Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) - Licensing and Regulation

1. What institutions do the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) regulate?

The ECCB regulates all banks and other financial institutions licensed under the Banking Act 2015 (the Act), that carry on banking business in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU).

2. What is banking business?

Section 2 of the Act defines “banking business” as-

(a) the business of receiving funds through:

  1. the acceptance of monetary deposits which are repayable on demand or after notice or any similar operation;
  2. the sale or placement of bonds, certificates, notes or other securities, and the use of such funds either in whole or in part for extensions of credit or investment for the account and at the risk of the person doing such business;

 (b) any other activity recognised by the Central Bank as banking practice and which a licensed financial institution may additionally be authorised to do.

3. How is the ECCB authorised as regulator and supervisor?

The ECCB’s regulatory framework has two main legislative components:

  1. Article 3 paragraph 2(e) of the ECCB Agreement Act, 1983 which gives the ECCB the power to “regulate banking business on behalf of and in collaboration with Participating Governments;” and
  2. The Act of the various ECCU member countries.

4. What are the requirements for licensing a commercial bank in the ECCU?

Click here to see the general requirements, pursuant to section 7 of the Act.

Click here to access the list of Documents and Inforamation Required for Application of Banking License.

5. What are the costs associated with licensing a commercial bank?

Following any preliminary discussion(s), the ECCB requires a non-refundable application fee of $20,000 (see Schedule I of the Act), to process an application for a banking licence. Additionally, the minimum capital requirement is twenty million dollars, pursuant to section 44 of the Banking Act. Other financial requirements are outlined in Part V of the Act.

Information on the registration costs, legal fees and other costs to be incurred will have to be gathered from an Attorney-at-law and the relevant government offices.

6. Does the Ministry of Finance play a role in the regulation and supervision of commercial banks?

According to the Act, the ECCB has primary responsibility for supervising domestic banks within the ECCU. However, the ultimate authority for regulating institutions is jointly vested in the Ministers for Finance (Minister) of the member countries and the ECCB. The Minister normally acts in consultation with, and on the recommendation of the ECCB regarding areas where the Minister has ultimate responsibility.

7. Does the ECCB regulate offshore banks?

No. The ECCB is only authorised to licence “onshore” financial institutions in accordance with Section 7 of the Act. The international financial services sector is governed by the Offshore Banking Acts in the respective ECCU member countries and is primarily the responsibility of the national regulators. Their respective websites and contact information can be found using a search engine. for “Financial Services Regulator [name of ECCU member country]”

8. Does the ECCB regulate ‘onshore’ entities not licensed to carry on banking business, but which provide financial services such as mortgage/loan brokers, prepaid card and ATMs not directly linked to bank accounts?

No. The ECCB only regulates financial institutions licensed to conduct banking business under the Act. Kindly refer enquiries related to the services of any other entities to the national regulators in the respective ECCU member countries.

9. Where can I find information on the ECCB’s supervisory function?

Click here to access information. 

10. How can I request additional information?

Requests for additional information can be sent via email to: info@eccb-centralbank.org.

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