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Banking

Bermuda - Banking


While many other countries have international banks, this is not the case in Bermuda. International banks are not allowed to operate in the country. There are four banks operating in Bermuda. All banks which are registered in Bermuda must be majority owned by Bermudians. Their head offices must be located within the country and most of their staff must be local people. However, the Bank of Bermuda is now owned by HSBC.

Other banks in Bermuda include the Butterfield Bank. This bank has a full range of financial services and can handle many international transactions. Other banks available to expats are the Bermuda Commercial Bank Ltd and Capital G Bank Limited. The Bank of Bermuda and Butterfield bank both have ATMs around the country. Monies can only be withdrawn in Bermuda dollars and it may be that there are charges for using the ATMs which are owned by the other bank. Each bank is different and it is a good idea to check the fees and charges that are imposed by each one.

Deposits that are made with banks are not protected by the British Financial Services Compensation Scheme and UK regulations do not apply to the Bermuda banking industry at all but there are regulations in place which require Bermuda banks to keep a ‘capital buffer’ in order to prevent them from collapsing in the event of an economic crisis and the Bermudan banks are now considered to be more secure than some banks in other countries.

There are monthly charges for current accounts and these charges average around $6 per month. Opening a current account is very easy for expats. To have a current account you must be at least 18 years old and expats must show that they either own property or work in the country. A completed application form is required for the type of account that you wish to open along with the relevant identification. This is usually a passport or a driver’s licence and should be accompanied with proof of your eligibility to be in the country, so a copy of your visa documentation will be needed. Proof of address will normally be a utility bill or a copy of your tenancy agreement.

Some banks have a limit on the number of transactions if you want to pay a lower monthly fee. These accounts are available in US dollars and Bermudan dollars. Debit cards are available if required. Current accounts have no interest attached and the cheques can only be used in Bermuda. If you need to send money abroad in the form of a cheque then banks can offer you a banker’s draft instead.

Statement savings are an option for those who want to have regular access to their money. Online banking and telephone banking are available, usually at no extra charge. Statements can be issued monthly and debit cards are available if required. Fixed term savings accounts are another option for those who are happy to have limited access to their savings. Withdrawals are limited to just a few each year and in return the saver enjoys a higher rate of interest than they would get on an ordinary savings account.

The Bank of Bermuda has an international centre which can help to set up accounts for you before you move to the country and even allow you to apply for credit cards and other facilities before you arrive in Bermuda. This is ideal if you are expecting to have money regularly transferred to you from abroad, so for those who are retiring to the country and will be receiving regular pension payments from their country of origin.

Bills can be paid using cash or cheque, although it is very easy to set up direct debits and payments by standing orders. The Bermudan banks have branches in all towns and it is possible to use any branch for your transactions. Banks are open during normal working hours but if you have online or telephone banking you are able to carry out transactions at a time to suit yourself and most have a customer service department that can be contacted by telephone outside working hours.




Expat Health Insurance Partners


Aetna

Our award-winning expatriate business provides health benefits to more than 650,000 members worldwide. In addition, we have helped develop world-class health systems for governments, corporations and providers around the world. We want to be the global leader in delivering world-class health solutions, making quality health care more accessible and empowering people to live healthier lives.

Bupa Global

At Bupa we have been helping individuals and families live longer, healthier, happier lives for over 60 years. We are trusted by expats in 190 different countries and have links with healthcare organisations throughout the world. So whether you're moving abroad for a change of career or a change of scene, with our international private health insurance you will always be in safe hands.

Cigna

Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.