The French the first European settlers of St Lucia. Then, from 1663 to 1667, England took over. While at continuous war, the island moved from French to British hands several times within the next 20-year period. However, by 1814, the British took final control of St Lucia. St Lucia joined the West Indies Federation (1958–1962) when the colony was dissolved and by 1967 (with internal selfgovernment), it has become one of the six members of the West Indies Associated States. In the year of 1979, St Lucia became an independent state, and remains a permanent member of the Commonwealth of Nations associated with the United Kingdom. Today, St Lucia is a Commonwealth realm. This means that currently, Queen Elizabeth II is the Head of State, and a Governor-General represents Queen Elisabeth II on the island. On a political level, St Lucia is officially a two-party parliamentary democracy.

Banking Institutions

St Lucia has over 25 commercial banks, 11 authorized custodians, and numerous licensed money service businesses. The Financial Services Regulatory Authority of St Lucia is the financial services regulator of the island state.

Laws and Regulations

The Financial Services Regulatory Authority is the financial services regulator of St Lucia. Various departments of the Financial Services Regulatory Authority are responsible for regulatory oversight of the banking industry in St Lucia. These departments hold various regulatory mandates to oversee the activities of domestic banks, foreign banks as well as financial services firms and other financial institutions. The Central Bank supervises Treasury Operations, Accounts and Management Information, and Foreign Exchange transactions.

Bank Secrecy

St Lucia is ranked at 65th position on the 2014 Financial Secrecy Index, which places it towards the top end of the secrecy scale. St. Lucia accounts for less than 1 per cent of the global market for offshore financial services, making it a very small player amongst secrecy jurisdictions, but with a very high potential for further growth. St. Lucia does not maintain company ownership details in official records, does not require that company accounts be available on public record, nor publishes any records of beneficiaries of companies, trusts and company owners. St Lucia will definitely one day be one of the leading banking jurisdictions worldwide, regarded as stable and confidential for making deposits or holding assets while playing a full-fledged part in the modern international financial community.

Electronic Payments

St Lucia is a member of the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT). The SWIFT network is the safest and most secure system for financial transactions worldwide.

Banking Facilities

SFM has a relationship with an extensive network of private and major banks in St Lucia. 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. Please note that your physical presence will be required for the account opening procedure.

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.

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