Banking Sector of the Cayman Islands

30 May 2016, updated 22 February 2020

The Cayman Islands is a self-governed overseas territory of the United Kingdom, with one of the highest per capita incomes in the Caribbean. The main areas of economic activity are financial services and tourism. Since 1960s, the Cayman Islands transformed itself into a significant offshore financial center and a major supplier of cross-border financial services, particularly in banking. However, during the recent decade the financial sector of the Cayman Islands has been shrinking due to the consequences of the financial crisis and tightening regulatory requirements.

Structure of the Cayman Islands Banking Sector

The Cayman Islands banking and financial sector is very large. Financial and insurance services compise about one-third of GDP of the Cayman Islands. With its population of 63,415 in 2017 and 158 registered banks, there was 1 registered bank per roughly every 401 residents of the Cayman Islands. The banking sector is shrinking compared with the whole economy of the islands: if in 2015 consolidated banking assets exceeded GDP more than 300 times, in 2017 the excess was less than 200 times.

The number of banks has been steadily declining, especially following the financial crisis of 2007-2008. The banks have been terminating their licences in search of higher efficiency returns through consolidation and restructuring and due to changes in the international regulations requiring more information transparency. In December 2019 there were 127 banks operating in the Cayman Islands and 94 banks terminated their activities during the last five years.

Out of total 127 banks, only 15 banks are domestic Cayman banks, the rest 112 banks were foreign controlled banks (branches or subsidiaries) with head offices outside of the Cayman Islands - in the United States, Canada, elsewhere in the Caribbean, South America, Europe and Asia. Largest European banks have been also shrinking their business activities at the Cayman Islands. Additional regulatory pressure was put on these banks in February 2020, when the European Council included the Cayman Islands into the list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes.

The Cayman Islands GDP at Current Prices (mln KYD) Geo Origin of the Cayman Islands Banks

Services Provided by the Cayman Islands Banks

Financial sector of the Cayman Islands is regulated and supervised by Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA).

Cayman Islands Monetary Authority issues two types of banking licences: Category A and Category B.

In December 2019, there were 9 banks holding Category A licence and hence allowed to provides banking services to local residents and non-domestic customers; there were also 116 banks holding Category B licence, providing only offshore banking services to corporations and individuals.

Number of Banks in the Cayman Islands

A licence of each category can be issued to perform only banking business or banking and trustee business; these terms are defined in "Banks and Trust Companies Law (2013 Revision)" as follows:

Banking Services

Category A banks serving local residents provide traditional retail, private and corporate solutions for all types of local customers.

However, Category B banks serving non-local customers are more focused on providing asset and wealth management, investment management products and services to high net worth individuals and families as well as business customers.

It should also be noted that branches of the United States banks hold funds overnight in sweep accounts in a way that is profitable as a result of the operation of the United States regulation.

Total Assets of The Cayman Islands Banks (mln USD) Deposits at The Cayman Islands Banks (mln USD)

Deposit Guarantee

There is no deposit guarantee scheme in the Cayman Islands. Taking into account the ratio of the bank deposit liability to the Cayman Islands GDP and the nature of most of those deposits, there is no solid reason to establish a deposit guarantee scheme with universal participation for all of the banks.

Trust Services

Trust business can be conducted by both Category A and Category B banks thus providing trust-related service to both domestic and international clients.

A trust is a legal arrangement when a trust settlor transfers its assets to a trustee who is legally entrusted to the trust assets (trust fund), not for his/her own benefit, but for the benefit of beneficiaries (who may include the settlor).

Compared to other legal forms designed to hold, preserve and transfer wealth, trusts have the main advantages of flexibility and confidentiality. Trusts are widely used for preservation of wealth, forced heirship, succession planning and asset protection. The Cayman Islands innovative legislation and absence of direct taxes have made it one of the most favourable destination for trusts.

Largest European Banks in the Cayman Islands

Out of 30 largest European banks, 10 banks have registered branches or subsidiary at the Cayman Islands and 12 banks have recently closed down their business operations there. Largest European banks mainly offer banking and trustee services to international customers and operate without having physical presence (brick-and-mortar branches) in the Cayman Islands.

