New York-based Signature Bank will offer financial services to fintech firms in Bermuda, including to crypto startups that have battled to secure accounts. Signature were the first bank to launch a New York regulator-approved blockchain-based platform for managing money transfers between clients. A press release said: “As a result of confidence in Bermuda’s high regulatory standards, the Government is pleased to announce that Bermuda can now offer an option for US banking services to Bermuda-licensed FinTech companies”.
Bermuda is the oldest self-governing British Overseas Territory and has a great degree of internal autonomy. Its parliament held its first session in 1620, making it the third-oldest continuous parliament in the World.
Insurance and tourism have traditionally been the largest economic sectors in the country, but the lack of banking services for fintech companies has been an “impediment” to those looking to establish a physical presence there. To date, 66 fintech companies have been set up on the archipelago.
Bermuda Establishing Itself As A Leader In The Fintech Space
“The Government has been working diligently to promote Bermuda as the destination of choice for FinTech companies looking for a place to domicile,” said Bermuda’s youngest ever Premier, the Hon. David Burt. “We produced progressive legislation in 2018 and have established Bermuda as a leader in the FinTech industry. Bermuda is respected as a well-regulated and legislated jurisdiction in the FinTech space and companies know that this is a safe place to live and work”.
The country introduced The Banks and Deposit Companies Amendment Act 2018 which amended Bermuda’s existing licencing framework to enable the Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA) to issue restricted banking licenses to banks to enable them to serve the FinTech sector.
Signature Bank is one of the few banks in the US that provides deposit accounts and corporate debit cards to cryptocurrency startups
“We are impressed with the progress Bermuda has made to date on a regulatory front, and look forward to working with the Government of Bermuda to help promote growth and expansion of the FinTech and digital asset industry in that country,” said John Tamberlane, Vice Chairman at Signature Bank.
Premier Burt has said that reforming the traditional banking sector in Bermuda would allow for the “survival and growth” of businesses, which can “only be achieved through an ability to evolve and innovate”.