History

The islands achieved independence from the United Kingdom in 1981, becoming the nation of Antigua and Barbuda. However, it remains part of the Commonwealth of Nations, and remains a constitutional monarchy, with Queen Elizabeth II as Queen of Antigua and Barbuda.

In 1997, Prime Minister Lester Bird announced that a group of ecologically sensitive islands just off Antigua's northeastern coast, previously proposed for national park status, were being turned over to Malaysian developers. The Guiana Island Development Project deal, calling for a 1000-room hotel, an 18-hole golf course and a world-class casino, sparked widespread criticism by environmentalists, minority members in parliament, and the press. The issue came to a head when a local resident shot the PM's brother. Today, the proposed development is mired in lawsuits and politics.

The ALP won renewed mandates in the general elections in 1984 and 1989. In the 1989 elections, the ruling ALP won all but two of the 17 seats. During elections in March 1994, power passed from Vere Bird to his son, Lester Bird, but remained within the ALP which won 11 of the 17 parliamentary seats. The United Progressive Party won the 2004 elections and Baldwin Spencer became Prime Minister, removing from power the longest-serving elected government in the Caribbean.

Antigua has not suffered as many other countries did during the international economic crisis, and its banks remained stable and profitable, adding to its excellent reputation.

Banking Institutions

The financial system in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) comprises domestic banks, International Financial Services Sector banks, credit unions, insurance companies, national development foundations, development finance institutions, building and loan associations and finance companies.

The regulatory framework of the domestic banking system has two main legislative components. First, there is the ECCB Agreement Act, 1983 and its amendments, which under Article 3 paragraph 2(e) of the ECCB Agreement Act gives the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank the power to “regulate banking business on behalf of and in collaboration with Participating Governments.” Second, there are the Banking Acts of the various territories of the Participating Governments which govern the regulation of banking business in those territories.

Laws and Regulations

Antigua is a well-known and respected offshore banking jurisdiction. The Financial Services Authority of Antigua and Barbuda is the main governing and regulatory body of banks registered in the Eastern Caribbean. Furthermore, as Antigua is a member the Commonwealth of Nations, and banking deposits are stable.

Bank Secrecy

Antigua was ranked at the 65th position worldwide by the 2015 Financial Secrecy Index, as a calculation that has been based on its share of the global market for offshore financial services.

Banking Facilities

SFM has a relationship with an extensive network of private and major bank in Antigua.

All of the banks we refer our customers to offer a full international banking platform, with multi-currency accounts (£, € & $) as well with online banking and debit/credit cards.

Once your order has been completed, you will be assigned a dedicated account manager that will guide you through the bank account opening procedure. Then, we will carefully select with you a bank from one of our leading partners, that perfectly fits your requirements like a tailored suit.

Which documents are needed to open a bank account?

As a general rule the bank asks for a certified copy of the shareholder's and director's passport (beneficial owner), as well as recent proof of residence which, must be less than three months old. If the client goes to the bank in person to open the account, a certified copy of the passport is not required.

We will send you the additional documents necessary for opening the account by email, as an attachment, for you to sign and return to us preferably by special courier ( DHL, FedEx or Chronopost), along with the other documents mentioned above.