Top St Lucia Banks

Situated on the eastern side of the Caribbean, the island of St Lucia is renowned for its volcanic beaches, exclusive reef-diving sites, luxury resorts and villas, exotic wildlife, and charming cities and villages. If you are planning to relocate to this beautiful country, then you can do so by applying through the St Lucia Citizenship by Investment Program, which allows individuals to obtain citizenship in return for investments.

After immigrating to a different country, it is critical to know about banking operations. In this article, we will take you through the best banks of St Lucia to help you choose the best bank for yourself.

Best-banks-of-St-Lucia

Top 10 banks of St Lucia

St Lucia has around 34 banks, and out of them, ten banks are Association of Caribbean Banks members – that is regarded as the most trustworthy financial institution in the entire Caribbean region.

You avail online banking for most banks in St Lucia. Online services include the remote opening of bank accounts too.

Bank Services Guidelines in St Lucia

The Financial Sector Control Unit (FSCU), the Government of St Lucia, regulates all bank operations in the country. This is under the control of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank. The bank helps in putting into place the financial policy for the region and has the responsibility of keeping the general foreign exchange reserve of participating countries and also issues banknotes and coins.

Currencies – The primary currency in St Lucia and five other Caribbean countries under the Eastern Caribbean States is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar. The currency against the US dollar is 2.7 to one, that is, EC$1 is equal to $0.37.

Apart from Eastern Caribbean Dollar, bank accounts in St Lucia can be opened in 15 currencies, including US dollars, Pound Sterling, Euros, Canadian dollars, Chinese Yen, and more.

Online Banking- Bank customers in St Lucia can access online banking operations in St Lucia for free. From monitoring bank accounts, transactions, and balances, transferring money and bill payments to handling account statements, you can do almost everything online. In addition to having web pages, a few banks in Saint Lucia also have applications for the smooth management of your financial resources.

St Lucia Banks that are Members of the Association of Caribbean Banks

The following banks are members of the Association of Caribbean Banks in St Lucia:

  • 1st National Bank St Lucia
  • Hermes Bank
  • Bank of Saint Lucia
  • Republic Bank (EC)
  • Berkeley Branch and Trust (Branch of an English bank)
  • Capita Financial Services
  • Euro Exim Bank
  • Financial Investment and Consultancy Services
  • Proven Investments Limited
  • Sagicor Finance Inc.

Largest Commercial Bank in St Lucia

Bank of Saint Lucia is the largest commercial bank in St Lucia. The bank has been in operation since the year 2001 and was an outcome of a merger between two large banks with more than two decades of history.

The bank has multiple branches, including Castries (St Lucia capital), Gros Islet, and Vieux Fort in Soufriere. In addition to this, the Bank of St Lucia also has the biggest ATM network in the region.

Bank of Saint Lucia ensures access to banking services to individuals as well as legal entities. In addition to this, the bank is also involved in private capital management and insurance. If you are handling foreign currency accounts in Dollars or Euros in the Bank of St Lucia, it will be cheaper in comparison to other banks present on the island – $2 or €2 per month.

This bank is also the recipient of various awards. In the year 2020, the Bank of St Lucia was recognized at the ECCU Bank of the Year Awards. It was awarded as the best bank in the Caribbean under two important categories – Technological innovation and Financial Literacy and Empowerment of the population.

St Lucia Cooperative Bank was founded in 1938 and is the oldest national bank in St Lucia. Back in 2005, it was renamed the 1st National Bank of St. Lucia. The bank was also recognized twice as the Bank of the Year by Financial Times

This bank has seven branches in St Lucia, among which around four of them are located in Castries itself. The bank also has a cash exchange counter at the St Lucia airport as well.

Hermes Bank is one of the most popular banks among investors in St Lucia. This bank prioritizes meeting the banking needs of foreigners. The bank only has one branch in the country. Individuals, as well as legal entities, can do banking with Hermes bank. You can open either a personal or current account; deposit and term deposit with this bank. But please note that the bank does not provide any debit or credit cards, nor does it have any ATMs. You can manage your entire banking through online services provided by the bank.

Comparative Study of Major Banks in St Lucia

 

Name of Bank Service Cost Minimum amount to activate bank account Commission
1st National Bank St Lucia Starting at $5 per month for individuals

Starting at $7.5 per month for legal entities

Starting at $100 $5

Transactions upto $300 are allowed at ATM

2% of transaction
Transactions from $300 at ATM

Bank of Saint Lucia $7.5 per month for personal account

$2per month for foreign currency accounts (in US Dollars)

€2 per month for foreign currency accounts that are in Euros. 

Information not available $25

One-time transfer to a client of another bank
Hermes Bank €15 per month Starting at €1000 €10 for operation
In case of transfers between bank accounts

0.15% of the transfer amount in case of international transfer of money.

