How to open a bank account in the Bahamas?

Banks in the Bahamas, are well known for their privacy and security. Account information for account holders is protected by privacy laws in the Bahamas. 

How to open a bank account in the Bahamas?

Opening an account in the Bahamas is like opening an account in your home country. 

Step 1: Choose the bank

Determine the type of bank you’ll need. Your choice of the bank will be the one that meets your financial objectives. Many private banks offer foreign investment accounts without requiring them to be physically present in the country. These accounts will need minimum deposits and will aim to provide higher returns. For example, tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. You’ll need a local checking account if you’re moving to the Bahamas or doing business there. These will provide you with easy access to your funds as well as a debit card to make transactions easier.
Find a few banks that meet your requirements. You can start looking for banks in the Bahamas that can help you. HSBC, Barclays, Citibank, and Scotiabank are among the major banks in the Bahamas.
  • First Caribbean International Bank is the largest local bank. This bank, like others in the area, is eager to open accounts for foreigners.
  • A variety of private banks offer the opportunity to open private bank accounts. UBS and Credit Suisse are two Swiss banks that have a presence in the Bahamas. Ansbacher, Corner Bank Overseas, Finter Bank & Trust, and Guaranty Trust Bank are among the Bahamas’ private banks.

Step 2: Gather the required documents

There are certain documents that will likely be required when opening your account. These are largely for identification and should not be hard for you to get a hold of. In general, you will need the following:

  • Government-issued identification, like a passport or driver’s license.
  • Proof of residence, like a utility bill or some other document showing your home address.
  • Other documents as required by the bank.
As needed, provide more information. You may be asked to provide more information or documents to the bank in some cases. Some of the documents you’ve already submitted may must notarized copies. Or, you may be asked to provide bank statements dating back six months or a year to prove your good standing with your previous bank.
In some cases, you may be required to provide documentation demonstrating the source of the funds you are depositing. This is a safeguard designed to prevent the bank from accepting funds obtained illegally.
If you got your money from the sale of a house, for example, you’d have to provide a sales contract for that transaction.

How To Open a bank account remotely?

Open your account from a distance. You will be able to open many types of accounts without having to travel to the Bahamas. When you contacted the bank about the account, they should have clarified this for you. If you’ve chosen an international bank, either work through a branch office or communicate directly with the bank to set up the account. In some cases, you can work with a law firm or financial advisor in your home country to open the account and handle the paperwork for you.
If you plan on opening a private bank account or forming a business structure in the Bahamas, you should open an account through a representative (such as a law firm or financial advisor). Taking this route would otherwise be prohibitively expensive.

Make an appointment with a banker. If you must or wish to open the account in person, you must schedule a meeting with a banker, either by calling ahead or simply walking into the bank. To avoid having to return, make sure you bring all of the documents you’ll need to open the account. The following basic information will be requested by most bankers:

  • This is your legal name.
  • Date and place of birth
  • Address.
  • Citizenship and residence country.
  • Your line of work.

Deciding to open a Bahamas bank account

Consider whether or not you require this account. Before you open a Bahamas account, think about how important it is for you to have one. Savings accounts in the Bahamas may have higher interest rates than those in the United States or other countries, but investment accounts have similar returns. Furthermore, unless your home country is currently experiencing political or economic turmoil, these accounts are no more secure than those closer to home.

An offshore account, on the other hand, can be a step toward becoming independent of your home country (if you plan on moving) or a useful step to take when relocating to the Bahamas.
You can also keep up to $10,000 in an offshore account without having to report it (though you still have to report earnings on the account).


The cover image is somewhere in Nassau, Bahamas. Photo by Kristin Whylly on Unsplash