What Are the Best Banks in Bermuda?

The best banks in Bermuda for each customer are determined by assessing customer profiles, banking requirements, desired services, and available deposit amounts.

In this article, we’re looking at the best banks for anyone looking to open a bank account in Bermuda as an expat, foreigner, or for foreign entities.

If you would like to access our free British Overseas Territories banking series, click the link above and unlock our team’s expert take on Bermudan banks, Bermuda banking requirements, personal and business banking in Bermuda, and much more.

You can also use the table of contents and jump to the section that covers your area of interest in Bermuda.

Table of Contents

  1. What Are the Best Banks in Bermuda?
    1. What Are the Best Banks for Expats in Bermuda?
    2. What Are the Best Banks for Foreign Non-Residents in Bermuda?
    3. What Are the Best Banks for Foreign Entities in Bermuda?
  2. Benefits of Opening an Account With Bermuda Banks?
  3. Frequently Asked Bermuda Banking Questions?
  4. Alternative Countries to Banking in Bermuda
  5. Ready to Open an Offshore Bank Account?

What Are the Best Banks in Bermuda?

The best bank in Bermuda for one client over another will vary depending on the client profile, banking requirements, and jurisdictions involved. That said, as there are only four banks in Bermuda, determining which bank is best for each client is a more straightforward process than in other offshore banking hubs.

With this in mind, foreign non-resident individuals and entities will be able to consider Butterfield (The Bank of N.T. Butterfield & Son Limited), HSBC (HSBC Bank (Bermuda) Limited), Clarien (Clarien Bank Limited), and BCB (Bermuda Commercial Bank Limited).

Of course, each bank has its own preferences regarding the specific clients they serve, the required ties to Bermuda, and the type of banking products and services they offer.

So, before applying for accounts with a specific Bermudan bank, you should confirm that they offer the exclusive financial products and Bermuda banking services you require, cater to clients with your profile, and accept an initial deposit you can afford.

That said, as we’ve shared elsewhere, Bermuda is primarily a private banking and commercial banking jurisdiction. Therefore, anyone looking for basic offshore banking services, merchant banking services, or transactional banking will be better served by considering banks in other jurisdictions.

If you would like to explore a more detailed schedule of financial providers and a list of the banks in Bermuda, you can click here to access our free guide. Not surprisingly, since there are only four financial institutions in Bermuda this is also the list of the biggest financial firms and largest banks in Bermuda.

Needless to say, by taking the time to assess these Bermuda-specific factors, you will be able to confirm whether Bermuda is a suitable banking jurisdiction for your needs. Likewise, by assessing each Bermudan bank directly, you will end up finding the best bank in Bermuda for your unique requirements.

What Are the Best Banks for Expats in Bermuda?

Before discussing the best Bermudan banks for expats, it’s important to point out that we are defining “expats” as foreign individuals who have the legal right to work or reside in Bermuda, either on a visa or with residency status.

Not surprisingly, expats in Bermuda typically have an easier time opening accounts than foreign non-residents who do not reside in the country. That said, even with the legal right to be in the country, Bermudan financial institutions can still be difficult to access for foreigners, depending on their visa status and deposit amounts.

With this in mind, we typically suggest that expats in Bermuda look for financial institutions with the following attributes.

Characteristics of the Best Banks in Bermuda for Expats

  • Accepting foreigners with Bermudan residency and work permits
  • Flexible requirements for proof of address in Bermuda
  • Minimum deposit requirements for foreigners with clear ties to Bermuda
  • Low-cost domestic transfers between Bermudan banks
  • Accepts deposits via transfer services from outside of Bermuda
  • Reasonable hours for in-person services in Hamilton
  • Competent tellers and bankers to assist with basic services

Again, these are the characteristics that individuals living and working in Bermuda should consider when deciding which accounts to apply for.

If you fit into this category and would like to take a closer look at opening a private deposit account or a Bermuda personal bank account, you can click this link to access our free guide now.

Alternatively, if your objectives are more aligned with cross-border services, specifically Bermuda offshore banking, you may find our dedicated offshore banking guide more helpful.

What Are the Best Banks for Foreign Non-Residents in Bermuda?

Foreign non-residents of Bermuda, meaning individuals without the legal right to reside or work in Bermuda, need to consider Bermudan banks that specifically cater to international clients. Fortunately, as an offshore banking jurisdiction, Bermudan banks are well-positioned to assist international clients.

However, it’s important to note that these Bermudan financial institutions do require a minimum deposit, usually starting at USD 250,000 to 1,000,000, depending on the bank and client opening the account. Not surprisingly, with opening deposits at these levels, foreigners should be seeking private banking options when opening in Bermuda.

When it comes to opening accounts in Bermuda as a foreign non-resident, we suggest that individuals consider the following characteristics.

Characteristics of the Best Banks in Bermuda for Foreign Non-Residents

  • Accepting foreign non-residents of Bermuda
  • Accepts your citizenship and residency
  • Requires supporting documents you can provide
  • Does not require Bermudan documents you don’t have
  • Does not require ties to Bermuda that you don’t have
  • Requires a deposit amount you can afford
  • Allows transfers to and from Bermuda and desired countries
  • Charges reasonable international transaction fees
  • Charges reasonable account maintenance fees
  • Offers international debit and credit cards
  • Competent bankers that cater to your specific requirements

If you are a foreign non-resident of Bermuda and would like to explore your options further you can use our guide on high-net-worth management services and Bermuda private banking or our personal banking guide linked above.

What Are the Best Banks for Foreign Entities in Bermuda?

