Learn about the Brunei banking system and begin the process of opening a Brunei offshore bank account. We provide details on the laws and regulations that govern Brunei banking, and we present all the currently operating financial institutions in the jurisdiction.
Brunei Darussalam has no central bank and the Ministry of Finance exercises most of those functions. Monetary policy has been determined by linking the Brunei Darussalam’s dollar to the Singapore Dollar and there is parity between the two. The Singapore link is seen as a stabilizing influence.
The “international” legislation is supervised by “the Authority”, a segregated unit of the Ministry of Finance acting through the Financial Institutions Division and the head of supervision (IFC). The Authority comprises a multi-disciplinary unit with appropriate banking, insurance, corporate and trust supervisory skills. It is a one-step Authority in the true sense, with line command passing directly form the Minister of Finance, the Minister responsible for the international legislation.
The Banking System in Brunei Darussalam comprises of commercial banks, which play an important role in Brunei financial sector. Out of 9 banks presently licensed to conduct businesses within the country, 6 are foreign owned and represented by branch operations.
The only banking institution which provides Islamic banking services is the Islamic Bank of Brunei Berhad, which was officially launched on 13 January 1993 giving opportunities and fair options for the public to choose. This also helps to enhance the financial sector by creating fair competition among the other conventional financial institutions.
The legislation governing banking sector in Brunei is: Banking Act Cap. 95 and Emergency (Islamic Bank) Order, 1992. Annual License Fees for both local and foreign banks are: Head Office – B$50,000; Branch – B$10,000; Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) (off-site) – B$3000. All banks are required to submit the following financial returns:
The Brunei Currency Board (BCB)
The Brunei Currency Board (BCB) was established by the 1967 Currency Act in Chapter 32 of the Laws of Brunei. As stipulated in Section 9(1) of the Act, it has the sole right to manage and issue currency notes and coins in Brunei Darussalam. The currency issued by the Board is designated by Section 13 of the Act to serve as legal tender within the State.
Brunei Darussalam commenced issuance of its own currency on 12th June 1967. Prior to this date, The Board of Commissioners of Currency which was reconstituted under the Malaya British Borneo Currency Agreement 1960, was the sole currency issuing authority in Malaysia, the Republic of Singapore and Brunei Darussalam, which was then known as the State of Brunei.
Under the provision of the 1960 Currency Agreement, the effect of the lodgment of notice on 12th December 1964, by the Government of Malaysia to replace the Board by Bank Negara Malaysia as the sole currency issuing authority in Malaysia was that the Board would have to relinquish its powers to issue currency notes not later than 11th December 1966, and coins a year later.
However, on 5th August 1966, the Participating Governments of Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei, signed an agreement to amend clause 18(a) of the Currency Agreement to allow the Board to continue to issue currency for the three countries for a further period of six months until 11th June 1967.
With the Board relinquishing its right to issue currency in the three countries, Bank Negara Malaysia, the Board of Commissioners of Currency, Singapore and the Brunei Currency Board replaced the Board on 12th June 1967, as the sole currency issuing authorities in Malaysia, the Republic of Singapore and the State of Brunei respectively.
A currency interchangeability agreement was established between Singapore and Brunei Darussalam, which remains in effect till today and continues to play a central role in relations between the two countries. This agreement allows both countries to interchange their currencies at par without either country running the risk of currency exchange rate fluctuations and thus further facilitates trade and commerce between the two countries. The individual currencies are acceptable as customary tender when circulating in the country in which they are not legal tender.
Financial Institutions Operating:
The are four finance companies in Brunei:
To see our available offshore bank account jurisdictions we can assist you with, view our Bank Account Opening page.