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Banking in the Caribbean: Corporate and personal accounts in St Lucia with Mundo

calendar 6/1/2021 8:00:00 AM
author Admin System

We constantly get inquiries from our readers to form bank accounts in different jurisdictions. The reason for this is that we have managed to form a strong network of banking relationships with some of the most important players in the world.

Choosing the right banking jurisdiction is no easy task, especially in today´s world of ever-increasing regulations and limitations on freedom. Our experts usually choose the bank together with the client according to his/her needs and objectives but we have our favorite jurisdictions. We can find solid banking destinations in Europe, Asia, and America, but we usually recommend the Caribbean for many reasons. Caribbean nations are usually small island countries with little natural or agricultural resources and, due to their location, are usually struck by hurricanes. For this reason, they turn to business and financial incentives to bring capital to the country. Thus, they can develop the economy and rebuild the infrastructure if needed. This makes a great banking environment for global entrepreneurs.

Our favorite bank in the Caribbean is an international institution that provides world-class financial products and services. Thanks to their relationship with the top international financial providers, our partner bank can offer private banking services along with a variety of investment products. Clients can access demand deposits, multicurrency accounts, sweep accounts, term deposit accounts, and credit cards.

Our partner bank is located in St Lucia, one of the Caribbean top financial centers and a country known for its tax-friendly policies and attractive business incentives. The bank is a subsidiary of PROVEN investment Limited and has earned a high reputation in the international banking scenario. One of the reasons why we recommend this bank to our readers and (especially) to family offices, is that they have formed a strategic alliance with a reputable financial services group to promote the bank in the international market. This has allowed the institution to develop enormously, gaining a larger client base and increasing the bank´s assets. This is an advantage that every investor or family office should consider if they want to keep their money and investments within a safe environment with the possibility of increasing wealth even further.

In line with this, the bank has launched a program called Preferred Professional Program through which they intend to develop partnerships with new intermediary groups, with the possibility of enhancing the relationship with European private banks.

Due to its unique services, strong relationships, and large assets, this bank in St Lucia satisfies the needs of every entrepreneur, family office, intermediary, and agent.


Corporate bank account in St Lucia  Requirements  

  • Duly completed company application form.
  • Certified copy of the Certificate of Incorporation. 
  • Certified copy of the Certificate of Good Standing/Incumbency (if the company is 1 year and older).
  • Certified copy of the Memorandum and Articles of Incorporation (or Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws).
  • Certified copy of the Register of Shareholders.
  • Certified copy of the Register of Directors. 
  • Appropriate US IRS W-Series Form. 
  • Appropriate CRS Form1. 


KYC requirements  

For all UBOs who own 10% of the company or more, shareholders, directors, and authorized signatories:

  • Certified copy of passport.
  • Certified copy of driver’s license or national ID. 
  • Proof of address (original utility bill not older than 3 months or certified copy of drivers’ license).
  • Reference letter from a banker, chartered accountant, or lawyer (reference letters should not be older than 3 months and the client must have maintained a relationship with the issuer for at least 2 years). 

 

Personal bank account in St Lucia – Requirements 

  • Duly completed individual application form.
  • Joint mandate (if applicable).


For each applicant:  

  • Certified passport copy.
  • Certified copy of driver’s license or national ID. 
  • Proof of address (original utility bill or certified copy of drivers’ license). 
  • Reference letter from a banker, chartered accountant, or lawyer (reference letters should not be older than 3 months and the client must have maintained a relationship with the issuer for at least 2 years). 
  • Appropriate US IRS W-Series Form (if applicable). 
  • Appropriate CRS Form1. 

Open an account


Why St Lucia – Facts  

  • Area: 619 sq km. 
  • Tropical climate and mountains. 
  • Population: 170,000. 
  • Official language: English. 
  • British-based legal system. 
  • Member of the British Commonwealth. 
  • Member of the United Nations. 
  • Official currency: Eastern Caribbean Dollar ($EC). 
  • Fixed-rate of exchange (US$1-EC$2.70). Stable since 1976. 
  • Economic sectors: tourism, financial services, and agriculture. 
  • Financial services: IBCs, trusts, captive insurance, international banking, mutual funds. 
  • Tax-friendly jurisdiction: yes. 
  • Exchange controls: no. 
  • Two Nobel Prize Laureate. 

 

reasons for banking in St Lucia  

1-Reliable and compliant environment

Although it is a relatively new business center, Saint Lucia is an important jurisdiction when it comes to financial services and has managed to create and maintain a legislative framework that meets all the standards stipulated by the OECD and the FATF.


2-Developed business sector and stable environment 

Saint Lucia presents a very developed service sector that intends to cover all the needs of an international investor or business person who is operating, living, or investing on the island. Thanks to the country´s friendly environment we can find developed sectors in areas such as telecommunications, oil and gas, manufacturing, tourism, and others. The country is also a preferred destination for financial services such as life and general insurances, reinsurance, and captive insurance. Finally, Saint Lucia is highly attractive for global businesses due to its stable political system and economy.


3- Excellent corporate jurisdiction 

St Lucia offers many tax advantages to companies incorporated in the island´s territory. IBCs are the most common vehicle to run a variety of businesses and activities including banks, insurance companies, mutual funds, and holding companies. An IBC is exempt from tax unless the owners choose to pay a 1% tax, which allows for the use of CARICOM´s doubled taxation agreements. Thus, if a transaction is made between CARICOM countries, thanks to the agreement, the tax will be due in only one of the involved jurisdictions. This agreement has significantly contributed to the development of the Caribbean economy.