Foreign entities refer to legal entities registered as holding companies, operating businesses, and foreign trusts and foundations outside of Bermuda.

Importantly, while it is possible for these entities to open in Bermuda, banks here typically cater to wealth management entities and large commercial enterprises. Therefore, anyone looking for the best banks in Bermuda for transactional and basic business banking will be better served elsewhere.

On the other hand, anyone looking to open bank accounts for a wealth management entity or a large commercial enterprise can consider banking here. However, in order to open accounts with a Bermudan bank, these entities still need to pass account opening compliance regulations, meet Bermuda banking requirements, and make a qualifying deposit.

While the deposits to open in Bermuda for holding companies and certain operating businesses are considered reasonable, foreign trusts and foundations should expect to deposit considerably more when opening Bermudan bank accounts.

With this in mind, we typically suggest Bermuda financial institutions with the following attributes for foreign entities

Characteristics of the Best Banks in Bermuda for Foreign Entities

  • Accepting entities registered outside of Bermuda
  • Accepts your entity’s specific country of registration
  • Accepts the citizenship and residency of the shareholder and directors
  • Supports the specific industry or purpose of the entity
  • Does not require Bermudan documents your entity doesn’t have
  • Does not require ties to Bermuda that your entity doesn’t have
  • Requires a deposit amount your entity can provide
  • Allows transfers to and from Bermuda and desired countries
  • Charges reasonable international transaction fees
  • Charges reasonable account maintenance fees
  • English-speaking customer support

If you’re interested in opening a corporate account for a legal entity or a Bermuda business bank account for an offshore company, you can click this link to access our free guide now.

Benefits of Opening an Account With Bermuda Banks?

When compared to other offshore jurisdictions, the potential account opening perks and Bermuda banking benefits include access to sophisticated banking, economic and political stability, strength of banking correspondents, and support from competent bankers.

More specifically, a Bermuda account can be opened remotely, is available to a wide range of citizenships and nationalities, and is also accessible to both foreign and offshore entities that are able to make a qualifying deposit.

Here is a list of the basic benefits you can receive when you open accounts in Bermuda.

Benefits of Opening a Bank Account in Bermuda

  • Access to sophisticated private banking and wealth management
  • Support from bankers who understand international client needs
  • Account opening with stable and reputable international banks
  • Banking in a stable jurisdiction with competent regulators
  • And much more

Lastly, Bermuda financial institutions also offer access to a wide range of foreign account services, ranging from investment products to multi-currency accounts, and exposure to the Bermudian Dollar (BMD), the currency of Bermuda.

With this in mind, here is a look at the common foreign banking services that prospective applicants can access in Bermuda.

Foreign Bank Account Services in Bermuda

  • Multi-currency accounts
  • Online account management
  • International debit cards
  • International credit cards
  • International transfers
  • Domestic transfers
  • Fixed deposit accounts
  • Investment products

Of course, many of these benefits can be obtained when opening accounts outside of Bermuda as well. With this in mind, let’s take a look at the alternative countries to Bermuda that you may want to consider.

Alternative Countries to Banking in Bermuda

There are a number of alternative countries you may want to consider instead of banking in Bermuda. However, each Bermuda alternative has its own unique considerations. Likewise, similar to Bermuda, they tend to cater to specific client profiles.

In the case of Bermuda, applicants typically include individuals looking for wealth management, private banking, or related administrative services. So, alternative options will cater to these clients as well.

That said, it’s important to keep in mind that there are operating service fees and Bermuda banking costs to consider. Likewise, depending on where you’re located, you may have difficulties transferring international funds and sending money to Bermuda from your existing accounts.

Needless to say, it’s important to compare all of the alternative jurisdictions you are considering directly to the banking options in Bermuda. That way, you’ll be sure to find the best banks for your unique requirements.

Here are a few alternative banking hubs to Bermuda that you might want to consider. These first three alternatives were selected because they are home to institutions with similar onboarding processes and deposit requirements as Bermuda. However, the last two alternatives cater to a different clientele and have lower deposit requirements.

Alternatives to Banking in Bermuda

  • Guernsey
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Panama
  • The Isle of Man

Needless to say, there are risks to banking in any of these countries just as there are fiscal uncertainties and risks to banking in Bermuda as a foreign non-resident. So, before deciding where to apply, don’t forget to do your research, understand the risks of each country and bank, and choose the option that best meets your profile and needs.

Frequently Asked Bermuda Banking Questions

Below are a few of the most common questions we receive from people searching for the best Bermudan financial institutions. If you have other questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us directly.

What Banks Are Licensed in Bermuda?

The banks that are licensed in Bermuda include four financial institutions. These four banks are Butterfield (Bank of N.T. Butterfield), HSBC Bank Bermuda Limited, Clarien Bank, and BCB (Bermuda Commercial Bank).

Can a Foreigner Open a Bank Account in Bermuda?

Yes, a foreigner can open a bank account in Bermuda. However, foreigners looking to open accounts in Bermuda should be seeking private banking and wealth management services. Foreigners looking for other banking services, such as basic offshore banks and transaction support, should consider banking in other jurisdictions.

How to Open a Personal Bank Account in Bermuda?

To open a personal bank account in Bermuda, you first need to choose a bank that matches your client profile, offers the services you need, and has an opening deposit that you can match. Then, you will need to complete the bank onboarding, pass compliance, and navigate an account opening interview.

Ready to Open an Offshore Bank Account?

If so, you can access GlobalBanks Insider and start the process of applying for an offshore account in a few clicks.

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And “yes!” GlobalBanks Insider is designed to help foreign and non-resident individuals and companies open bank accounts.

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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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