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How to open a bank account in Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda has 13 banks. Over the past five years, there have been fewer of them: several have closed or become part of others. Four remaining banks are considered the most reliable, as they are members of the Caribbean Association of Banks.

How to open a bank account in Antigua and Barbuda

Types of accounts and maintenance costs in banks of Antigua and Barbuda

Both an individual and a legal entity can open an account in one of the banks in Antigua and Barbuda. Banking services are available not only to citizens and residents of the country but also to foreigners. However, they need to provide more documents to get approval from the bank.

To make getting approval to open an account easier, you can become a citizen of Antigua and Barbuda.

Banks in Antigua and Barbuda open current, savings, trading and escrow accounts, and term deposits.

Antigua and Barbuda banks, which are members of the Caribbean Association of Banks

ACB Caribbean, formerly Antigua Commercial Bank

Caribbean Union Bank

Eastern Caribbean Amalgamated Bank

Global Bank of Commerce

CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank is not a member of the Association of Caribbean banks. But CIBC online banking Antigua is licensed by Eastern Caribbean Central Bank.

The main currency of Antigua and Barbuda is the Eastern Caribbean dollar — EC$ or XCD. It is pegged to the US dollar at a ratio of 2.7:1, so EC$1 always equals $0.37.

By default, accounts are opened in Eastern Caribbean dollars. All major banks have foreign currency accounts in US dollars. Accounts in euros, British pounds sterling or Canadian dollars can only be opened with some banks, such as the Global Bank of Commerce.

Current accounts in US dollars or euros opened for a legal entity allow companies to avoid currency control.

Types of bank accounts in Antigua and Barbuda

Account typeIndividualsLegal entitiesPurpose
Current accountCurrent account for everyday transactions
Savings accountAccount for storing and exaggerating savings. At any time the account can be replenished or withdrawn from it the required amount
Term depositOpened for a certain period, usually for 3, 6 and 12 months. If you withdraw the money ahead of schedule, the owner will cancel the profit and charge a penalty
Currency accountCurrent, savings account or term deposit in foreign currency: US dollars, euros, British pounds or Canadian dollars
Trading accountAn account to which companies can both accept payments and make them from it. Allows a business to accept credit cards and other forms of electronic payment
Escrow accountAn account that secures a property purchase transaction during the construction phase. The buyer's money is stored on it until the developer fulfils its obligations under the contract

The cost of servicing accounts in different banks is different. The maintenance of current accounts in US dollars costs $7 per month for individuals and $10 for legal entities. In some banks, you can link a debit card with free service to your account. For using a credit card, owners pay from $50 per year.

To activate an account, you need to transfer a certain amount as it is written in the contract. The amount must always remain in the account: a commission will be charged if the account balance is less. For foreign currency accounts, the required amount is always higher.

You need to transfer to a current account to activate it

The minimum amount to activate a current account for individuals and legal entities is $400, and for a term deposit it is $2,000. Savings account in US dollars is activated when transferring from $5,000, and in Eastern Caribbean dollars — from EC$50.

Comparison of conditions in reliable banks of Antigua and Barbuda, which are members of the Caribbean Association of Banks

BankACB Caribbean, former Antigua Commercial BankCaribbean Union BankEastern Caribbean Amalgamated BankGlobal Bank of Commerce
banking, mobile banking for iOS and Android
Only online bankingOnline
banking, mobile banking for iOS and Android
Only online banking
Service feeEC$20 or $7.36 per month
for a current account of individuals

EC$20 or $20 per month
for a current account accounts of legal entities

for debit cards

$100+ per year
for credit cards

$150 per year
for a trading account
EC$35+ or $10 per month
for a current account of individuals

EC$50+ per month
for a current account of legal entities

EC$40+ per year
for debit cards of individuals

EC$125+ per year
for debit cards of legal entities
EC$20 or $7.41 per month
for a current account of individuals

EC$20 per month
for a current account of legal entities

for debit cards

$50+ per year
for credit cards
$10 per month
for a current account of individuals

$10 per month
for a current account of legal entities
Amount to activate an accountEC$500 or $500 
for a current account of individuals

EC$500 or $500 
for a current account of legal entities

for a term deposit 

for a savings account
EC$1,000 or $1,000
for a current account of individuals

EC$1,000 or $1,000
for a current account of legal entities

for a term deposit

EC$100 or $5,000 
for a savings account of individuals

for a savings account of legal entities
EC$100 or $400 
for a current account of individuals

EC$300 or $400 
for a current account of legal entities

EC$5,000 or $2,000 
for a term deposit

for a savings account of individuals
for a current account of individuals

for a current account of legal entities

for a term deposit

for a savings account of individuals
Commission2% of the transaction amount
at ATMs of other banks
for opening a current account for individuals

for opening a current account for legal entities

0.2% of the transaction amount
when depositing to an account from $5,000 per day at a bank branch
Free of charge
transactions at ATMs

transfers to accounts of other banks, including other countries
2.5% of the transaction amount
at ATMs of other banks

online transfers to accounts of other banks, including other countries

for issuing a debit card

No data

In 2021, Scotiabank in Antigua and Barbuda completed the sale of its operations to Eastern Caribbean Amalgamated Bank. Thus, ECAB takes legal ownership of Scotia Antigua online banking and other services.

