International Banks

Vanuatu remains one of the few countries in the world where it is possible to establish a privately owned financial institution / bank, subject to the satisfactory completion of a due diligence process to ensure the bona fides of the principals / all those involved and confirm the necessary expertise, capital and business plan (management, control, KYC, systems and financial projections etc).

Banking licences are closely controlled and the persons and reasons for requiring an international banking licence are well scrutinised by the authorities. It is critical to have a solid understanding of the background to the reasons for these, so that a quality application can be lodged through close collaboration between the principals of the proposed bank and Law Partners as the agents assisting in the formation in Vanuatu.

The Reserve Bank of Vanuatu (RBV) - who oversee the application process - are committed to ensuring that only well operated, legitimate banks are issued with banking licences.

Banking Licence Application

In the first instance, if you are looking to apply for an International Banking licence, please contact us with the following initial information:

1. Your name and full contact details.
2. A description of the type of services the bank proposes to offer.
3. Your background and details of any banking experience you may have.
4. Confirmation that sufficient funds are available for forming a bank (minimum requirement is USD500,000 capital plus formation expenses).

Once we have this initial information we will respond to discuss your particular requirements and advise the additional detailed information to proceed.


  • 'Shelf' banks are not available in Vanuatu. Also there is no advantage in terms of time, cost or the provision of the information required to purchasing an existing bank.
  • The holder of a senior banking position must be an experienced banker and resident locally in Vanuatu;
  • A physical presence is required ie, fixed local address / premises;

During the course of preparing the licence application it will be essential for the principals to visit Vanuatu and meet with ourselves and also the officials of the Reserve Bank of Vanuatu.

After lodgement with the RBV, an application takes a maximum of four months to process, including a due diligence process, prior to final consideration / approval.  We endeavour to keep this period as short as possible by liaising with the Reserve Bank to see if any additional information is required.

International Company

International Bank Fees

Also read International Banking Act of 2002

Advantages in Vanuatu
  • Minimum paid up capital of US$500,000 or foreign currency equivalent;
  • There is no requirement to maintain a deposit in a Vanuatu Bank;
  • There is no income tax, direct or indirect taxes on income, gains, interest or dividends;
  • There is a high degree of confidentiality (i.e. applicants, licensees and customers).

To obtain additional information, please contact us by e-mail at


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