In this article, we’re sharing how to open a private bank account in Barbados for foreign non-resident individuals and wealth management structures.
This will include the specific client profiles that can benefit from private banking in Barbados, the benefits they can expect here, and which alternative jurisdictions should be considered as well.
If you would like access to our free Barbados banking series, click the link above and unlock our team’s expert take on banks in Barbados, Barbados banking requirements, personal and business banking in Barbados, and much more.
You can also use the table of contents and jump to the section that matches your private banking needs in Barbados.
Table of Contents
- Open a Private Bank Account in Barbados
- Who Can Open Private Bank Accounts in Barbados?
- How to Open a Private Non-Resident Bank Account in Barbados?
- Barbados Banking System: Private Banking
- Frequently Asked Barbados Banking Questions
- Do You Want Help Opening Barbados Bank Accounts?
Open a Private Bank Account in Barbados
Barbados private bank accounts can be opened by foreign non-residents and wealth management entities from around the world. To qualify, most of the international banks in Barbados require a combination of total assets, income, and deposits. Total assets typically need to exceed USD 1,000,000 to 3,000,000 and annual income needs to be above USD 250,000.
Importantly, while international banks in Barbados do offer private banking to non-residents and wealth management structures, the vast majority of banking assets on the island are related to commercial banking. With this in mind, bank selection plays an important role when it comes to deciding where to open accounts. In short, the best banks in Barbados for individuals and entities seeking private banking services include a small number of international banks that specifically cater to foreign clients.
Overall, it is possible to open a wide range of bank accounts in Barbados, including opening a personal bank account in Barbados remotely for private banking purposes. Of course, we’ll share the steps to open a private non-resident bank account below. But, it’s also worth noting that certain banks in Barbados open business bank accounts for non-resident entities as well. So, if you are looking for a banking hub to assist with a wider range of banking requirements, Barbados may be a suitable option.
In other words, different clients can benefit from establishing a private banking relationship with a financial institution in Barbados. This is especially true for high-net-worth individuals seeking tax efficiency, investment management, and other wealth management solutions. With this in mind, let’s take a look at who can open private bank accounts in Barbados.
Who Can Open Private Bank Accounts in Barbados?
Qualifying to open a private bank account in Barbados is determined by citizenship, residency, risk, and qualifying financial factors. The qualifying financial factors include total assets, income, and relationship balance held with the bank. Additionally, many of the more reputable banks operating in Barbados will want applicants to demonstrate a clear economic tie to Barbados. That said, foreign non-residents, foreign residents, and wealth management entities are all eligible for Barbados private banking.
For clarity, wealth management entities include trusts, foundations, and holding companies. When it comes to banking in Barbados, these wealth management entities can be structured in Barbados or in foreign and offshore jurisdictions and can typically access a Barbados offshore bank account with a qualifying deposit.
In short, there are several key criteria that will determine whether an individual or entity can open a private bank account in Barbados, which includes whether the applicant can pass the basic Barbadian AML and KYC process and whether they can make a qualifying deposit with a Barbadian bank.
How Much Do Barbados Banks Want You to Deposit?
In most cases, the banks in Barbados that cater to foreign non-residents look for a combination of qualifying factors, not just a deposit amount. These factors include total assets, total annual income, and deposits. That said, deposits can range from very low (e.g. USD 10,000) to very high (e.g. USD 1,000,000).
Not surprisingly, certain banks in Barbados do request considerably more from prospective customers, especially those with elevated risk profiles. Additionally, when opening accounts with major international banks in Barbados (like those from Canada), applicants often need to meet other qualifying financial factors. Qualifying financial factors often include total assets (including the value of their primary residence), annual income (combined for couples), and then deposit amounts.
As we’ll explain below, we view these deposit requirements as reasonable when compared to the value, sophistication, service, and products that Barbadian banks offer in comparison to other banking hubs. This is especially true when you’re comparing the largest banks in Barbados which tend to be international banks like those from Canada.
Who Should Open Private Bank Accounts in Barbados?
Due to the account opening requirements of Barbados banks, and the availability of other established private banking hubs with similar deposit levels, most individuals should consider all of the available private banking options before applying to Barbados banks.
However, private banking in Barbados can offer value to certain client profiles. These profiles include high-net-worth individuals and businesses seeking tax efficiency, private banking, investment management, and more. With this in mind, here is a look at the common benefits that people can expect when opening a private non-resident bank account in Barbados.
