Banking in Grenada [Grenada Offshore Banks 101]

If you haven’t been around the banking world as long as we have, you might not know that Grenada was once a hub for banking secrecy and offshore accounts.

If that’s the case, you might be wondering if it’s worth banking here… The short answer: Probably not.

In fact, while Grenada had over 40 offshore banks at its peak, this number plummeted to less than five within a three-year span.

Grenada is now home to banks that serve the local population and domestic entities, so if you’re looking for offshore banking, explore alternatives in our free articles above.

But if you want to know more about banking in Grenada, read on.

In this article, we’ll share some of the inner workings of Grenada’s offshore industry and share how this tiny island went from being a hub for anonymous bank accounts to an effectively defunct jurisdiction.

Feel free to jump ahead to the areas most relevant to you by using the table of contents below.

Table of Contents

  1. Short History of Offshore Banks in Grenada
  2. Banking in Grenada Today
  3. Other Reasons Foreigners Consider Grenada
  4. Ready to Explore Banking Options?

Short History of Offshore Banks in Grenada

The story you’re about to read actually happened…

First International Bank of Grenada was a prominent offshore bank that duped Canadian and American retirees out of $170mm.

It was set up by an American with no money, no banking experience, and a passport from the fictitious country of Melchizedek.

They attracted depositors with interest rates as high as 300%, backed by a 10,000-carat ruby, and claimed a balance sheet of over 26 billion.

But, just like the country of Melchizedek, the giant ruby and the bank’s assets didn’t really exist.

Government officials (allegedly) allowed this to continue because they were receiving large sums of cash under the table.

It was a massive Ponzi scheme that impacted hundreds of foreign depositors and left a big, ugly stain on banking in Grenada.

The entire scheme was eventually taken down by the IRS and the FBI, resulting in four bank officers being sentenced to prison.

Banking in Grenada Today

Grenada appears to be changing.

The former prime minister who oversaw the entire Grenada offshore banking scandal and allegedly profited from it was voted out of office in 2022.

Now, there is a younger generation with a new government in place that’s focused on domestic policy and the economy.

In other words, we don’t expect a resurgence of the Grenada offshore banking industry anytime soon.

Instead, you should only consider banking here if you have local ties, spend considerable time here, or plan to do business locally.

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Other Reasons Foreigners Consider Grenada

While banking may not be at the forefront of anyone’s mind when it comes to Grenada, there are other drivers that attract foreigners to this tiny Caribbean island.

For example, citizenship by investment and corporate structuring industries still attract foreign individuals to the country.

In fact, a Grenada passport offers visa-free access to over 140 countries and can be obtained in less than 3 months for only $150,000.

Depending on where you come from, what alternatives you have available, and why you want to obtain a second citizenship in the first place, Grenada could be worth considering.

As for corporate structuring, Grenada is not the first choice for international entrepreneurs, business owners, and investors. However, it does offer 20-year tax exemptions and no inheritance tax, and non-residents are exempt from most other taxes and duties as well.

That said, it’s important to explore all of your options and find a jurisdiction that’s appropriate for your situation and able to provide the specific benefits you’re after. This is true whether you’re looking for a banking hub, a place to register your next company, or the next country you want to call home.

Ready to Explore Banking Options?

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GlobalBanks Team
GlobalBanks Team

The GlobalBanks editorial team comprises a group of subject-matter experts from across the banking world, including former bankers, analysts, investors, and entrepreneurs. All have in-depth knowledge and experience in various aspects of international banking. In particular, they have expertise in banking for foreigners, non-residents, and both foreign and offshore companies.

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