The information below provides details about the Montserrat banking system, and details on opening a Montserrat offshore bank account. You will find details on the laws and regulations that govern the banking system, as well as a list of local and international banks that operate in Montserrat.
Montserrat has the smallest financial sector of the six UK Overseas Territories and, except for banking services, it has the least offshore activity of any of these territories. Whilst the volume of financial services activity has fallen significantly since the volcanic eruption, there are 11 licensed offshore banks, down from 15 in 2000. Two banks are licensed to operate in the domestic market, providing domestic and International Banking services. These banks are The Royal Bank of Canada and an indigenous bank, The Bank of Montserrat.
The legislation relating to offshore banking in Montserrat is the Offshore Banking Act (OB Act) and the Financial Services Commission Act, 2001 (FSC Act). The OB Act sets out a regime for the licensing of offshore banks, and also addresses other issues including:
The FSC Act establishes the FSC and sets forth its functions and powers; establishes the position of Commissioner and the Commission’s directors; gives rules related to the membership of directors; addresses the Commission’s operations, governance, sources of funding, confidentiality, and power to make regulations; and provides for other general and administrative matters.
The Governor has constitutional responsibility for the offshore banks and, in his capacity as Governor-in-Council, has the power to issue regulations under the Offshore Banking Ordinance. The FSC is responsible for supervision but does not have the adequate capacity to conduct comprehensive supervision of offshore banks, particularly with respect to routine onsite examinations. A MOU was signed in September 2002 by the FSC and the ECCB in an effort to alleviate this constraint. The FSC also recently signed supervisory MOUs with four “home” regulators from Central and South America. Although several prudential visits have been made to the overseas offices of all the offshore banks, none has been subject to onsite inspections and steps to strengthen offsite supervision have only recently been initiated.
To see our available offshore banking jurisdictions we can assist you with, view our Bank Account Opening page.