Benefits of Opening Private Bank Accounts in Barbados?
- Asset and wealth management
- Reputable banks
- Unique commercial banking offerings
- Tax efficiency
- Investment management
- Popular banking destination for Canadians and UK expats
Not surprisingly, Barbadian citizens and residents will likely unlock different benefits of banking in Barbados than non-residents.
If you fit into the categories mentioned above or you’re specifically seeking one of the above benefits, private banking in Barbados may be worth exploring.
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How to Open a Private Non-Resident Bank Account in Barbados?
To open a private non-resident bank account in Barbados, individuals need to complete the following steps:
- Select a Barbadian bank that accepts your client profile and matches your desired private banking services
- Complete the bank’s account opening application, including the standard KYC and AML questionnaires
- Obtain necessary document verifications requested by the Barbadian bank
- If you are opening a private non-resident bank account in Barbados remotely, you may need to mail original copies of all documents to Barbados
- After the account opening process is complete, the Barbadian bank will give you between one and two weeks to make the account opening deposit
It’s important to note that each Barbadian bank has slightly different deposit requirements. With this in mind, it’s important to explore all of the private non-resident banking options in Barbados to find banks that you qualify for before applying.
And, as mentioned above, you should also compare Barbados’s banking system to other alternative options. This is especially true when opening private non-resident bank accounts in Barbados, which demands a higher level of sophistication.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at the Barbadian banking system, specifically for private banking, and see how it stacks up to global alternatives.
Barbados Banking System: Private Banking
Barbados’s banking system in terms of private non-resident banking is well established. This is due to the fact that Barbados has a strong presence of reputable international banks that specifically offer private banking and wealth and asset management services.
That said, there are more robust private banking hubs available elsewhere compared to Barbados. And, in most cases, these more established private banking hubs require the same level of deposits as opening a private account in Barbados. With this in mind, instead of accessing sophisticated banking services in Barbados, you could open accounts in private banking hubs like Liechtenstein, Switzerland, or Singapore, if they better match your needs.
That said, there are certain reasons that may make banking in Barbados unavoidable. One of these reasons includes gaining direct access to the official currency of Barbados, the Barbadian Dollar. On the other hand, if you need to send money to Barbados or send transfers out of Barbados, then opening a bank account in the country can make sense.
Here is a look at some of the alternative jurisdictions that you might want to consider instead of opening a private account in Barbados.
Alternatives to a Barbados Private Bank Account
- The Bahamas
- The Cayman Islands
When comparing jurisdictions, you should look at the specific risks of banking in Barbados against the alternatives that you’re considering. Likewise, the costs of banking in Barbados, including both opening and maintaining accounts should be considered.
If you would like to explore any of these alternative private international banking options, you can get immediate access to banks in each of these countries in the GlobalBanks IQ Database. Use the link below to learn more about GlobalBanks IQ now.
Frequently Asked Barbados Banking Questions
Below are a few of the most common questions we receive from people exploring how to open private bank accounts in Barbados. If you have further questions you would like answered, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us directly.
Can a Foreigner Open a Bank Account in Barbados?
Yes, a foreigner can open a bank account in Barbados. In fact, foreign non-residents can open accounts 100% remotely. That said, not all banks in Barbados accept foreign non-resident clients. And many of the banks that do accept foreign non-residents still want to see local economic ties. With this in mind, bank selection is an important step when opening accounts in Barbados.
Can a Canadian Open a Bank Account in Barbados?
Yes, a Canadian can open a bank account in Barbados. In fact, Canada is a popular banking jurisdiction for Canadian expats and non-residents. This is especially true for Canadians who are able to demonstrate a clear nexus to Barbados, which may be a requirement when opening with the private banking division of a large Canadian bank.
Who Is Eligible for Private Banking?
Individuals or entities that are eligible for private wealth banking include those who are able to make higher deposit levels and who require specific banking services. These services include asset management, wealth management, investment management, retirement planning, tax planning, and much more. Generally speaking, private banking deposit requirements range from several hundred thousand to several million dollars. However, in certain instances, foreign non-residents can open accounts in Barbados with as little as USD 10,000.
Do You Want Help Opening Barbados Bank Accounts?
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