Bank Licensing - Seychelles

About Seychelles

Seychelles’ financial system aims to foster financial stability, encourage investment, and meet the financial needs of individuals, enterprises, and the government. It is controlled and overseen by several authorities to ensure the financial sector’s integrity, transparency, and soundness.

Seychelles is an archipelago in the Indian Ocean located between 480 and 1,600 km east of Africa. Despite its distance from the continent’s mainland, the country is politically part of Africa.

According to Worldometer’s analysis of the most recent United Nations data, the current population of Seychelles is 100,080 as of Thursday, May 11, 2023.

Seychellois Creole (Seselwa), derived from French, is spoken by 95% of the population. Both French and English are also spoken.

The legal system in Seychelles is one of mixed jurisdiction. A Civil Code drawn from the French Napoleonic Code governs civil law. The criminal law is mostly based on common law.

1. Financial Centres Offshore

Seychelles is a well-known offshore financial centre, drawing international clientele looking for offshore banking services. This status can give clients with benefits such as tax planning, asset protection, and privacy.

2. Beneficial Regulatory Environment

Seychelles has put in place a regulatory framework that encourages a stable and secure banking system. The Financial Services Authority (FSA) monitors and supervises banks to guarantee that international standards, including as anti-money laundering (AML) and know-your-customer (KYC) rules, are met.

3. Economic and political stability

Seychelles has a stable government and a rising economy. This stability can instill trust in consumers and investors, as well as create a favourable atmosphere for banking operations.

4. Tax Advantages

Banks can benefit from a competitive tax environment in Seychelles. There are no capital gains taxes, dividend or interest withholding taxes, or exchange control laws. Banks can benefit from low taxes, allowing for increased profitability and more appealing financial services for customers.

5. Currency Diversification

Seychelles uses its own currency, the Seychellois Rupee (SCR), which allows clients and the bank to diversify their currency holdings.

6. Geographical Location

Seychelles is advantageously placed in the Indian Ocean, close to expanding African and Asian markets. This can improve trade and investment opportunities for Seychelles-based banks.

7. Correspondent Banking Relationships

Seychelles banks can establish correspondent banking links with other financial institutions throughout the world. This enables efficient cross-border transactions, access to international financial networks, and increased trust in the global banking community.

8. Privacy and Confidentiality

Seychelles has a strong legal framework in place to protect the privacy and confidentiality of banking and financial data. Clients looking for private and secure banking services may find this intriguing.

9. Formation of an International Business Company (IBC)

Seychelles permits the establishment of International Business Companies (IBCs), which can be used for a variety of purposes such as holding company structures, investment vehicles, and asset protection. Seychelles banks can provide financial services to these businesses, thereby expanding their client base.

10. Tourism and Hospitality Opportunities

Seychelles is a famous tourist destination noted for its beautiful natural surroundings and immaculate beaches. Seychelles banks can enter the tourism and hospitality industries by providing specialised banking services to hotels, resorts, and related enterprises.


License: International Bank License
Timeframe for Approval: 4–6 months
Regulator: Seychelles Financial Services Authority (FSA)

Company Structure

Local Director: Minimum of two directors
Local Shareholder: Minimum of two shareholders
Local Registered Office: Required
Local Staff: Required
Compliance Officer: Required
AML/KYC: Required
Audit: Required
Economic Substance: Required
Corporate Tax Rate: 25%
Currency: Seychelles Rupees (SCR)
Minimum Paid-up Capital: US$2, 000, 000
Capital Requirement: No minimum capital requiremmmmmm

1. Preliminary Evaluation

Conduct a preliminary assessment to see if your prospective bank fulfils the Seychelles Financial Services Authority’s (FSA) eligibility criteria. This includes determining the adequacy of capital, management experience, and regulatory compliance.

2. Consult with Professional Advisors

Engage legal, financial, and other professional consultants who are knowledgeable about banking and regulatory issues in Seychelles. They can help you navigate the application process, prepare the necessary papers, and ensure compliance with regulatory requirements.

3. Establishment of a Seychelles Company

Create a Seychelles business to act as the vehicle for your banking operations. This includes choosing an appropriate name, preparing the relevant incorporation documents, and paying the necessary costs.

4. Creating the Bank Licence Application

Prepare a complete bank licence application in compliance with the FSA’s standards. Detailed information on the prospective bank’s ownership structure, directors and senior management, business plan, financial projections, compliance framework, risk management policies, and other pertinent information is often included in the application.

5. Application Form Submission

Submit the completed bank licence application to the FSA, along with the necessary supporting documentation. During the review process, the FSA will undertake a comprehensive evaluation of the application and may seek more information or clarification.

6. Due Diligence and Fit and Proper Evaluation

The FSA will conduct due diligence on the shareholders, directors, and senior management of the prospective bank. This involves determining their suitability and appropriateness for such roles in a regulated financial institution.

7. Onsite Inspection

The FSA may undertake an onsite inspection of the proposed bank’s premises and operations to ensure regulatory compliance and to evaluate the adequacy of internal controls and systems.

8. Licence Approval and Issuance

If the FSA approves the application and all standards are met, the bank will be granted a licence. Once the licence is given, you can proceed with the bank’s establishment and activities.

  • Sufficient Capitalization
  • Comprehensive Business Plan
  • Framework for Risk Management
  • Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Compliance Measures
  • Infrastructure for IT and Cybersecurity
  • Corporate Management
  • Procedures for Client Onboarding and Know Your Customer (KYC)
  • Requirements for Reporting and Disclosure
  • Insurance Protection
  • Consistent Compliance

Documents required by all involved individuals

(including but not limited to directors, shareholders and beneficial owners)

  • Passport copy (Notarised)
  • Utility Bill issued within the last 3 months (Notarised)
  • CV or Resume for each involved individual
  • Two professional reference letters
  • Qualifications (Notarised)
  • Business Plan
  • Statements Of Physical Presence
  • Statement Of Financial Relationships
  • Declaration Of Legal Representative
  • Statement On Bank’s Proposed Online Presence
  • Marketing Material Disclosure

For Corporate Shareholders

  • Articles of Association in English
  • Registered office address documents (Notarised)
  • Company Register of director/s
  • Company Register of UBOs (shareholder register, or incumbency certificate, or share certificates)
  1. Formation of Seychelles international business corporation
  2. Preparation and drafting of shareholder & officer agreements
  3. Preparation and drafting of narrative business plan
  4. Prepare five year financial projections
  5. Preparation and drafting of current financial statements
  6. Preparation and drafting of personal financial statements for owners
  7. Identification and draft letters naming principal representative and auditor
  8. Draft and prepare required bank charter and prospectus
  9. Preparation and drafting application with Seychelles Financial Services Regulatory Commission.
  10. Respond and draft responses to Regulator application inquiries.
  11. Facilitate and consummate bankcard relationship with Visa & Mastercard
  12. Preparation and drafting of policy agreements and related documents
  13. Facilitate and consummate IBAN/SWIFT and correspondent bank relationship
  14. Provide for required physical presence and local director