Banking and Finance

Central Bank of Aruba

The Central Bank of Aruba (CBA) is a legal entity in itself within the public sector. The principal tasks of the CBA, as stipulated in the Central Bank Ordinance, are:
• Conduct monetary policy;
• Supervise the financial system;
• Issue bank notes;
• Issue coins on behalf of the government;
• Act as the banker for the government;
• Be the central foreign exchange bank and, as such, to regulate the flow of payments to and from other countries;
• Advise the Minister of Finance on financial matters.

The CBA has supervision authority over entities which provide financial and certain non-financial services. The CBA is, among other things, responsible for control and regulation of the banking and insurance businesses One of its most important objectives is to maintain the external stability of the Aruban guilder and to take care of the efficient functioning of the financial system.

Local Banking Sector

The Aruban florin is pegged to the US dollar, which facilitates international payments and US dollar accounts may be opened. The local credit institutions are well equipped with trust, insurance, and investment departments that provide local and international services. Local banks may be subsidiaries of foreign banks, and work closely with corresponding foreign banks.

The leading local credit institutions are:
• Aruba Bank N.V.
• Banco di Caribe (Aruba) N.V.
• Caribbean Mercantile Bank N.V.
• RBC Royal Bank (Aruba) N.V.

Opening a Bank Account

Opening a bank account is an integral part of doing business. Based on the requirement of the Central Bank of Aruba, licensed financial institutions are required to adhere to the “know your client” policy. Account holders can open a joint bank account with multiple persons or a company account granting proxy for signing.

Minimum Requirements for Opening a Current Account (Individual):

• Valid identification document for each person authorized to sign. For Aruban citizens a valid passport, driver’s license or Aruban identification card can be used. For persons not residing in Aruba, two valid identification documents are required;
• For persons not residing in Aruba two reference letters from two different well-known banks addressed to the bank where the account will be opened;
• Transactional profile form for the anticipated activity and nature of transactions on the account. Each bank will have the form to be filled out requesting this information;
• Signature card(s) to be signed by account holders for authorization signature verification;
• Customer data form that includes official address of customers’ residence, legal name, other contact information and mailing address among other information required from persons authorized on the account;
• Source of Funds Declaration for initial deposit if applicable.

Legal Entity (Cooperation, Limited Liability Company, Foundation and Association):

• An original extract from the Chamber of Commerce no older than 3 months;
• Certificate of Incorporation and Articles of Association;
• Copy of the business license and (if applicable) director’s license;
• Identification of shareholders along with shareholders’ register and ultimate beneficiary owners;
• Depending on nature of business the bank may request copies of other legal documents to ensure the company has been legally established and its representative have due power;
• Names and signatures of officials authorized to sign by their capacity for the company. Proof of identification is also required for proxies;
• Transactional profile form of the anticipated activity and nature of transactions on the account. The bank will have the form to be filled out requesting this data;
• The bank may have additional requirements in order to comply with the “know your customer policy”.

Offshore Banks

Aruba has two offshore banks:
• Citibank Aruba N.V.
• BBA Bank N.V.

Aruba Investment Bank

AIB’s services and products can be divided in the following three categories:
• Corporate lending
• Program & project management
• Economic & financial advisory services

For more information please visit the Aruba Investment Bank website.

Anti-Money Laundering

Aruba is proud to meet with international anti-money laundering standards. Aruba has a Reporting Center where any unusual transaction which is contemplated or has taken place must be reported by anyone who renders financial services as well as specific other businesses.

Capital Transfer

Capital transactions are subject to approval by the Central Bank of Aruba. Current transactions (e.g. in- and outbound interest payments) are not subject to approval. The State Ordinance on Foreign Exchange Transactions (SOFET) has set procedures to monitor the flows of foreign exchange into and out of the country. There are certain restrictions on capital transactions that apply. The guidelines are as follows:

A general license is granted to resident companies excluding commercial banks and institutional investors to execute capital transactions up to a maximum of AWG.750,000 (AWG. 300,000 for individuals) or the equivalent foreign currency per year. Capital transactions are considered to be the following:

• Loans to and from non-residents;
• Investments in inter alia, real estate, stocks, shares, bonds, debentures, bank deposits and;
• Transfers to and from Foreign Bank Accounts (FBAs) and Foreign Inter-company Account (FIAs).

A special license is required when the amount exceeds the maximum of AWG.750,000 (AWG.300,000 for individuals) or the equivalent foreign currency per calendar year. The requirements to request the special license are divided based on the categories as follows:

1. The placement of bonds by resident companies to non-residents;
2. Establish and/or provide a foreign loan (or, an intercompany accounts-current accounts);
3. Foreign investments by residents (including purchase of foreign bonds);
4. Participation in the capital of non-residents and participation by non-residents in the capital of residents;
5. Purchase or sale of a property;
6. Change of residency;
7. Transfers to and from private offshore account;
8. Transfer of profit (interim) dividend by resident company to non-resident shareholders.

There are no restrictions on current foreign exchange payments. These current foreign exchange payments and receipts include purchase or sale of goods (import or export of goods), travel, transport of passengers and goods, purchase or sale of other services (i.e. communication, construction, computer and information services, performance of work and services, insurance services, membership and management fees). Note that the following points must be considered. Residents can make payments with regard to the dividends and profits under the following conditions:

• A license for the sale of domestic shares has been granted; and
• A written acknowledgement with respect to the amount of the dividend and profit has been granted by the CBA (Central Bank of Aruba);
• A request for acknowledgement of intended dividend distribution or profit transfer must be filed with the CBA in writing on submission of the relevant annual financial statements and the shareholder’s resolution;
• A special foreign exchange license has to be obtained from the CBA in order to execute foreign payments with respect to interest and repayments on all type of foreign loans.

Next Steps:

Read about Taxes and Incentives
Read about Labor force and Employee
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