4-Tax exemption for IBCs 

IBCs in St Lucia are exempt from income, withholding, dividends tax, capital gains, and stamp duties. The country does not apply currency exchange controls and there are no sales taxes. Moreover, thanks to the country´s agreements with other Caribbean nations, other tax incentives can be used according to the peculiarities of each structure. Individuals who work for the international services sector can request partial or total exemptions on personal income tax.


5-Variety of financial instruments, banks, trusts, and funds

The island offers a solid and reputable banking sector with Class A and B banks. Class A banks are allowed to conduct all categories of international businesses while class B banks are only allowed to conduct business with the parties listed in advance at the time of application. Trust agents can operate under the International Trust Act or the local law governed by the Laws of England.

Saint Lucia is also fertile soil for private and public mutual funds. The former can have up to 100 investors and are only required to register with the regulator, while the latter is required to have a local administrator. 

  

6-Growing real estate market

The real estate market has developed significantly both in the personal and institutional sectors. The main developments are focused on the tourism industry with world-class resort projects and recreational infrastructure. This market has also been actively promoted thanks to the citizenship by investment program. 

 

7-Great quality of life and international connections 

St Lucia is known for its solid telecommunication infrastructure and a well-educated workforce that derives from the nearly 170,000 people living on the island. In this country, you will not only enjoy a paradisiacal climate and beautiful Caribbean landscapes but there is also access to a high-level education to such an extent that St Lucia has produced two Nobel Laureates. Thanks to its two airports, the country is very well connected to the rest of the world with regular flights to London and the US.


8-Citizenship by investment program

St Lucia is one of the countries that offer citizenship by investment to any individual who wants to contribute to the country´s development while establishing a second home. Considering the tax and business advantages, and the excellent life quality, having a St Lucia passport can be very convenient for those who are looking for a second nation. But this passport´s advantages are not only limited to the island's territory. St Lucia passport allows visa-free travel to 121 countries, opening doors that may otherwise be not available for a person. These 121 countries include the UK, Ireland, the Schengen area, most of South America, and others. This is the only Caribbean country that allows acquiring citizenship by a government bond investment which starts at 250,000 USD, although it also offers the classical options which are 1) citizenship by donation (100,000USD minimum) and 2) by real estate (300,000 USD minimum). Please note that the donation alternative is one of the cheapest options in the whole CBI industry for single applicants.


Why open an account with our partner bank 

Mundo has partnered with the bank that offers the best banking options in St Lucia, with a wide range of services focused on the international investor: 

  • Remote account opening: Although the airlines are working again, there are still many restrictions when it comes to traveling, and these change every month. Those who want to save themselves the trouble of traveling can choose to open an account remotely with this bank. 
  • Multi-currency accounts: The bank offers accounts in 14 different currencies, which is an enormous advantage for international businesses because they can save money on exchange rates.
  • Multi-lingual staff: Committed to providing the best possible service to foreigners, the bank´s personnel speak different languages so that they can supply the best support to their international customers.
  • Personalized customer service: The bank offers tailored solutions for each client taking into account their goals, limitations, and particular situations.
  • Multi-user/Mukti-access capabilities. Solid corresponding banking relationships: The bank works with the most reputable and solid corresponding banks in the world. This increases our partner´s reliability and ensures smooth international transfers.
  • Low minimum balance requirement: The minimum balance required to keep the account is 5,000USD, much lower than in many jurisdictions.


Bank account + company: Special offer for family offices 

By opening your account through Mundo, you can also register a company in Saint Lucia at a very special price. This offer is appealing to anyone, but especially family offices, who usually have larger amounts of money and structures. Like we discuss in our Forever Free article, having an operating company is key for an effective asset protection structure. It is a tool that will bring you income and, if well established and in combination with other structures, can be remarkably tax-effective. One of our experts, who is a lawyer specialized in family offices, trusts, and business law, has explained this thoroughly in his book Avoiding Death and Taxes. Click here and take a look. 

Thanks to its flexibility, St Lucia is a great destination for establishing and running an IBC. Here are some of the advantages of this corporate center: 

-Reliability: Strong anti-fraud and AML regulation. 

-Confidentiality: St Lucia has an online registry of companies and trusts which people can access and obtain copies of the articles and memorandum of association, and registration certificate of the company. However, the registration of shareholders, officers, and directors in the public record is optional.

-Simplicity: Companies in St Lucia are required to prepare financial statements by the IRFS every year but there are no auditing requirements.

-Tax-effective: All companies registered after 2018 are taxable under the new territorial system, by which they are subject to 30% tax on the income derived in St Lucia. However, the company is exempt from taxes derived from foreign income including dividends and capital gains. 

-Straightforward: No paid-up capital and only one director and shareholder is required.

Companies can be incorporated in 2-3 business days. 

It is a well-known fact that tax erosion is the main enemy of a wealthy family, and St Lucia offers a perfectly good option for asset protection. Taxes cannot be completely avoided, but you can optimize your tax burden to make the most of your assets and grow your family´s legacy.

If you sell real estate located outside St Lucia, for example, and if this property is owned by your company, you will be free of tax in St Lucia. Likewise, your company can receive dividends from a variety of vehicles aborad including stocks and bonds and they will be tax-free. We always recommend consulting with a tax expert because these assets may be subject to tax in other jurisdictions, like your place of residency, citizenship, or the place where the activity is carried out, or the asset sold.

If you want to know how you can benefit from the banking sector of Saint Lucia and how to combine your St Lucian bank account with other international vehicles and structures, contact our experts for a consultation. Our experts are offering a unique opportunity to establish a bank account and a company on this island.

Contact our experts


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