A license is required

The National Ordinance on the supervision of banking and credit institutions 1994 (Landsverordening toezicht bank- en kredietwezen, the “NOSB”) of both Curacao and St. Maarten prohibits any one (other than a licensed Credit Institution) from – directly or indirectly – soliciting funds from the public or extending credit to the public (art. 45 NOSB).

It should be noted that the Explanatory Memorandum to the NOSB bestows a wide scope on the term “public”, i.e. anyone other than a licensed Credit Institution. The Central Bank of Curacao and St. Maarten may grant individual exemptions from this prohibition. Investment institutions are generally exempted by operation of law.

The NOSB also prohibits anyone from conducting  the business of a credit institution (kredietinstelling) in Curacao or St. Maarten without a license issued by the Central Bank. A credit institution is defined as an enterprise or institution whose business for the greater extent consists of:

  • solicitating repayable funds (“deposits”, whether term deposits or deposits which are repayable on demand, whether or not savings deposits, whether or not against the issue of debt instruments) (the “funding side”); and
  • granting credit for its own account (the “application side”).  

If for instance a company intends to issue bonds it qualifies as a credit institution.

Karel Frielink
Attorney (Lawyer) / Partner

(17 September 2011)


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