High Risk Merchant Account

Comprehensive Overview Of Banking Services In Gibraltar

By Eduards Baginskis - Director at How2Agency, Independent International Banking Expert

Gibraltar Lighthouse

Banking is one of the major pillars of the Gibraltar economy with total assets over EUR 7.8 billion and some of the major International banks have their offices in Gibraltar. Statistics are available here Gibraltar FSC.
Gibraltar culture and legal system are similar to the UK. Its legislation is based on English common law. The banking sector is regulated by the Financial Services Commissioner appointed by the Governor of Gibraltar on behalf of the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

There are many advantages to banking in Gibraltar.

  • Clients of Gibraltar banks enjoy the EU deposit protection scheme of EUR100,000 for accounts held in Gibraltar,  as well as some banks may hold some of client deposits in other jurisdictions to enjoy additional protection and diversification.

  • Favorable tax status means no tax is payable on interest generated on your savings, however Gibraltar cannot be considered as an offshore jurisdiction in its classical meaning. In compliance with European Union Tax Savings directive all interest paid to individuals resident in the EU is now subject to exchange of Information arrangements, as well as banks in Gibraltar are compliant with USD and UK FATCA.

  • Most of the banks having offices in Gibraltar enjoy ability to “Passport” their products to major EU countries.

  • Gibraltar promotes itself as a very compliant jurisdiction, and all these banks are licensed and fully regulated by Financial Services Commission.
Here we have compiled a list of local banks with basic information in Official info about themselves and our generic comments including the type of clients they do accept. In summary, there are 8 private banks, 3 universal banks with another one awaiting licence, 1 private/personal bank, 1 card issuing bank and 3 building societies.

Banks in Gibraltar
The institutions listed below are authorised under the Financial Services (Banking) Act for deposit taking business. Most of these institutions are also authorised to conduct investment business and other types of regulated businesses. For full details regarding authorisations held by these institutions please contact the Financial Services Commission.

Bank J. Safra Sarasin (Gibraltar) Ltd
PO Box 542
Suite 971, Europort
Tel: +350 200 49601

Official info:
Bank is part of one of the leading private banks in Switzerland Bank J. Safra Sarasin LTD which was established in 1841. Bank J. Safra Sarasin (Gibraltar) Ltd operates under a full banking license and offers private banking services.

Bank J. Safra Sarasin (Gibraltar) Ltd has a branch in London which offers UK residents and international clients based in London access to the world’s most important financial centers.

Its staff develops comprehensive and flexible private banking services to individuals and families, as well as the full array of financial services to corporate clients worldwide. From inception, Bank J. Safra Sarasin (Gibraltar) Ltd has maintained its growth strategy and strong capitalization.

Our comments:
This Private bank is accepting High Net Worth Individuals through their Swiss and other international offices.

Barclays Bank PLC
PO Box 187, 1st Floor
Regal House, 3 Queensway
Tel +350 200 41222

Official info:
Barclays is a leading global wealth and investment manager providing international and private banking, wealth planning, trust and fiduciary services, investment management, brokerage services and research to private and intermediary clients across the world.

Additionally our client benefits from access to the breadth of personal, corporate and investment banking expertise across Barclays, one of the largest financial services groups in the world.

In October 2013 Barclays announced that it is reviewing its business in Gibraltar and in July 2013, bank announced its intention to reduce our presence.

Following a thorough review, the bank made the difficult decision to scale back our operations. The Bank will no longer offer local banking services and as a result, the Barclays branch situated on Main Street will close.

No new business will be accepted and no new accounts will be opened in Gibraltar. Going forward, Barclays will retain a presence in Gibraltar focussed on supporting current lending and larger corporate and intermediary relationships. Source: Barclays.

Our comments:

We are assisting clients to find alternative solutions.

Credit Suisse (Gibraltar) Limited
PO Box 556
Neptune House
Marina Bay
Tel: +350 200 4000

Official info:
“Credit Suisse (Gibraltar) Limited supports your investment objectives: from portfolio management and investment funds, to active advice. We offer customized and intelligent solutions. Credit Suisse (Gibraltar) Limited is part of Credit Suisse Group and specializes in portfolio management for affluent private clients.

Bank products and services are designed to meet the needs of affluent private clients who are interested in investing and require comprehensive financial advisory services and customized financial products.

In general, Bank targets clients with investable assets of at least GBP 400,000 or with comparable medium-term investment potential. Bank services span the entire private client business, from individual comprehensive investment and financial advice to professional portfolio management.

As part of Credit Suisse Group, you can rely on the excellent reputation of a global financial institute and enjoy a level of financial security comparable to that of Credit Suisse in Switzerland.”

Our comments:
This Private bank has very experienced multilingual staff and accepts clients with minimum EUR500,000 of investable assets.

IDT Financial Services Limited
PO Box 1374, First Floor
Montarik Building
3 Bedlam Court
Tel: +350 200 79616

Official info:
“IDT Finance is the trading name of IDT Financial Services Limited. IDT Finance is a subsidiary of IDT Corporation, an innovative and opportunity-seeking multinational company headquartered in the US and listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: IDT) with offices in over 30 countries.