RankNameOperating in KYClosed Down in KYServices in KYClients in KYBranches in KY
1BNP Paribas S.A. 2 banks banking
2Credit Argicole S.A. 1 bankbankinginternational
3Société Générale 1 bank bankinginternational
4BPCE 1 bank bankinginternational
5Deutsche Bank AG 1 bank 1 bankbanking
6Barclays Bank plc 1 bank banking
7ING Bank NV
8Intesa Sanpaolo S.p.a. 1 bankbankinginternational
9HSBC Bank plc 2 banksbanking
10Credit Suisse AG 1 bank banking
11Standard Chartered Bank
12Banco Santander, S.A. 1 bank bankinginternational
13Lloyds Bank Plc
14Coöperatieve Rabobank U.A. 2 banksbankinginternational
15DZ BANK AG Deutsche Zentral-Genossenschaftsbank, Frankfurt am Main 1 bankbankinginternational
16Nordea Bank Abp 1 bankbankinginternational
17Commerzbank AG 1 bank bankinginternational
18UBS AG 1 bank banking
19Unicredit Spa 1 bankbanking
20Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, S.A. 1 bankbanking
21CaixaBank, S.A.
23Danske Bank A/S
25Landesbank Baden-Württemberg 1 bankbankinginternational
26KBC Bank 1 bankbanking
27DNB BANK ASA 1 bank bankinginternational
28Erste Group Bank AG 1 bankbanking
29Bayerische Landesbank
30Allied Irish Banks, Plc 1 bankbanking

List of Banks Operating in the Cayman Islands

Most of the banks operating in the Cayman Islands hold licences which allow them to serve international customer only but do not permit to conduct business activities with residents of the Cayman Islands (Category B licences). This type of licence do not require a bank to have physical presence on the islands, so 64 banks (out of 127) do not have brick-and-mortar branches in the Cayman Islands.

