Saint Lucia’s burgeoning international financial sector received a further boost this week.
Petrus Private Bank officially opened its local operations during a brief ceremony at the Capella Resort in Marigot Bay on Tuesday, February 16, 2016.
The ceremony was attended by Minister for Commerce, Hon. Emma Hippolyte; Chairman of the Board of Petrus Private Bank, Mr. Thierry Bounous; Chief Executive Office, Mr. Jean-Francois Ruel; Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Benjamin Gunst; directors and members of the staff of the bank; and members of staff of the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FRSA) in the Ministry of Finance, Economic Affairs, Planning & Social Security.
Addressing the audience, Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Kenny. D. Anthony thanked the Bank’s leadership for choosing Saint Lucia over jurisdictions including The Bahamas, Barbados, and Switzerland, noting their stated ambition “to become the Caribbean bank of choice for individuals who seek a financial institution that can relate to their motives, aspirations and needs.”
The Prime Minister went on to speak to the complex international regulatory environment that governs the offshore financial sector, and to outline the steps the Government of Saint Lucia has taken over the past four years in particular “to avoid being blacklisted and to remain attractive and competitive.”
Said Dr. Anthony,
“The Financial Services Regulatory Authority, the Financial Intelligence Authority, the professional services industry, the Ministry of Finance and Central Government continue to working relentlessly and assiduously in developing Saint Lucia as a truly global financial centre on par with the major international players.”
The Prime Minister went on to emphasize that all who are engaged in the industry must be bold, imaginative, and innovate. According to the Prime Minister,
“I believe we all accept that times have changed. I marvel every day at the rate that financial products and services are undergoing change. If we want to survive in this new environment, we will need to be bold and imaginative. While we are required to obey regulatory requirements, it is imperative that we do not become so consumed
with our regulatory commitments that we lose our ability to innovate and create new products for the financial marketplace. Innovation remains a key to our survival. We are no longer competing with our own in the region but with the entire world.”
The Prime Minister concluded by thanking the principals of the bank for making Saint Lucia the jurisdiction of choice. He said,
“I am pleased to welcome Petrus Private Bank Limited to our shores. I thank its principals for choosing Saint Lucia as its base to conduct business. Your presence and operations will add value to our economy. This decision is another statement of confidence in the integrity of our country, our economy and its future. We will do our utmost to justify the faith and confidence you have placed in our country and our people.”
Petrus Private Bank Limited is now the 15th licensed international bank operating from Saint Lucia. Saint Lucia is signatory to or compliant with the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force, the Financial Action Task Force, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the International Cooperative Regulatory Group, and the United States Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, among others.
The island’s international financial sector is governed by the international financial services laws and the Financial Services Regulatory Authority Act of 2011, which gave birth to the FSRA.