At the same year Antigua Commercial Bank was rebranded to ACB Caribbean. ACB online banking has also acquired the operations of Royal Bank of Canada in Antigua & Barbuda.

Opening an account and accessing online banking

You can open an account with a bank in Antigua and Barbuda in person or remotely.

To open an account in person, you must come to the bank branch with a package of necessary documents and fill out an application. Instead of yourself, you can send a representative who will act by proxy. In some banks, you need to make an appointment in advance on their website, by phone or by email.

To open an account remotely, you need to fill out an online application on the bank's official website. In the application, you must specify all the required data, and sometimes attach scans of documents. Translated into English and certified copies of all documents must also be sent to the bank by mail or delivery service.

Procedure for opening a bank account remotely

Preparation of documents
Submission of an application for opening an account on the bank's website
Sending documents to the bank by mail
Consideration and approval of the application
Transferring money to the account for its activation

After opening an account, you can connect to online banking. In some banks, this happens automatically when you activate your account, in others you need to register on the site to get a use ame and password. The most modern banks have not only a web service, but also mobile applications for iOS and Android.

With the help of online banking, you can find out the account balance and transaction history for free, receive an electronic account statement, transfer money and set up auto payments. If a bank card is linked to the account, you can apply for its blocking and reissue in case it is stolen or lost.

For transfers to bank customers and payment of utility bills, a commission is often charged: on average, $1 per transaction. Frequent payments and transfers can be added to favorites so you do not have to enter the recipient’s account number each time.

$1 per transaction
Average fee for online transfers and bill payments

You can receive push notifications about transactions and account balances in mobile applications. You can also transfer data to a financial accounting application such as Quicken or Microsoft Money.

Online banking restrictions. It will not be possible to transfer money between accounts of legal entities, but you can replenish a company account from your account if they are linked.

It will not be possible to transfer money online to another bank account. However, you can leave an online request, which the operator will execute on a business day. The commission for such a transfer will be from $50.

Required documents

Before opening an account, bank employees conduct a Customer Due Diligence. To do this, they request a package of documents: for individuals and legal entities, the requirements are different.

Individuals confirm:

  • their identity with a passport and another document, such as a driver's license;
  • an address of residence with utility bills, a letter from another bank or a landlord, an envelope with a postage stamp.
  • financial viability with a letter from the employer on the letterhead of the company indicating the place of work, position, length of service and salary. Self-employed and entrepreneurs submit invoices and income declarations. 
  • a source of income with account statements for the last year, a copy of the will, a contract for selling  real estate, etc.

Foreigners also provide two letters of recommendation from another bank or a highly qualified specialist, such as a lawyer or doctor.

When opening an account for a legal entity, you must provide:

  • two identification cards for each of the beneficial owners, two directors and persons with the right to sign;
  • a certificate of registration of the company or its articles of association;
  • a Certificate of Good Standing or its equivalent;
  • the company's financial statements for the last quarter;
  • a certificate of the composition of shareholders and the appointment of directors;
  • a letter of recommendation from another bank.

If the company is registered outside of Antigua and Barbuda, you must additionally provide a TIN — taxpayer identification number.

To make it easier to get approval to open an account, you can become a citizen of Antigua and Barbuda.

bank account opening Antigua
To become a tax resident of Antigua and Barbuda and reduce the tax burden, you need to spend at least 183 days a year in the country

How to get an Antigua and Barbuda passport

The fastest way to obtain Antigua and Barbuda citizenship is by investment. The minimum investment amount is $100,000. If an investor wants to return the investment in 5 years, he needs to initially invest twice as much — from $200,000.

There are four options in the Antigua and Barbuda citizenship program: a non-refundable contribution to the National Transformation Fund, the purchase of real estate, investment in business and a non-refundable contribution to the University of the West Indies Fund. The last option is available only for large families of six people.

Investment options under the Antigua and Barbuda citizenship program

Contribution to the state fund
Contribution to the university fund
Purchase of real estate
Business investment

Together with the investor, members of their family can also become citizens of Antigua and Barbuda: a spouse, children under 30 years old, parents, grandparents over 55 years old, and as well as the investor's siblings. 

Minimum investment amounts stay the same no matter how many relatives participate and what option you choose. But investors spend additional money on Due Diligence and other fees. For example, the Due Diligence cost for the investor is $7,500, and for married couples — $15,000. For a family of three or more — $2,000 per child 12 to 17 years old and $4,000 per adult family member.

The Antigua and Barbuda passport is a lifetime alternative to visas to 150 countries, including the Schengen area, the UK, Singapore and Hong Kong. Also, citizens of this country can get a 10-year visa to the USA and renew it remotely.

Citizens of Antigua and Barbuda can become tax residents of the country and not pay taxes on income, salary, capital gains and inheritance.

Frequently asked questions

How much does banking service in Antigua and Barbuda cost?

Maintenance of accounts in US dollars costs from $7 per month for individuals and from $10 for legal entities. Maintenance of a debit card is often free, while a credit card costs from $50 per year.

How to access online banking?

Online banking can be accessed after opening an account. In some banks, this happens automatically when you activate your account, in others, you need to register on the site to get a username and password.

Do I need to come to Antigua and Barbuda to open a bank account?

No, a bank account in Antigua and Barbuda can be opened remotely. To do this, you need to apply online and send a package of documents certified by a notary to the bank by mail.

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How to open a bank account in Antigua and Barbuda