NameBank CategoryPhysical PresenceCountry of Origin
Alexandria Bancorp LimitedCategory B (Banking & Trust) KY Cayman Islands
Alhambra Bank & Trust LimitedCategory B (Banking & Trust) KY Cayman Islands
Altajir BankCategory B (Banking & Trust) KY Cayman Islands
American Express National BankCategory B (Banking) US United States
Atlantic Security BankCategory B (Banking & Trust) PA Panama
Australia and New Zealand Banking Group LimitedCategory B (Banking) AU Australia
BAC International Bank (Grand Cayman)Category B (Banking & Trust) PA Panama
Banco ABC Brasil S.A.Category B (Banking) BR Brazil
Banco Bradesco S.A.Category B (Banking) BR Brazil
Banco BS2 S.A.Category B (Banking) BR Brazil
Banco BTG Pactual S.A.Category B (Banking & Trust) BR Brazil
Banco C6 S.A.Category B (Banking) BR Brazil
BANCO DAYCOVAL S.A.Category B (Banking) BR Brazil
Banco do Brasil S.A.Category B (Banking) BR Brazil
Banco do Estado do Rio Grande do Sul S.A.Category B (Banking) BR Brazil
Banco Fibra S.A.Category B (Banking & Trust) BR Brazil
Banco General (Overseas), Inc.Category B (Banking) PA Panama
Banco Indusval S.A.Category B (Banking) BR Brazil
Banco Mercantil del Norte, S.A., Institucion de Banca Multiple, Grupo Financiero BanorteCategory B (Banking) MX Mexico
Banco Mercantil do Brasil S.A.Category B (Banking) BR Brazil
Banco Morgan Stanley S.A.Category B (Banking) US United States
Banco Nacional de Comercio Exterior, SNCCategory B (Banking) MX Mexico
Banco Original S.A.Category B (Banking) BR Brazil
Banco Pine S.A.Category B (Banking) BR Brazil
Banco Safra (Cayman Islands) LimitedCategory B (Banking) BR Brazil
Banco Safra S.A.Category B (Banking) BR Brazil
Banco Santander (Brasil) S.A.Category B (Banking) ES Spain
Banco Sofisa S.A.Category B (Banking) BR Brazil
Banco Sumitomo Mitsui Brasileiro S.A.Category B (Banking) JP Japan
Bancolombia CaymanCategory B (Banking) CO Colombia
Bank of America, National AssociationCategory B (Banking & Trust) US United States
Bank of China LimitedCategory B (Banking) CN China
Bank of IndiaCategory B (Banking) IN India
Barclays Bank PLCCategory B (Banking & Trust) GB United Kingdom
BCP Finance Bank, Ltd.Category B (Banking) PT Portugal
Bessemer Trust Company (Cayman) LimitedCategory B (Banking & Trust) US United States
BMG Bank (Cayman) LimitedCategory B (Banking) NL Netherlands
BNP ParibasCategory B (Banking & Trust) FR France
BNP Paribas Bank & Trust Cayman LimitedCategory B (Banking & Trust) FR France
Branch Banking and Trust CompanyCategory B (Banking) US United States
Brown Brothers Harriman & Co.Category B (Banking & Trust) US United States
Butterfield Bank (Cayman) LimitedCategory A (Banking & Trust) BM Bermuda
Cainvest Bank and Trust LimitedCategory A (Banking & Trust) KY Cayman Islands
Canadian Imperial Bank of CommerceCategory B (Banking & Trust) CA Canada
Cayman National Bank Ltd.Category A (Banking & Trust) KY Cayman Islands
China Construction Bank (Brasil) Banco Multiplo S/ACategory B (Banking) CN China
CIBC Bank and Trust Company (Cayman) LimitedCategory A (Banking & Trust) BB Barbados
CIBC Cayman Bank LimitedCategory B (Banking) BB Barbados
CITCO Bank and Trust Company LimitedCategory B (Banking & Trust) NL Netherlands
Citizens Bank, National AssociationCategory B (Banking & Trust) GB United Kingdom
Comerica BankCategory B (Banking & Trust) US United States
Credit Industriel ET CommercialCategory B (Banking) FR France
Credit Suisse AGCategory B (Banking & Trust) CH Switzerland
Delta Bank and Trust Company, Grand CaymanCategory B (Banking & Trust) US United States
Deutsche Bank AktiengesellschaftCategory B (Banking) DE Germany
DMS Bank & Trust Ltd.Category B (Banking & Trust) KY Cayman Islands
DNB Bank ASACategory B (Banking) NO Norway
EFG BankCategory B (Banking) CH Switzerland
Fidelity Bank (Cayman) LimitedCategory A (Banking) KY Cayman Islands
Fifth Third Bank (The)Category B (Banking & Trust) US United States
FirstCaribbean International Bank (Cayman) LimitedCategory A (Banking) BB Barbados
Givens Hall Bank & Trust LtdCategory B (Banking & Trust) US United States
Global Fidelity Bank, Ltd.Category B (Banking) KY Cayman Islands
GNB Sudameris Bank LimitedCategory B (Banking) CO Colombia
