Banks key partners in business community

Banking in the Turks and Caicos is easy. Banking institutions have been serving the islands since 1966.

 

There are many contributing factors to the growth and success of a nation, but there is one thing that one certainly cannot do without. Money, or more specifically access to a well-functioning financial system, is required in order to stimulate industry and attract inward investment.

Banking in the Turks and Caicos is straightforward. The Financial Services Commission supervises the activities of banks, trust companies and money transmitters in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

After having its own currency, then using the Jamaican Dollar, the Turks and Caicos Islands has used the US Dollar as the official currency since 1962.

In 1966, the first commercial and retail bank opened its doors to customers on Grand Turk. Since then, banking institutions have been a regular part of the business community and offer all the services larger country’s business and private entities are accustomed to. All banks and money transmitters are regulated by the Financial Services Commission (FSC) and operate according to industry standard regulations.

The are 7 licensed banks operating in the TCI.

Today, there are seven licensed banking institutions operating in the Turks and Caicos Islands. The country is fortunate to host several larger commercial firms with internationally recognized brands such as CIBC FirstCaribbean, Royal Bank of Canada and Scotiabank. Commercial and retail services are offered locally by each of these institutions, all headquartered on the island of Providenciales. Scotiabank and CIBC FirstCaribbean have an additional branch on Grand Turk open five days a week and CIBC FirstCaribbean has a branch on South Caicos, which is open one day a week. Scotiabank operates ATMs on North Caicos, South Caicos and Grand Turk. All the larger firms offer online banking to their customers.

Banking in the Turks and Caicos Islands is easy, with banking services offered through several private banks, some of which focus on active portfolio management for high net worth individuals. Whether the needs are large or small, there are financial institutions that cater to both the private and corporate client’s needs.

Banks that operate within the local market are required to hold a national banking license. Under the Banking Ordinance, there are two types of banking licenses specified: a national banking license and an overseas banking license. Some operators who deal only with customers overseas are limited to an overseas banking license. However, both a national banking license and an oversea banking license can be issued to the same entity.

There were $1.72 billion in total assets recorded in 2011/2012 in the banking sector.

2012 TCFSC Annual Report

For the security and stability of the industry a minimum capital requirement is set by the Banking (Capital) Regulations 2003 (“the Capital Regulations”) made under Sections 9-13 of the Banking Ordinance for licencees carrying on banking business in or from within the Islands. Holders of a banking license are also required under Section 29 (1-6) of the Banking Ordinance to file monthly and quarterly returns with the FSC.

Banking operations typically follow US trends, such as interest rate spreads which according to the Financial Services Commission 2012 Annual Report ranged from around 0.4% to 2% for deposits to 4.5%-6.5% for secured lending and 9%-17% for unsecured lending. As is common in many Caribbean countries, money is often transferred from island nation to island nation via a money transmitter. Five licensed money transmitters also operate in the TCI. These licenses require a minimum net worth set out by the Money Transmitters Ordinance 2008 as well as filing requirements with the FSC.

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