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Banking Act

Published: 1991

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Banking (CAP. 40 1



Arrangement of Sections


1. Short title.
2 . Interpretation.


Requirements of licence.
Licences formalities and considerations.
Restriction on use of words "Bank", "Financial

Institution" or their derivatives.
Restriction of names likely to mislead.
Authorisation of location and approval of new business

Actions of fundamental change requiring approval.
Revocation of licence and declaration of discontinuance

of service.
Rights of Central Bank to examine books of banking

business without valid licence.
Licence fees and penalty for default.

Financial Requirements and Limitations

13. Minimum paid up or assigned capital.
14. Maintenance of Reserve Fund.
15. Adequacy of Capital.
16. Restriction on certain activities of licensed financial

17. Maintenance of specified assets.
18. Credit institutions.


2 CAP. 40) Banking

Audit, ~nformation and Inspection

19. Annual audit, report and publication of financial
statements and results.

20. Central Bank examination.
2 1 . Disclosure and access to books and records by Central

Bank examiner for inspection.
22. Central Bank's powers and measures for preventing

adverse consequences.
23. Production of information as required by the Central

24. Restriction on advertising likely to mislead the public.
25. Extension of period for providing information.


Removal and disqualification of director, etc.
Declaration and registration of related interest and con-

flict of interest by director.
Responsibility for deceiving statements and obstruction

of audit or authorised examination.
Duty of compliance with the requirements of the law.
Liability of directors, managers, officers and partners.
Secrecy of information.
Working days of financial institutions.

Receivership, Liquidation and Reorganisation

Voluntary liquidation.
Cessation of business operations.
Notice to depositors of voluntary liquidation.
Rights of depositors and creditors in voluntary

Distribution of assets.
Insufficiency of assets in discharge of obligations in

voluntary liquidation.
Appointment of receiver-
Notice of appointment of receiver.
Financial institution may institute proceedings to have

receiver's appointment lifted.


Banking (CAP. 40 3

Period of obligation to commence compulsory liquida-
tion or reorganisation proceedings.

Compulsory liquidation and reorganisation proceedings.
Powers of the High Court.
Powers of receiver and Official Liquidator.
Term, extensions and attachment and transfer of assets

to be void.
Execution against assets of a financial institution.
Reorganisation proceedings.
Reorganisation provisions.
Petition for modification or revision of reorganisation.
Preferential and other claims.
Unclaimed funds.
Shareholders rights on remaining assets.
Safe deposits and unclaimed property.
Receiver's audited accounts, striking the name of the

institution and conclusion of liquidation.

Abandoned Property

57. Abandoned property.
58. Report, publication and disposal of abandoned property.
59. Sale and handling of proceeds, of sale of abandoned

60. Claims of abandoned property.
61. Penalties.

Transfer of Banking Business

62. Banking Business Vesting Order.
63. Supplementary provision as to transfers.
64. Transfer to be subject to stamp duty.



65. Non-application of Non-Citizens Land Holding Regula-
tions Act.



Banking (CAP. 40 5


An Act to regulate the banking business and to make
provision for other matters connected therewith.


1. This Act may be cited as the Banking Act. Short title.

2. In this Act- Interpretation.

"Agreement" means the Agreement establishing the
Eastern Caribbean Central Bank made on the 5th
day of July, 1983, the text of which is set out in
the Schedule to the Eastern Caribbean Central Cap. 142.
Bank Act;

''auditor" means

(a) a person who is a member of a professional body
of accountants which the Minister has specified by Order
published in the Gazette; or

(6) any other person approved by the Minister,
acting on the recommendation of the Central Bank;

"bank" means any financial institution whose opera-
tions include the acceptance of deposits subject to
the transfer by the depositor by cheque;

"banking business" means

(a) the business of receiving funds through-

(i) the acceptance of monetary deposits which are
payable on demand or after notice or any
similar operation;

(ii) the sale or placement of bonds, certificates,
notes or other securities and the use of such
either in whole or in part for loans or invest-
ment for the risk of the customer; and


6 CAP. 40) Banking

(b) any other activity recognised by the Central
Bank as customary banking practice and which a finan-
cial institution may additionally be authorised to do;