Starting from  €5 to  €30

Transferring coming in Euros

Republic Bank Limited $5 per month for foreign currency accounts in US dollars Starting at $100 for foreign currency accounts that are in US dollars. 2% of the transaction amount

Withdraw of cash from ATMs outside St Lucia. 

$0.75 for requesting an account balance at the ATM

2% of the transaction account. This is for purchasing online

 

Opening a bank account in St Lucia – Documents Needed

If you are planning to open a bank account in St Lucia, then you need to prove your identity by providing supporting documents along with residence and income information. In addition to this, the bank might also require you to give them a letter of recommendation from a lawyer or another bank and documentation of your tax payment history.

To open a bank account for an individual, you need to provide the following:

Identity Proof Passport, resident card, driver’s license, ID-card or any other similar document
Residence Proof Invoice for payment of utilities like electricity, gas etc under the name of the applicant, Letter from the employer verifying the address of residence, Account statement from other financial institution under the name of the applicant
Income Proof Complete bank statement of last year, Certificate from Employer highlighting the applicant’s position, service time period and salary withdrawn
Tax Proof The Taxpayer Identification Number
Reference letter from another bank This letter must include the time of opening of the applicant’s bank account and that the bank is happy with the customer’s cooperation. In most cases, the bank requires the applicant’s association with another bank for at least two years.

 

If you are planning to open a current account for your company based out of St Lucia, then you need to prove its existence and verify the structure of its directors, shareholders, and beneficiaries associated with the company. Apart from this, you will also need to provide a power of attorney to the account manager of the company that will allow the individual open and manage bank accounts on behalf of the company.

 

To open a bank account for a legal entity, you need to provide the following:

Documents verifying the existence of the company, The registration certificate of your company, articles of association, company charter, and Certificate of Good Standing or something equivalent
Documents verifying the composition of directors and shareholders Certificate of appointment of directors, executive secretary, composition certificate of shareholders, register and resolution on the issue of shares
Documents verifying information about the beneficiaries of the company Documents for individuals: Passport, utility bills, statement of personal account, and tax returns. In case the beneficiary of the company is not a shareholder, then a trust declaration from the shareholder to their benefit

 

Citizenship by Investment in St Lucia 

St-Lucia-Citizenship-By-Investment

In addition to citizens and residents of St Lucia, foreign investors in the country can also open bank accounts in the country. The St Lucia Citizenship by Investment Program allows foreign investors to obtain Citizenship in the country in exchange of an economic investment in the country. You can obtain Citizenship on the island through one of the following ways:

  • Donation of  $100,000 to the government National Economic Fund
  • Purchase of real estate with a minimum value of  $200,000
  • Purchase of government bonds that is at least $300,000
  • Investing a minimum of  $1 million in local enterprise

With a St Lucia passport, you can visit more than 140 countries visa-free. Here are the St Lucia Passport requirements that you need to fulfill: 

  • The applicant should be 18 years or more
  • The applicant should be of excellent character and should have no criminal record
  • The applicant should be in excellent health conditions
  • The applicant should pass a detailed background check
  • The applicant should make the required economic investment
  • The applicant must pay all required fees as per St Lucia Citizenship Program

 

Passport and Visa Requirements from Popular Places to St Lucia

Citizenship Passport Requirement Return Ticket Visa Requirement
European Union Yes Yes No
USA Yes Yes No
Canadian Yes Yes No
Australian Yes Yes No
British Yes Yes No

 

St Lucia Citizenship by Investment Program – Advantages

  • The application process of this citizenship is fairly quick as it takes only around three months to obtain citizenship.
  • You can include your family in your application process
  • The St Lucia Citizenship by Investment Program is one of the most affordable CBI programs in the Caribbean.
  • The complete investment is required from the applicant after receiving citizenship approval
  • With a St Lucia passport, you can travel to over 140 countries without a visa
  • St Lucia offers a tax-friendly infrastructure 
  • The requirements under the St Lucia CBI program are quite flexible. There is no residence or visitation requirement in St Lucia.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a foreigner open a bank account in St Lucia?

Yes, a foreigner can open a bank account in St Lucia but can access limited banking functions. For opening a bank account, the applicant has to provide his or her passport, income, and residence proof. 

How can you choose a reliable bank in St Lucia

Banks that are members of the Association of Caribbean Banks are the most reliable financial institutions in the Caribbean. The following banks in St Lucia are part of the Association:

  • 1st National Bank St Lucia
  • Berkley Bank and Trust
  • Capita Financial Services
  • Bank of St Lucia
  • Euro Exim Bank
  • Financial Investment and Consultancy Services
  • Hermes Bank
  • Proven Investments Limited
  • Republic Bank
  • Sagicor Finance

How many banks are there in St Lucia?

There are around 34 banks in St Lucia, among which 10 are members of the Association of Caribbean Banks.