Haitong Banco de Investimento do Brasil S.A.Category B (Banking) CN China
Heritage BankCategory B (Banking) CH Switzerland
Hinduja Bank & Trust (Cayman) Ltd.Category B (Banking & Trust) CH Switzerland
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (Asia) LimitedCategory B (Banking) CN China
International Bank for CommerceCategory B (Banking) US United States
Itau Bank & Trust Cayman Ltd.Category B (Banking & Trust) BR Brazil
Itau Bank, Ltd.Category B (Banking & Trust) BR Brazil
Itau Unibanco Holding S.A.Category B (Banking) BR Brazil
ITAU UNIBANCO S.A.Category B (Banking) BR Brazil
Kasikornbank Public Company LimitedCategory B (Banking) TH Thailand
Krung Thai Bank Public Company LimitedCategory B (Banking) TH Thailand
LGT Bank (Cayman) Ltd.Category B (Banking & Trust) LI Liechtenstein
Manufacturers and Traders Trust CompanyCategory B (Banking) US United States
Mercantil Bank and Trust Limited (Cayman)Category B (Banking & Trust) VE Venezuela
Merrill Lynch Bank and Trust Company (Cayman) LimitedCategory B (Banking & Trust) US United States
Millennium bcp Bank & TrustCategory B (Banking & Trust) PT Portugal
Mizuho Bank, Ltd.Category B (Banking) JP Japan
Mizuho do Brasil Cayman LimitedCategory B (Banking) JP Japan
Morval Bank & Trust Cayman Ltd.Category B (Banking & Trust) CH Switzerland
MUFG Alternative Fund Services (Cayman) LimitedCategory A (Banking & Trust) JP Japan
MUFG Bank, Ltd.Category B (Banking) JP Japan
Multibank Cayman Inc.Category B (Banking) PA Panama
Nacional Financiera S.N.C.Category B (Banking) MX Mexico
National Australia Bank LimitedCategory B (Banking) AU Australia
National Bank of Kuwait, Societe Anonyme Kuwaitienne PubliqueCategory B (Banking) KW Kuwait
NATIXISCategory B (Banking) FR France
NCB (Cayman) LimitedCategory B (Banking & Trust) KY Cayman Islands
Northern Trust Company (The)Category B (Banking & Trust) US United States
Popular Bank Llc, CaymanCategory B (Banking & Trust) PA Panama
PT Bank Rakyat Indonesia (Persero) TBKCategory B (Banking) ID Indonesia
PT. BANK MANDIRI (PERSERO) TbkCategory B (Banking) ID Indonesia
Queensgate Bank and Trust Company Ltd.Category B (Banking) KY Cayman Islands
RBC Royal Bank (Cayman) LimitedCategory A (Banking) CA Canada
Regions BankCategory B (Banking) US United States
Republic Bank (Cayman) LimitedCategory B (Banking & Trust) TT Trinidad and Tobago
Royal Bank of CanadaCategory B (Banking) CA Canada
Sackville Bank and Trust Company LimitedCategory B (Banking) KY Cayman Islands
Santander Bank, National AssociationCategory B (Banking) ES Spain
Scotiabank & Trust (Cayman) LtdCategory A (Banking & Trust) CA Canada
Silicon Valley BankCategory B (Banking) US United States
Skandinaviska Enskilda BankenCategory B (Banking) SE Sweden
Societe GeneraleCategory B (Banking) FR France
St. Georges Bank & Trust Company (Cayman) Ltd.Category B (Banking) KY Cayman Islands
Sumitomo Mitsui Banking CorporationCategory B (Banking) JP Japan
Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank (U.S.A.) LimitedCategory B (Banking & Trust) JP Japan
The Bank of New York MellonCategory B (Banking & Trust) US United States
The Bank of Nova ScotiaCategory B (Banking) CA Canada
The National Bank of IndianapolisCategory B (Banking) US United States
The Siam Commercial Bank Public Company LimitedCategory B (Banking) TH Thailand
TMB Bank Public Company LimitedCategory B (Banking) TH Thailand
Toronto - Dominion Bank (The)Category B (Banking) CA Canada
Towerbank, LtdCategory B (Banking & Trust) PA Panama
Trade and Commerce BankCategory B (Banking) KY Cayman Islands
Trident Trust Company (Cayman) LimitedCategory B (Banking & Trust) KY Cayman Islands
U.S. Bank National AssociationCategory B (Banking & Trust) US United States
UBS AGCategory B (Banking & Trust) CH Switzerland
United Bank for Africa PlcCategory B (Banking & Trust) NE Niger
VBT Bank & Trust, Ltd.Category B (Banking & Trust) KY Cayman Islands
Venezolano De Credito, S.A., Banco UniversalCategory B (Banking) VE Venezuela
Webster Bank, National AssociationCategory B (Banking) US United States
Wells Fargo Bank, National AssociationCategory B (Banking) US United States
Westpac Banking CorporationCategory B (Banking) AU Australia

