Obtain Vanuatu International Bank License

Vanuatu International Bank License

Bank License
Issue of the International Bank license and regulation of the business activities undertaken by the licensees fall under the International Banking Act of 2002 and are controlled by the Reserve Bank of Vanuatu.
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Timeframe: from 4 months

Net assets: must be positive of at least USD 500,000.00


Vanuatu is an established offshore finance center in the Pacific region with a great variety of tax benefits.

International Banking is regulated by the International Banking Act [CAP. 280]. The Reserve Bank of Vanuatu is the authority responsible for receiving and evaluating of applications for International Banking license and all supporting documents, as well as assessing whether a person/body corporate is “fit & proper".

Key aspects for obtaining and keeping of a license:

  • the ownership spread, financial capacity and financial history (if any) of the applicant are satisfactory
  • each director and manager of the applicant is a fit and proper person and has sufficient experience in international banking to be involved with operations or management of an international bank
  • each associate of the applicant is a fit and proper person to have an interest in an international bank
  • the risk management, accounting and internal control systems of the applicant are satisfactory
  • the capital structure of the applicant is adequate and the amount of unimpaired paid up capital of the applicant is at least $500,000. It is important that the Bank in Vanuatu has always $500,000 more in receivable from overseas bank compare to what it owes to clients
  • the applicant must have an office and professional staff working in Vanuatu
  • all records of the licensee must be kept in Vanuatu
  • the services will not be offered to Vanuatu residents or in Vatu (local) currency
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Licensing Criteria and Procedures for Applying for Vanuatu International Bank License

Notable features
Documents Required

General information

Company structure

  • At least 1 shareholder (can also be a legal person, no nationality or residency restrictions)
  • At least 2 individual directors (at least 1 director must be a resident of Vanuatu)
  • At least 1 employee that will have a day-to-day knowledge of the international banking business conducted by the licensee and sufficient authority within the licensee to participate in the management of that day-today international banking business


  • 0% income tax, or any other direct or indirect tax or impost is payable in Vanuatu upon the income, profits, gains, interest or dividends earned or paid in respect of the international banking business of a licensee
  • 0% estate, inheritance, succession or gift tax, rate, duty, levy or other charge is payable in Vanuatu with respect to any shares, debt obligations or other securities of a licensee

The following instruments are exempted from stamp duty:

  • a bill of exchange, promissory note and every other document, instrument or certificate executed by, or for, or in connection with the international banking business of a licensee
  • an instrument in relation to a transfer of property, other than real property, situated in Vanuatu, to or by a licensee
  • an instrument in relation to a transaction and declaration in respect of shares, debt obligations or other securities of a licensee
  • an instrument in relation to any other transaction of the international banking business of a licensee

Accounting and Audit requirements

  • Each financial year an auditor must be appointed to report on all financial statements prepared by the licensee in relation to that year
  • An appointment of an auditor requires a prior written approval of the Reserve Bank
  • Copies of financial statements and auditor’s report must be provided to the Reserve Bank within 4 (four) months after the close of the licensee’s financial year

Secretary - Required

Registered Agent - Required

Registered office - Required

Local office - Required

In order to obtain a license, the following steps will be carried out:

  • Preparation of application forms
  • Reviewing and amending documents and information as are specified by the Reserve Bank
  • Incorporation of the company
  • Bank account setup
  • License application with the Reserve Bank
  • Local office setup within 30 days after issue of license

In order to obtain license, Offshorelicense will fill all necessary application forms and also acquire apostilled corporate documents. 

For that reason, please provide us with the following documents. 

For each beneficial owner, shareholder, director, authorised signatory and secretary:

  • A notarized copy of valid passport
  • CV dated and signed
  • 2nd ID for shareholder / director
  • Criminal record of no conviction for the shareholder / director
  • A copy of proof of residential address (ex. utility bill that is not older than 3 months)
  • 2 professional reference letters
  • Bank reference letter
  • Copies of Diplomas of a Higher Education

Please note that a complete and detailed list of documents and information needed to proceed with the application, as required by the Reserve Bank, will be provided separately


  • If documents are not in English language or language of particular country, then they must be accompanied by a notarized translation.
  • Please ensure that notarization is in English language if not then please provide with notarized English translation.

Additional documents may be requested by the regulatory authority at any point to certify specific information