LONDON, April 8, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- In a historic move, the Bank of Nevis has opened a branch in Basseterre, St Kitts, following a recent acquisition of assets and liabilities owned by the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC). The ribbon-cutting ceremony took place on April 6th at the former location of the RBC, attended by several high-ranking officials, including Prime Minister Timothy Harris and Dr Timothy Antoine, Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU).
The opening of the Bank of Nevis furthers the integration of the dual-island nation whilst also boosting a developmental footprint and strengthening its economy. The achievement also certifies that banking can be a local endeavour rather than a reliance on an international institution. While commercial banking is important to the region, indigenous banking brings power back to the locals.
The acquisition marked the end of RBC's presence in the ECCU, establishing the Bank of Nevis as a 'premier league' bank, as recognised by Governor Antoine. "As far as I am concerned, any bank in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) that has assets in excess of one billion dollars is in the Premier League of Banks in the ECCU," Dr Antoine stated. "But there is more, with this acquisition, the Bank of Nevis has more than tripled its asset size, moving from just over $500 million to just over $1.7 billion," he added.
Despite the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, St Kitts and Nevis continues to commit to its economic growth. The islands anticipated to record over a five percent increase this year. Before the pandemic, the nation enjoyed continuous economic growth for a consecutive period of five years. Whilst one of the smallest sovereign states in the Western Hemisphere, St Kitts and Nevis also became the first independent nation in the ECCU to align its debt-to-GDP ratio to international standards, twelve years before the deadline.
One of the significant contributors to St Kitts and Nevis' economy is its popular Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programme, which has enjoyed over thirty years in operation. Established in 1984, one year after the islands gained independence from the United Kingdom, the CBI Programme strived to attract foreign direct investment in exchange for offering second citizenship. To qualify, an applicant must make an economic contribution to the Sustainable Growth Fund. Revenue generated under the fund is then channelled into national development, including tourism, healthcare, education, and more.
Successful applicants gain access to second citizenship and can apply for a second passport, enabling visa-free or visa-on-arrival travel to nearly 160 destinations, including prominent business hubs. Additionally, economic citizens gain the right to live, work and study in the nation along with the added benefit of passing citizenship down and establishing a future family legacy. As the oldest programme on the market, St Kitts and Nevis' CBI is considered a 'Platinum Standard' brand within the industry and has been recognised internationally for its due diligence, efficiency and affordability.
Families of up to four can now take advantage of St Kitts and Nevis' limited time offer, which extends citizenship for $150,000 rather than the previous $195,000.
SOURCE CS Global Partners