IDT Finance has been operating since 2006 as a regulated issuing bank. The Bank has "passported" its license authorising it to provide payment services and issue electronic money across the whole of the European Economic Area (EEA). IDT Financial Services Limited is a regulated bank, licensed by the Financial Services Commission (FSC), Gibraltar.

Unlike other banks IDT Financial Services Limited core focus is Prepaid cards and provision one of the best BIN Sponsorship in the market place. Its cards are issued pursuant to license by MasterCard International Incorporated and Visa Europe Limited.”

Our comments:
This bank does not accept clients for regular banking services and works through BIN Sponsorship arrangements with program managers.

Lombard Odier & Cie (Gibraltar) Limited
PO Box 407, Suite 921
Tel: +350 200 73350

Official info:
“Established in 1796, Lombard Odier is the oldest private bank in Geneva as well as one of the largest in Switzerland and Europe.

The bank is an independent, family-owned business, answerable only to its clients and regulators.

Exclusively focused on private wealth and institutional asset management, bank provides its clients with bespoke, discreet and high-quality service.

Since founding more than two centuries ago, the bank has stayed true to our primary vocation of preserving and growing the assets entrusted to the bank, and helping hand them to future generations.
Lombard Odier has been an independent family business for seven generations and today the firm is led by eight partners”.

Our comments:
This Private bank offers its private clients consulting services and wealth management expertise - integrating financial, tax and legal related disciplines. The bank has multilingual staff and accepts clients with minimum EUR500,000 of investable assets.

NatWest Offshore Limited (The Royal Bank of Scotland International Limited)
PO Box 707
57 Line Wall Road
Tel: +350 200 77737

Official info:
“In 2012 it was confirmed that the RBS International brand would be replaced by the Natwest International brand for personal banking customers, although business banking customers would remain under the RBS brand.

The Bank International Personal Banking products and services are designed for UK expatriates, foreign nationals living in the UK and the internationally mobile. When you open an account with us you can enjoy the full support of an experienced Relationship Manager.”

Our comments:
The bank in Gibraltar is offering personal and business banking servicing the local community and businesses, as well as International Personal Banking.

The bank offers current accounts, savings and investments, loans, mortgages and other to both private individuals and businesses.
There are no fixed criteria for clients, however bank in Gibraltar mainly focuses on local community and businesses. Other clients are reviewed on an individual basis.

As for international personal banking, To open an account you must have at least £75,000 annual income mandated to the account or more than £50,000 to deposit (or the currency equivalent). Currently the bank is experiencing peak activity and account opening process may take more time than usual.

SG Kleinwort Hambros Bank (Gibraltar) Limited
PO Box 375
Hambro House
32 Line Wall Road
Tel: +350 200 02000

Official info:
“Hambros Bank was established in the UK in 1839. Since this date, the bank has operated as both a merchant and a private bank and accumulated a wealth of experience in the financial services sector.

Following a series of acquisitions as Hambros Bank it was ultimately acquired by Societe Generale in 1998 and became Societe Generale Private Banking Hambros. Hambros Bank has been based in Gibraltar since 1981.

As a client, you will have a dedicated private banker who works with teams of investment advisers and wealth planners to help you identify and implement your financial decisions. From day-to-day banking and financing to long-term wealth planning and complex investments.

The bank offers ‘restricted advice’, which means that bank advises on a selected range of investment and wealth planning solutions. The bank providers are specifically chosen for their performance, expertise, service standards and financial strength so that we can ensure you receive the most appropriate service for your needs.

With a network of offices in the UK, Jersey, Guernsey and Gibraltar, the Bank has a range of teams offering its services to clients around the world. Its multilingual teams include the French, Arab, Russian and South Asia desks and solutions are provided for both domestic and non-domestic clients with more than EUR 500k of investable assets.”

Our comments:
The bank has a very experienced multilingual staff and accepts clients with minimum EUR500, 000 of investable assets.

Turicum Private Bank
PO Box 619
Turicum House
315 Main Street
Tel: +350 200 44144

Official info:
“Turicum Private Bank is a privately owned private bank, based and licensed in Gibraltar butcommitted and led by Swiss tradition.

The bank philosophy is to provide a sophisticated Private Banking service with a family office approach resulting in strong client relationships.

The Bank does not engage in any proprietary activity which strengthens its balance sheet and allows it to focus on excelling on client services for which the bank is known by our exclusive clientele.”

Our comments:
The bank has flexible client criteria of EUR500k investable assets and unique “All in” management fee.

Gibraltar International Bank Limited
Tel: +350 200 69217

From the outset the Bank’s business plan was to deliver a digital bank, moving away from the traditional manual retail banking. Consequently the design of the Bank’s banking hall reflected a modern environment with the latest technology providing clients with an efficient and up to date self-service environment.

Further innovations were that the Bank would not issue any cheque books or hard copy statements with the exception of clients within the two propositions which were geared towards mature personal clients and smaller businesses.

Gibraltar Savings Bank
206/210 Main Street
+350 20066914

Our comments:
This institution is actually part of H.M. Government, Ministry of Finance, Treasury Department, and is available to local residents. Mainly issues Government Debenture notes (1 month notice debentures, 10 year fixed senior citizen debenture, 3 and 5 year fixed debentures and children’s bond account)