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Bank License

Bank License: Offshore Bank License- Licensing Requirements Cayman Islands

Bank License: 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.


Bank License: 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


-legal security


Bank License: 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.


Bank License: Fees


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 euros 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.


Bank License: 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

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