List of Recently Closed Banks in the Cayman Islands

Starting from 2014, 94 banks ceased their operations.

NameYear ClosedBank CategoryCountry of Origin
Abbey National Treasury Services plc2018Category B (Banking)ES Spain
Allied Irish Banks, Public Limited Company2019Category B (Banking & Trust)IE Ireland
Amegy Bank National Association2016Category B (Banking)US United States
Arab Banking Corporation (B.S.C)2019Category B (Banking)LY Libya
Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, S.A.2019Category B (Banking & Trust)ES Spain
Banco BPI Cayman, Ltd.2018Category B (Banking & Trust)PT Portugal
Banco BPI, S.A.2018Category B (Banking)PT Portugal
Banco Colpatria Cayman Inc.2018Category B (Banking)CO Colombia
Banco de la Nacion Argentina2019Category B (Banking)AR Argentina
Banco de la Provincia de Buenos Aires2016Category B (Banking & Trust)AR Argentina
Banco Espirito Santo, S.A.2016Category B (Banking)PT Portugal
Banco Finantia International Limited2016Category B (Banking)PT Portugal
Banco Inbursa S.A., Institucion de Banca Multiple Grupo Financiero Inbursa2016Category B (Banking & Trust)MX Mexico
Banco Modal S.A.2019Category B (Banking)BR Brazil
Banco Rabobank International Brasil S.A.2016Category B (Banking)NL Netherlands
Bancredit Cayman Limited2016Category B (Banking)KY Cayman Islands
Bangkok Bank Public Company Limited2019Category B (Banking)TH Thailand
Bank Espirito Santo (International) Limited2019Category B (Banking & Trust)PT Portugal
Bank Hapoalim (Cayman) Limited2015Category B (Banking & Trust)IL Israel
Bank Leumi Le Israel B.M.2015Category B (Banking & Trust)IL Israel
Bank of Ayudhya Public Company Limited2015Category B (Banking)TH Thailand
Bank of Bermuda (Cayman) Limited2019Category B (Banking & Trust)GB United Kingdom
Bank of Oklahoma N.A.2015Category B (Banking)US United States
Bank of Scotland plc2016Category B (Banking)GB United Kingdom
Bank of the West2016Category B (Banking)FR France
Barclays Private Bank & Trust (Cayman) Limited2014Category B (Banking & Trust)GB United Kingdom
BIC International Bank Limited2016Category B (Banking)PT Portugal
BNP Paribas Fortis2016Category B (Banking)FR France
BNY Mellon Trust Company (Cayman) Limited2016Category B (Banking & Trust)US United States
Brasilian American Merchant Bank2019Category B (Banking & Trust)BR Brazil
Cainvest International Bank Ltd.2016Category B (Banking)KY Cayman Islands
Caixa Economica Montepio Geral2016Category B (Banking)PT Portugal
Caixa Geral de Depositos, S.A.2018Category B (Banking)PT Portugal
Caledonian Bank Limited2015Category A (Banking)KY Cayman Islands
Capital One, National Association2019Category B (Banking & Trust)US United States
Chase Bank USA, National Association2016Category B (Banking)US United States
China CITIC Bank International Limited2019Category B (Banking)CN China
CITITRUST (CAYMAN) LIMITED2016Category B (Banking & Trust)US United States
Cititrust Private Trust (Cayman) Limited2016Category B (Banking & Trust)US United States
Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania2019Category B (Banking & Trust)GB United Kingdom
Commonwealth Bank of Australia2019Category B (Banking)AU Australia
Compass Bank2016Category B (Banking)ES Spain
Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank2018Category B (Banking)FR France
Deutsche Bank (Cayman) Limited2018Category A (Banking & Trust)DE Germany
DZ Bank AG Deutsche Zentral Genossenschaftsbank, Frankfurt am Main2018Category B (Banking)DE Germany
Erste Group Bank AG2016Category B (Banking & Trust)AT Austria
First Hawaiian Bank2016Category B (Banking)US United States
