 400,000 KYD a year in official fees.

However, an “A” bank, where the bank is only involved in banking transactions outwith the Cayman Islands, only incurs annual fees of 130,000 CI$, paying 160,000 CI$ in the first year. (160,000 CI$= 133,700 euros (rounded), 400,000 CI$ = 334,200 euros (rounded)).

In the case of a “B” bank these fees are only 40,000 CI$.

Please note that the fees amount to 500,000 CI$ (“A” bank) or 70,000 CI$ (“B” bank) in the first year.

On the other hand, “exemption from taxes” is guaranteed at all times as well as 100% capital protection and the anonymity of the authorised beneficiaries.

The necessary share capital is at least 400,000  CI$ (“A” bank) or 20,000 CI$ (“B” bank).

The application fee is a one-off payment of 2,000 CI$ and falls due for payment when the application is lodged. And it is not repaid in the event of the application being refused.

What is needed for an application for a A-Bank licence and what ETC will do for you

Provision of Financial Services – Formation of a Bank – Bank License

We form companies with a bank for our clients – and/or financial services license, i.e. asset management companies, primarily in the following countries:

General Information with regard to Bank Licensing, Provision of Financial Services, Asset Management Companies

The licensing prerequisites differ greatly from country to country, in particular with regard to required capital stock of the bank and/or asset management company. The basis is, as a rule, the installation of a stock corporation according the respective laws of the country in which the company is registered, in addition the installation of an ordinary company seat in the country in which the company is registered. This stock corporation applies for a financial service provider and/or bank license. An excellent alternative can be a New Zealand Bank. A New Zealand Online Bank (correct term: New Zealand financial service provider with a banking license) both private persons and companies can offer bank services via the Internet without any restriction on customer numbers, deposit amounts or the number of currencies.

The fees for the foundation of a bank and/or asset management company are based on the country in which the entity is registered and the type of services. To learn more please refer to the individual web pages.

Tax Structure

In addition, in the formation of a bank or asset management company tax structuring plays an important role. We take over tax structuring within the scope of the “affiliated companies”, for example foreign parent company and domestic subsidiary, formation of a foreign holding to collect domestic dividends exempt from taxes and many more.

The Correspondent Bank (Correspondent Bank Account)

We are the only provider in Europe to provide a connection to correspondent banks in Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Singapore or UAE.

Banking Software Online Banking

We offer our clients NexorOne online banking software for example: within the scope of the formation of a New Zealand financial services provider company with a license for banking services, installation of an asset management company and/or Swedish Credit Union. The full version of the software provides complete online banking services, it is however only available in English.

-Bank License USA and Switzerland:

License fees, attorney fees: approx. 150,000.00 Euro/ USD

Capital Stock: approx. 5 Mil USD/CHF, depending on the country in which the company is registered. USA: 10 Mil. USD at the FED.

The formation of a US INC and/or Swiss AG as the bank company with the capital stock of the bank is required.

The directors/general manager must have an education in banking  (for example: banker) and experience in the management of a bank. A nominee director is not possible, accordingly the client would have to move his principal residence to the country in which the company is registered and/or hire a Director who resides in the country in which the company is registered. Further license requirements are similar to those in Germany, this includes among other things a viable business plan, profit and loss calculation for the first three years, General Terms and Conditions of the bank according to the statutory provisions, becoming a member of the investment guarantee funds, required insurances etc.

In addition to the basic foundation and license fees, the following costs can also be relevant:

  • Preparation of the General Terms and Conditions (T&Cs), agreements between customers and bank, credit agreements
  • Homepage of the bank, Online-Banking-System
  • SWIFT Code, IBAN, international payment transactions, electronic communication channels and interfaces
  • Connection to credit card providers, Visa-MasterCard etc.

-Securities Brokerage Bank/Investment Bank/ Full Service Bank Germany:

The basis is the German Banking Act Section 32 Article. 1 et seqq. [KWG, German Banking Act]. We accompany our clients from conception to the licensing of the bank (Federal Financial Supervisory Authority, Bafin). The fees are based on the “type of financial services” and the required services we provide. Accordingly we provide the formation of “the company of the bank”, as a rule a German AG [Inc.], the provision of banking software and “tax optimization” measures.

