If you’re thinking of investing in The Bahamas, it’s important to have a good understanding of the country’s financial services and banking sectors. The good news for investors looking at purchasing one of the many luxury houses for sale is that The Bahamas offers a modern, stable and effective banking infrastructure that is backed by a strong regulatory environment and a skilled and experienced labor force. The government has taken considerable steps in creating an attractive destination for businesses and high net-worth individuals who are looking to take advantage of the country’s low taxes, strategic location and ideal climate.
The Financial Services Sector: A Key Part of the Economy
Financial services is the second largest industry in The Bahamas behind only tourism, contributing directly and indirectly to 36 percent of GDP. There are over 200 licensed banks, including 35 of the top 100 global financial institutions. Private banking and trust services form the foundation of the sector, but The Bahamas has developed sophisticated asset management and wealth management services aimed specifically at high net-worth clients.
The presence of a number of Swiss banks, such as UBS, Credit Suisse, and Julius Baer, have been highly influential in guiding The Bahamas’ approach regulatory and compliance requirements. Canadian, US and UK financial institutions also have a long history of operating in The Bahamas and offer a wide range of services to customers. This gives investors access to world class financial services that are safe, stable and well regulated.
This modern regulatory environment, when combined with the 0% tax on income, estate, inheritance, or capital gains, makes The Bahamas a favorable place to invest. A stable currency that is held at par with the US, an open business climate, and a long history of political and economic stability also contribute to The Bahamas’ reputation as a great place to live, invest and bank.
Day-to-Day Banking in The Bahamas
World class financial services infrastructure means day-to-day banking is easy to conduct as a permanent resident, especially on the highly populated islands of Nassau, Paradise Island, and Grand Bahama. Bank branches with ABMs are found across all major islands in the country, and credit cards are accepted in most tourist and popular areas.
In Nassau, there are numerous branches and ABMs near your luxury condo. The Commonwealth Bank, Fidelity Bank Bahamas, RBC and Scotiabank are all next door to One Cable Beach, and Scotiabank, CIBC, and UBS are right over the Paradise Island Bridge from Thirty Six. As a resident, you’ll have access to everything you need within minutes of home.
ABMs will dispense Bahamian Dollars, but US Dollars are widely accepted in many places. ABMs are part of the Cirrus or Plus networks, meaning you’ll have no problem using your card to withdraw cash. Most resort and tourist areas will accept major credit cards, but you should keep small amounts of cash on-hand for tipping or other small purchases. If you’re venturing out to any of the smaller islands, you’ll definitely need to take cash along with you.
Banking hours are typically Monday – Thursday 9:30am – 3:00pm, Friday 9:30am – 4:00pm, and Saturday 10:00am – 3:00pm, though these can vary by Bank.
Bank and Invest with Confidence
The Bahamas has a long history of offering sophisticated financial services to residents and international customers. With expertise in private banking, asset management, trust services and wealth management among other services, The Bahamas offers an investor friendly climate well suited for high net-worth individuals looking to invest in Bahamas luxury real estate. Once you’ve arrived in the country, the modern banking infrastructure also makes day-to-day banking easy for residents, and there are numerous branches and offices near One Cable Beach and Thirty Six. Knowing this, you can live, bank and invest with confidence in The Bahamas.
Permanent Residency in the Bahamas
Learn more about the tax and lifestyle benefits of living in The Bahamas. Talk to one of our real-estate specialists today.