First Regents Bank & Trust (Cayman) Ltd.2016Category B (Banking & Trust)KY Cayman Islands
Gulf International Bank B.S.C.2018Category B (Banking)BH Bahrain
Helm Bank Cayman2014Category B (Banking & Trust)PA Panama
HSBC Bank (Cayman) Limited2014Category A (Banking & Trust)GB United Kingdom
HSBC Bank Brasil S.A. - Banco Multiplo2016Category B (Banking)GB United Kingdom
HSH Nordbank AG2016Category B (Banking)DE Germany
Huntington National Bank (The)2016Category B (Banking & Trust)US United States
Intesa Sanpaolo S.p.A.2018Category B (Banking)IT Italy
Israel Discount Bank of New York2016Category B (Banking & Trust)US United States
ITA Bank and Trust Company Ltd.2016Category B (Banking & Trust)KY Cayman Islands
J.P. Morgan Trust Company (Cayman) Limited2019Category B (Banking & Trust)US United States
KBC Bank N.V.2015Category B (Banking & Trust)BE Belgium
KeyBank National Association2016Category B (Banking)US United States
Landesbank Baden-Württemberg2015Category B (Banking)DE Germany
Landesbank Hessen-Thuringen Girozentrale2019Category B (Banking)DE Germany
Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corporation2016Category B (Banking)JP Japan
Mizrahi Tefahot Bank Ltd.2015Category B (Banking)IL Israel
Mizuho Trust & Banking Co. (USA)2016Category B (Banking)JP Japan
MUFG Union Bank, National Association2018Category B (Banking & Trust)US United States
National Bank of Egypt2015Category B (Banking)EG Egypt
Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale2016Category B (Banking)DE Germany
Nordea Bank Finland Plc2016Category B (Banking)FI Finland
Novo Banco, S.A.2019Category B (Banking)PT Portugal
P.T. Bank Pan Indonesia TBK2016Category B (Banking)ID Indonesia
Pictet Bank and Trust (Cayman) Ltd2015Category B (Banking & Trust)CH Switzerland
Portigon AG2015Category B (Banking & Trust)DE Germany
Rabobank Nederland2016Category B (Banking)NL Netherlands
Royal Bank of Canada Trust Company (Cayman) Limited2015Category A (Banking & Trust)CA Canada
Saad International Bank Limited2014Category B (Banking)SA Saudi Arabia
Saadgroup Financial Services Company Limited2014Category B (Banking)SA Saudi Arabia
Schroder Cayman Bank and Trust Company Limited2016Category B (Banking & Trust)GB United Kingdom
Scotiabank Inverlat S.A.2018Category B (Banking)CA Canada
Serfin International Bank & Trust2016Category B (Banking & Trust)KY Cayman Islands
State Street Bank and Trust Company2019Category B (Banking)US United States
SunTrust Bank2019Category B (Banking & Trust)US United States
Svenska Handelsbanken2019Category B (Banking)SE Sweden
Swedbank AB2016Category B (Banking)SE Sweden
TD Bank, National Association2016Category B (Banking & Trust)CA Canada
Texas Capital Bank, National Association2016Category B (Banking)US United States
Thanachart Bank Public Company Limited2019Category B (Banking)TH Thailand
The Dundee Merchant Bank2016Category B (Banking & Trust)KY Cayman Islands
The Royal Bank of Scotland N.V.2015Category B (Banking)GB United Kingdom
UniCredit Bank AG2016Category B (Banking & Trust)IT Italy
Whitney Bank2016Category B (Banking)US United States
Wing Hang Bank (Cayman) Ltd2015Category B (Banking & Trust)SG Singapore
Wing Lung Bank Ltd.2019Category B (Banking)HK Hong Kong
Zions First National Bank2015Category B (Banking & Trust)US United States

See Also

External Links

  1. Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (external ref)
  2. Cayman Islands Financial Services (external ref)
  3. Economics and Statistics Office, Government of the Cayman Islands (external ref)