In addition to the basic foundation and license fees, the following costs can also be relevant:

  • Preparation of the General Terms and Conditions (T&Cs), agreements between customers and bank, credit agreements
  • Homepage of the bank, Online-Banking-System
  • SWIFT Code, IBAN, international payment transactions, electronic communication channels and interfaces
  • Connection to credit card providers, Visa-MasterCard etc.

-Financial Service Panama:

We offer you the company form of a Panama S.A. with a license to collect and administer (invest) customer assets.
With this servicewe make it possible for you to offer classic asset management or financial services without banking hours and teller’s windows, with all licenses for trustee management of client moneys.

-Swiss Credit Union:

A Swedish Credit Union can legally offer services in the EU, which can normally only be offered by fully licensed banks, such as accepting deposits, making loans, etc., as long as these services are provided exclusively to members of the Credit Union. A potential customer can become a member automatically, if he/she wants to open an account, applies for a loan or take advantage of any other service provided by the Credit Union. However the legal situation has changed in Sweden due to EU level provisions: Members of a Swedish Credit Union must now belong to one specific profession / group of professions and may only be natural persons.

-New Zealand Financial Service Company with Bank Services License

A New Zealand financial services company with license for bank services can offer services to private persons and companies globally without restrictions on the number of clients, the deposit amounts or the number of currencies. However the laws of countries, in particular the German Banking Act [Kreditwesengesetz (KWG)], must be observed under this constellation.

The New Zealand Bank can provide almost all services, which can be offered by banks with A License, however the word „Bank“ may not be apart of the name. The service activities of a financial company are as follows, but are not restricted to the same:

  • Deposits and Loans
  • Debit Cards and Credit Cards Services
  • Issuance of Financial Guarantees and Financial Instruments
  • Service in the Area of Cash Management
  • Bank Accounts
  • Check Accounts
  • Saving Accounts
  • Time Deposit Account
  • Issuance of CDs
  • Bank Transfers
  • Payment Processing
  • Fund Management
  • Investment Marketing

The company is not subject to the provisions regarding the creation of capital reserves. Directors and shareholders can have any nationality their residence can be in any country.

-Offshore-Banks Belize and Cayman Islands

Offshore Bank Cayman Islands

In particular, the Cayman Island is an interesting location for the formation of a bank with an A license. The stock capital is approx. 500,000.00 USD. The bank acts as a Universal Bank with its own IBAN, SWIFT Code etc. and may offer all bank services. First a stock corporation is formed on the Cayman Islands as a company of the bank. This stock corporation then applies for a bank license from the government agency. A qualified business operation is required on the Cayman Islands, a fully furnished office with at least one employee. An office building with “Teller Windows” can be opened. It is true that the bank cannot act as a bank in Germany in terms of a German bank (compare German Banking Act [KWG]), however such bank is very attractive for international transactions with natural persons or legal entities from other countries. Clients, that form this type of bank, usually have clients/investors from Middle America, Russia etc. With regard to the management of the bank one person is required, with a recognized banking education and experience in the banking field. A Nominee solution is not possible. The general manager of the bank must be a resident of the Cayman Islands. Such that either the client or a representative moves his/her primary residence to the Cayman Islands or hires a General Manager who resides in the Cayman Islands. The licensing process takes approx. 3 months. The fees are based on the services and are at least 120,000.00 Euro plus state fees. We can create an Internet presence with online banking software for the bank. The banking software costs between 14,000.00 and 65,000.00 Euro, depending on functionality. We will provide a corresponding provider. Office space can be selected in advance; we will provide you with a Cayman Islands real estate agent. Our German attorney can accompany you to the Cayman Islands in exchange for commensurate fees.

Offshore Bank Formation Belize

We can realize bank formation (A-License) in Belize by means of our cooperation law firm in Belize. Information can be requested from the competent government agencies / central bank:


Central Bank of Belize

Attorney General Ministry

In this case a stock corporation with a place of business in Belize is formed as the company of the bank. The formation fees are based on the services, they amount to approx. 70,000.00 Euro plus government fees. Upon request we can provide full services in collaboration with the cooperation law firm located in the country in which the company is registered: