Officially called the Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis, St Kitts and Nevis is a beautiful island nation in the West Indies. This Caribbean country was one of the first nations to be colonized by the British and French in the Caribbean and hence was given the name – “The Mother Colony of the West Indies”. There are a total of 15 banks in St Kitts and Nevis. Out of which three of them are a part of the Caribbean Association of Banks. This means that these are the most trustworthy banks in St Kitts and Nevis. Additionally, most of the banks in St Kitts and Nevis provide digital services to all their customers.
The top five national banks in St Kitts and Nevis
St Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla-National Bank (SKNA)
Established in 1971, St Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla-National Bank is the oldest national bank in St Kitts and Nevis. The bank has a total of six branches and 18 ATMs. On the basis of the number of branches and ATM machines, St Kitts Nevis Anguilla National Bank is the largest bank in the country.
This bank has multi-purpose ATM points, where customers can deposit their money, make bank transfers, recharge their mobile phone accounts, pay bills, change their pin code and undertake other payment activities.
Below are the various online operations that clients can undertake –
- Receive online statements of your transactions
- Transfer money between accounts
- Make payment of utility bills
- Enable and disable auto payments
- Activate and block debit cards
- Initiate interbank and international transfers using the SWIFT system
The bank also has an mobile-friendly app which customers can navigate for smooth transactions. The app also notifies customers when any transaction is carried out through alerts.
The Bank of Nevis (BON)
Functioning for the last 37 years, the Bank of Nevis (BON) has a total of four branches and four ATMs in St Kitts and Nevis. In order to expand in the country, last year, the Bank of Nevis also acquired the Royal Bank of Canada in Saint Kitts and Nevis.
As per the guidelines of the Bank of Nevis, customers can withdraw a maximum amount of EC$1,500 per day from the bank’s ATM to pay their credit card bills, transfer money from one account to the other, and alter their PIN code.
Online operations that customers can undertake are:
- Transfer money between accounts
- Make payments as per utility bills
- Initiate auto-payments and transfers
- Request data to monitor the income and expenditure
- Change PIN code
- Create notifications
- Initiate international money transfers. Generally, the bank processes the amount within 24 hrs. and charges an amount of $40.95 dollars to its customers.
St Kitts Co-operative Credit Union
Operational for more than 30 years now, St Kitts Co-operative Credit Union provides its customers with various banking solutions such as opening current and savings bank accounts, and issuing debit cards, loans and credit cards. Customers of this bank must note that they will need to deposit an amount of EC$100 in order to activate an account after opening.
This bank has only one branch in St Kitts and Nevis but customers can undertake most of the banking operations online – mobile app, online banking, conveying a request through email or call. Customers can also transfer money from one bank account to another, make a payment for their loans, open new accounts or make changes to their profile through the bank’s online services.
Nevis Cooperative Credit Union
The Nevis Cooperative Credit Union was established around 50 years ago exclusively for citizens and residents of St Kitts and Nevis. Foreigners are not allowed to open a bank account in this bank.
For a functional current account, customers need to deposit an amount of EC$700 in the current account. The bank also levies maintenance fees of EC$11.70 and EC$17.55 for individuals and legal institutions respectively.
The bank also allows its customers to use the online banking system and mobile application to transfer money to the banks other customer accounts and make payments for bills. But do note that this bank doesn’t allow international bank transfers to or from the bank.
Hamilton Reserve Bank
One of the most renowned banks among foreign nationals, the Hamilton Reserve Bank is an international bank on Nevis that allows the opening of bank accounts in ten currencies – US dollar, Euro, British pound sterling, Canadian dollar, Australian dollar, Singapore dollar, Hong Kong dollar, Swiss franc, UAE dirham and Japanese yen. The bank also has steady communications with all its customers through eight languages.
The bank doesn’t impose any commission charge to open an account, nor a maintenance or service charge. For a functional bank account, individual customers need to deposit an amount of $50,000 into the account. In case you are a legal entity, you need to transfer an amount of $100,000 for activating the account. This bank doesn’t accept cash or checks from customers. Clients need to opt for a bank transfer when sending money.
This bank is one of the fastest banks in St Kitts and Nevis to process international transfers and SWIFT money transfers. Foreigners don’t need to be present in the country to open a bank account with this bank. They can do so remotely by filing an online application available on the bank’s official website and submitting scanned copies of all the required documents. Applicants must note that the documents should be notarized and in English or translated to English. The bank takes around ten days to process the application and open the bank account.
Customers can carry out all banking operations online and online banking is automatically activated once the bank account is opened. Online services are available for customers 24X7.
This is the only bank in Saint Kitts and Nevis that has been been given a license by the government of the country directly to initiate the opening of escrow accounts (An account that is used for transactions during the purchase of real-estate in the construction phase) to give real estate services under the St Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment program.
Types of bank accounts that you can open in St Kitts and Nevis
There are three types of bank accounts that a person can open in St Kitts and Nevis – a current account, a savings account and a foreign currency account. Consumers can apply for a mortgage, car and educational loans through banks. If you are a legal entity, you can apply for current as well as trading accounts. Individuals can also apply for business development loans.
Accounts in St Kitts and Nevis are opened in accordance with the primary currency used in the country – that is the East Caribbean dollar.
Foreign currency account – You can open a Foreign Currency account in banks across St Kitts and Nevis in the following currencies – US dollar, Euro, British pound sterling, Canadian dollar, Australian dollar, Singapore dollar, Hong Kong dollar, Swiss franc, UAE dirham and Japanese yen.
Savings account- A savings account in a bank in St Kitts and Nevis generally includes a term deposit or a fixed deposit. These types of accounts can be opened for a period of three, six, or 12 months. In case you have a target savings account, a fixed amount of money will be automatically transferred from the consumer’s current account to them weekly, monthly or every two months. In case you have a regular savings account, you will have to refill your account as per your personal will and earn interest that is payable on a quarterly basis.
Merchant account – With this type of a bank account, organizations can both accept and make payment transfers through it. This category of bank account allows merchants to accept payments through credit cards or any other electronic payment methods.
Escrow account- If you want to purchase a real estate property during its construction phase, you can do so by creating an escrow account. After signing a share agreement with the developer of the real estate project, the potential purchaser deposits the money in an escrow account. Only after the developers fulfills all the requirements and responsibilities as per the signed contract, the amount is transferred to the developer.
Bank account in St Kitts and Nevis – Documents needed
If you want to open a bank account in St Kitts and Nevis, you will need to provide the following documents:
- Current passport, or any Government identification proof with photograph.
- Residential address proof. This can be anything ranging from a utility bill, or a letter from any other bank or owner of your property to a postmarked envelope.
- Fully completed application and your statement of purpose regarding the opening of the account.
You should also collect the following documents for accelerating the procedure.
- An employment certificate or your employment details mentioned on the letterhead of your company.
- Your bank statements indicating your source of income.
- A letter of recommendation from a reputed bank or from a reputed professional.
If you are a foreign national looking to open a bank account in St Kitts and Nevis, you need to submit these additional documents:
- Citizenship certificate.
- Passport of the country of your origin.
- Detailed information about your investment route if you wish to open a bank account for obtaining citizenship in St Kitts and Nevis.
Online banking solutions in St Kitts and Nevis
Almost all popular banks in the country provide online and mobile banking services to all its clients.
Mobile banking vs online banking
|Service||Online banking||Mobile banking|
|Check account balance||Yes||Yes|
|See transaction history and current activity||Yes||Yes|
|Get bank statements||Yes||No|
|Initiate bank transfers||Yes||No|
|Transfer money between accounts||Yes||No|
|Activate or stop automatic payments||Yes||No|
|Activate/Block debit cards||Yes||No|
|Set up transaction alerts||No||Yes|
Procedure of opening a bank account
Here’s a step by step process of how to open a bank account in St Kitts and Nevis.
- Collect all the required documents
- Submit your application to open the bank account – You can do this in person at your bank’s branch, through a representative or online.
- Share the documents with your bank via mail if your application was submitted from a remote location
- Approval – The bank takes around 10 business days to assess your application and process it.
Best banks in St Kitts and Nevis – A comparative study
|Bank||Online services||Maintenance fees||Funds needed||Fees|
|St Kitts Nevis Anguilla National Bank||Online + mobile banking services available||None||EC$100 or US$200 for current account per individual
EC$500 or US$200 for current account for legal entity
EC$25 or US$200 for savings account
EC$500 or US$1,000 in case of term deposit
|The Bank of Nevis||Online + mobile banking services available||EC$11.70/annum for current and savings accounts for individuals
EC$23.40/annum for current corporate account
EC$58.50/ annum for credit cards
US$23.40/month for wire transfer
|–||US$2.34 for online transfer to other bank accounts and bill payments
US$1.76/transaction at a SKNA ATMUS$11.70/transaction up to US$ 500 at other bank ATMs
2% of transaction on amount over $500 at any other bank’s ATM
|Hamilton Reserve Bank||Online banking||–||US$50,000 for an individual
US$100,000 for a legal entity
|Nevis Cooperative Credit Union||Online banking||US$11.70 for an individual
US$ 17.55 for a legal entity
|US$500 for a savings account
US$700 for a current account
|US$1/transaction from an ATM at the bank’s office
Become a citizen of St Kitts and Nevis to enjoy all benefits
You can become a citizen of St Kitts and Nevis by opting for their Citizenship by Investment program. Foreign investors can take up any of the following investment routes:
- Contribute a minimum amount of $125,000 to the Sustainable Growth Fund (special offer from 1 Jan to 30 June 2023).
- Invest at least $200,000 in pre-approved real estate. Investors must hold the property for a minimum of seven years.
To know more, you can check out our article: Citizenship by Investment in St. Kitts and Nevis.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the best banks in St Kitts and Nevis?
The Bank of Nevis, Hamilton Reserve Bank and Nevis Cooperative Credit Union are few of the best banks available in St Kitts and Nevis.
Are banks in Nevis safe?
The country is very stable and, as such, Nevis has emerged as one of the safest offshore centers across the entire Caribbean region. Therefore a Nevis bank account is relatively safer and secure.
International banks in St Kitts and Nevis?
St Kitts Nevis Anguilla National Bank, The Bank of Nevis, St Kitts Cooperative Credit Union, Nevis Cooperative Credit Union, Hamilton Reserve bank are few of the international banks present in St Kitts and Nevis.
To know more about St Kitts and Nevis, you can explore the following articles:
- The cost of living in St Kitts and Nevis
- Everything you need to know about the St Kitts and Nevis Passport