June 29, 2012
IFS approves RBC Royal Bank Holdings (EC) Limited

Approval has been granted for the licensing of the International Financial Services (IFS) industry’s first International Bank subsidiary, RBC Royal Bank Holdings (EC) Limited.{{more}}

A release from the International Financial Services Authority (IFSA) said approval was granted by the Minister of Finance, through IFSA, on June 21, 2012.

RBC Royal Bank Holdings (EC) Limited is a direct subsidiary of RBC Financial (Caribbean) Limited in Trinidad and Tobago, with its ultimate parent company being Royal Bank of Canada, one of Canada’s largest banks.

The release said Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dr Ralph E. Gonsalves considers this a significant development, as it is a true reflection of the status of SVG in the global arena. He explained that this goes to show the strength and reputation of SVG’s international financial services (IFS) regulatory regime and the jurisdiction’s soundness and safety to attract an application from such a reputable group as the RBC Group.

IFSA’s Communications Officer, Belinda Francis, commenting on behalf of that organization, echoed the Prime Minister’s sentiments and added that such an application is indeed a real testament as to how far the IFS industry has evolved and grown to attract such a well reputed group. Francis stated that significant strides have been made and continue to be made to the legislative and regulatory regime in SVG with respect to the IFS industry. She suspects that this application may pave the way for others from similarly reputable groups who can also appreciate the benefits of establishing branches and subsidiaries here in SVG. This is especially so in view of SVG’s status as ‘white-listed’ by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and its recent successful completion of its Phase 1 Peer Review, with respect to its legislative and regulatory tax transparency regime.

RBC Royal Bank Holdings (EC) Limited was granted approval for a Class B International Banking Licence, in accordance with the International Banks Act. All applications for an international banking license must receive final approval from the Minister of Finance after being recommended by IFSA, in keeping with the provisions of the International Banks Act. The Bank will have to ensure compliance with its governing legislation, the International Banks Act, as well as the Proceeds of Crime and Money Laundering (Prevention) Act and will be subject to the supervision of the Authority.

The International Financial Services Authority is charged with the mission to regulate and supervise the international financial sector in accordance with best international practices, so as to promote the safety, soundness and integrity of the sector, thereby enhancing the reputation of SVG as a secure and competitive international financial centre. The Authority licenses International Banks, Mutual Fund Managers, Mutual Fund Administrators International Insurance Companies and Registered Agents and Trustees. It registers International Business Companies, (including Segregated Cell Companies), Limited Liability Companies, International Trusts and Mutual Funds. The Authority is located on the 2nd Floor of the NIS Building in Kingstown, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.