Banking and Lending Information
Opening a Personal Bank Account
Cayman Islands banks are required to adhere to strict regulations when a new customer requests to open a bank account. These restrictions hold for both residents and non-residents to ensure that all monies are acquired through legitimate means and that no money has been laundered.
Some of the banks will allow non-residents to open an account in the Caymans from their home country; however, multiple certified documents proving identity, current overseas address, fund source and bank references are required to be submitted with their application. Cayman banks may also require a legitimate reason for the overseas resident’s request for opening an account. A US citizen who successfully opens a Cayman account will still be required to report that account to the US Treasury Department and declare any income earned on that account.
It is important to know that some banks do not offer checking services to a new account holder who has just moved to the island. They do offer a savings account with a debit card. If you change jobs in the Caymans, you are required to submit to the bank a letter from the new employer stating your starting salary.
In order to open a bank account, banks will request some or all of the following information:
- A reference from your current bank, addressed to the bank in the Cayman Islands. This document must include how long you have banked with your home bank, the average balance maintained and the manner in which your account has been conducted. If the applicant has not had a bank account for three years, a professional reference addressed to the bank is required. The letter must be the original copy and if a husband and wife are sharing an account, they both must be referenced in the letter. If you are moving from another country, it is much easier to get this letter organized before you leave your home country and bring it with you.
- Source of funds and supporting documentation, i.e. job letter if source is salary or rental agreement if source is rental income.
- If you are coming here to work, then a letter from your Cayman employer stating the commencement of employment, the amount you will earn and your position in the company.
- A recent utility bill (less than 3 months old) as proof of address.
- Valid forms of identification such as your driver’s license and passport (they will photocopy your documents).
- Your full name, residential address, phone number, nationality, date of birth, occupation and name and address of your employer.
Opening a Business Bank Account
For a company looking to open a business account in the Cayman Islands, the bank or trust company will need the following documentation:
- Full incorporation paperwork.
- Written request to open a new account on company letterhead giving an overview of the business (e.g. clients, number of staff and how revenue is generated) and reason for needing the account.
- Bank references from a current bank.
- Certificate of Incorporation, certified by a Notary Public.
- Articles and Memorandum of Association, certified by a Notary Public.
- Annual report, financial statements, auditors reports or business plan.
- Certificate of Good Standing, if business is older than one year.
- Register of Members, Officers and Directors, certified by the registered office or a Notary Public.
- The identity of each ultimate beneficial owner, director and signatory; this must be supported by a certified copy of their passports and proof of residential address.
- If the business is conducted within the Cayman Islands, a copy of the current Trade and Business license.
- Professional reference from an accounting or law firm and a professional reference from a bank that indicates a good relationship of over three years.
- Nature and dollar volume of anticipated transactions, including source of funding of initial and subsequent deposits. This can be provided from a copy of the Business Plan if the company is new or latest Financial Statements if the company is already operating.
- Tax declaration form.
- All directors, members and signatories to supply all information needed for a personal bank account.
A Certificate of Identification will not be required if you are personally interviewed by the bank personnel. In cases where the company has more than a nominal number of shareholders, the bank requires identification and references for those shareholders who own 10% or more. This requirement also includes company directors and officers responsible for the account operation.
The minimum opening deposit is CI$2,500 or currency equivalent. Companies incorporated in other countries will be required to produce notarized documents to verify the bona fides of the company.
Getting a Mortgage
Class A Banks are the banks that are authorized to lend money for mortgages. Mortgage rates are competitive and percentage above prime from 1% to 5% can be negotiated. A 20 year mortgage is the most common, although some banks will offer as much as 35 years depending upon your age.
The banks may be willing to renegotiate terms and offer a more competitive rate once a new comer has established a sound financial record.
To determine your mortgage amount when applying for a loan towards the purchase of a property, it is advisable to include an additional 9-10% above the amount you are applying for to cover bank, attorney and stamp duty fees. Your ERA agent and your banking institution with be able to break down these percentages according to the amount you are requesting for your mortgage
If you plan to annually rent a home in the Caymans, you may want to consider buying property as it will give you a good return on your money. An ERA agent can assist you with the benefits of ownership.
Class A Banks
Offering banking centre services as well as private banking, asset management, trusts and estate planning, custody services and more
Tel: +1 345 949 7055
With three branches on Grand Cayman, you are never far away from CIBC First Caribbean International Bank.
Tel: +1 345 949 7300
Branch Services: Chequing, savings and fixed deposit accounts, credit and debit cards, online banking, largest ATM network Island-wide.
Tel: +1 345 949 4655
Fidelity provides banking, insurance and pension services from their offices in Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands.
Tel: +1 345 949 7822
RBC Royal Bank (Cayman) are located in the Cayman Islands and offer a range of services such as checking, savings and term deposit accounts.
Tel: +1 345 949 4600
Scotiabank & Trust (Cayman) Limited has been operating in the Cayman Islands for over 50 years.
Tel: +1 345 949 7666