Caribbean banking: upping the ante in Antigua

With a growing reputation for financial services, Antigua and Barbuda offers businesses the perfect combination of style and substance

Caribbean banking: upping the ante in Antigua
Antigua enjoys a growing reputation as a trusted destination for tourism and financial services 
Author: Brian Stuart-Young, Chief Executive Officer, Global Bank of Commerce
April 21, 2017

Located in the eastern Caribbean islands, Antigua and Barbuda provides the perfect crossroad for financial services in the region. Although best known for its 365 white sand beaches, Antigua enjoys a growing reputation as a trusted destination for both tourism and international financial services. To this end, the government is vigorously pursuing a number of programmes to establish these sectors as the pillars of the islands’ economy.

Today, business is thriving in the Caribbean, and while Antigua’s international financial centre is relatively small, its non-volatile, politically stable and sovereign jurisdiction attracts clients seeking a more personal devotion to their wealth management portfolios. Moreover, the centre also boasts more than 30 years of experience and benefits from a time zone that is perfect for conducting international trade.

Regulatory environment
Antigua and Barbuda has always been regarded as an upmarket tourist destination – even for the most discerning of visitors – but with a host of financial services also on offer, these Caribbean islands are now an equally attractive proposition to businesses and investors from all around the world.

Antigua has successfully created a safe environment for foreign direct investment, providing stability to a host of international banking and business services

Taking advantage of its satisfying financial stability, Antigua has successfully reshaped its regulatory operations to create a safe environment for foreign direct investment, providing stability to a host of international banking and business services. This jurisdiction strives to cater to a client’s need for confidentiality, while also meeting all international financial standards. As such, the governing legislation for the management of its international financial centre is regularly updated in order to ensure international standards are always met.

The Global Bank of Commerce (GBC) is an indigenous financial institution that has offered a wide range of financial products to its regional and international customers since opening its doors in 1983. The first bank in Antigua and Barbuda to be licensed under international banking legislation, GBC has the distinction of being named the ‘grandfather’ of international financial services in the islands’ financial sector.

Customer satisfaction
Since its inception, GBC has earned a reputation for its strong relationship management services, and prides itself on delivering exceptional results to its clients, generation by generation. Loyal customers benefit from the bank’s dedicated team of professional executives, who provide services ranging from interest bearing and multi-currency accounts to worldwide wire transfers and portfolio management.

With a tradition of excellent service, GBC understands the needs of its customers, and consistently meets the demands of even the most discerning investor. Providing customers with superior wealth management, private banking and even immigration services, GBC caters to both corporate and personal clients.

Offering efficient and secure financial services, GBC gives its clients complete control of their accounts. With around the clock internet banking, customers can monitor account activity, initiate wire transfers, establish bill payments and communicate with the bank whenever necessary. Card products are also available to access funds the world over, thereby putting the bank’s financial services in customers’ hands – no matter where they are.

Payment solutions
The financial group of which GBC is a part does not simply work to attract deposits. GBC’s expansion of technology-driven facilities also allows it to provide microfinance and payment services that meet the demands of the Caribbean’s regional economy and, in doing so, provide a safe and efficient means to conduct regulated money transfers.

SugaPay has helped improve the islands’ financial services, and has ultimately made banking more convenient

GBC has also invested in its own fully certified local data centre: Global Processing Centre (GPC). GPC was established as a Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard processor of financial transactions, and operates an integrated processing platform for all card, electronic wallet, e-commerce and digital services.

Both GBC and its shareholder-affiliated entities are committed to supporting retail trading, government payments and international remittances. In an effort to make banking more engaging, GPC works with Caribbean Union Bank to provide an alternative payment solution called SugaPay. Running on an electronic funds transfer platform, SugaPay has helped improve the islands’ financial services, and has ultimately made banking more convenient.

Antigua’s international financial centre consistently meets the demands of a connected financial world, reorganising itself to accommodate modern business, foreign direct investment and the surge in global activity. International businesses now need a host of technology-driven solutions to cater to their financial needs. With a collection of well-regulated financial service providers and modern financial solutions, Antigua and Barbuda provides a stable environment and premier location for conducting global business.