The Cayman Islands is a highly respected financial centre with a healthy and reliable banking industry.

Thanks to its tax-free status on income, the Cayman Islands is famous as an offshore bank account host. These accounts are transparent in nature, and the islands are well known for being open about transactions.

Expats will find that banking is efficient and easy on the islands.

Money in the Cayman Islands

The official currency is the Cayman Islands dollar (KYD) divided into 100 cents. It is commonly abbreviated as CI$ before the amount. The KYD is permanently fixed at an exchange rate to the US Dollar.

  • Notes: 1 KYD, 5 KYD, 10 KYD, 25 KYD, 50 KYD and 100 KYD
  • Coins: 1 cent, 5 cents, 10 cents and 25 cents

There are ATMs all over the islands, and US dollars are also widely accepted.

Banking in the Cayman Islands

The islands are home to a sophisticated banking system and many banks, making managing finances straightforward and accessible.

Opening a bank account

Numerous documents will need to be submitted in order to open a bank account, such as the prospective account holder's passport and proof of residence. Banks also require that expats moving to the islands for work purposes submit an official letter of employment, including their salary, position and starting date.

Being able to show a prior banking history through old statements or a reference letter from a previous bank is also helpful when opening an account in the Cayman Islands. Lastly, a deposit will be required to open an account – the amount needed varies from bank to bank.

Taxes in the Cayman Islands

There are no taxes on income, property or capital gains in the Cayman Islands. This makes the islands a fantastic place to earn and save money. On the other hand, import duties are high at 22 to 27 percent. Since the islands rely heavily on imports of food and consumer goods, this pushes up the cost of living in the Cayman Islands significantly.

Expats should note that they may be liable for taxes back home, depending on their nationality. It's worthwhile consulting with an expat tax specialist to ensure that all tax obligations are being met.

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