"board" means the board of directors or other body
responsible for the management of a financial

"Central Bank" means the Eastern Caribbean Central
Bank established under Article 3 of the Agreement;

"Council" means the Monetary Council established
under Article 7 of the Agreement;

"credit institution" means any financial institution other
than a bank whose business is that of money

"director" includes any person occupying the position
of director of a company by whatever name called
and includes a person in accordance with whose
directions or instructions the directors of a com-
pany are accustomed to act;

"financial institution" includes any person doing bank-
ing business and all offices and branches of a finan-
cial institution in Antigua and Barbuda shall be
deemed to be one financial institution;

"foreign financial institution" means a financial institu-
tion formed under the laws of a country other than
Antigua and Barbuda which carries on banking
business in Antigua and Barbuda;

"licensed financial institution" means a financial
institution licensed under the provisions of this Act;

"local financial institution" means a financial institu-
tion formed under the laws of Antigua and

"Minister" means the Minister responsible for Finance;


Banking (CAP. 40 7

"Participating Governments" has the meaning assign-
ed to it in the Agreement;

< 6 person" includes a public body, company, partner-
ship, trust, association or body of persons whether
corporate or unincorporate;

"place of business" means any office including a mobile
office of a financial institution, in Antigua and

"principal place of business" means, in relation to-

(a) a local financial institution its principal office
in Antigua and Barbuda; and

( b ) a foreign financial institution the office
designated in its licence;

" unsecured" in relation to advances or credit facilities,
means advances or credit facilities granted without
security, or in the case of advances and credit
facilities which at any given time exceeds the market
value of the assets comprising the security given,
or which exceeds the valuation approved by the
Central Bank whenever it deems that no market
value exists for those assets.


3. (1) A financial institution shall not carry on bank- f;fc,"c?ts
ing business in Antigua and Barbuda without a licence
granted by the Minister.

(2) A financial institution which, at the commencement
of this Act, holds a valid licence to carry on banking business
in Antigua and Barbuda shall be deemed to have been
granted a licence under section 4 pending compliance with
subsection (3).

(3) Where the financial institution referred to in
subsection (2) agrees, within 90 days of the commencement
of this Act, to comply with the provisions of this Act and
so notifies the Minister, the Minister shall, within 180 days


8 CAP. 40) Banking

of the commencement of this Act or within such further period
as the Minister, after consultation with the Central Bank,
may determine, issue to such financial institution a new
licence certificate under this Act.

(4) Any person intending to carry on banking business
in Antigua and Barbuda shall, before commencing such
business, apply for a licence under the provision of section 4.

(5) Any person who contravenes the provisions of this
section commits an offence and is liable on summary con-
viction to a fine of twenty thousand dollars or to imprison-
ment for a term of two years or to both such fine and
imprisonment; and in the case of a continuing offence to
a further penalty of one thousand dollars for each day on
which the offence is continued after conviction thereof.

Licences- . (1) In order to obtain a licence as a financial
formalities and
considerations. institution, a person shall apply in writing to the Minister

and submit the documents and other information as specified
in the Schedule.

(2) In considering an application for a licence the
Minister shall request the Central Bank to conduct such
investigation as it may deem necessary to ascertain

( a ) the validity of the documents submitted in
accordance with the Schedule,

(6) the financial condition and history of the

(c) the character of the business of the applicant,

(6) the experience of the person or persons who
are to constitute its management,

( e ) the adequacy of its capital structure,

(f) the earning prospects of the applicant; and

(g) the convenience and needs of the community
to be served by the granting of the licence.

(3) Within a reasonable time of its receipt of the
application for a licence the Central Bank shall make its
recommendations to the Minister.


Banking (CAP. 40 9

(4) Within 30 days of the receipt of the recommenda-
tions of the Central Bank the Minister shall either grant the
licence or , if the Minister is of the opinion that it would
be undesirable in the public interest to grant the licence,
he may refuse to grant the same and need not give any reason
for so refusing but shall inform the applicant that he has
refused to grant the licence.

(5) A financial institution shall not be granted a licence
under this section unless it fulfils the capital requirements
specified in section 13.

5 . (1) No person other than a licensed financial
institution shall, except with the written consent of the