Barbados, License, International Financial Center

by Elliot Clark on February 22, 2009

Barbados has historically regarded as a tropical haven and major tourist destination. Warm climate, sandy beaches, wide varieties of tourist attractions has made this country a choice of millions of individuals.

Barbados has been regarded as a rapidly developing offshore banking center. This jurisdiction has experienced strong growth and has promoted itself as a premier offshore financial services jurisdiction. Barbados’s development and rapid growth was primarily caused by modern and liberal legislation designed specifically for the needs of the banking industry.

Offshore banking sector in Barbados is regulated by Offshore Banking Act of 1979. This act sets the main principles for licensing, regulating and supervising institutions offering offshore banking services to their clients. The Act assigns regulation and supervision of such institutions to the Central Bank of Barbados, while licensing function is granted to the Offshore Banking BarbadosMinister of Finance. No offshore bank is allowed to operate in Barbados, unless proper investigation is conducted and appropriate license is not granted to the financial institution.

Under the Act eligible companies for receiving offshore banking license are those incorporated in Barbados under Companies Act and having at least one of the its director resident of Barbados. Minimum capital requirement for non-residents is BDS 1,000,000 that must be paid in cash and for residents only BDS 250,000. Currently only 54 banks are licensed to carry out offshore banking services in Barbados and this is primarily because authorities of Barbados are devoted to sustaining good reputation of the country as an international financial center. Recently authorities have made several steps towards modernization of country’s legislation to meet international regulatory standards. During last 24 months Offshore Banking Act was revised several times and soon will be replaced by new piece of legislation.

Major customers of Barbados international financial center are mostly business entities: international business companies, international corporations, other offshore banks and insurance companies conducting their operation in Barbados or outside the country. Services that Barbados offers are accepting deposits, current account facilities, international payment services, foreign exchange trading options, provision of commercial loans, investment banking, investment management and custodial services.

Offshore banking of Barbados is also available to High Net Worth Individuals and to limited extent to the expatriates. These services include multiple-currency banking products, offshore credit cards, loans and even mortgages.

Currently 6 commercial banks, 54 offshore banks and 14 licensed Trusts, Finance and Merchant banks operate in Barbados.

Here is the list of major commercial and offshore banks in Barbados:

First Caribbean International Bank
Bayshore Bank & Trust (Barbados)
CIBC Trust Company (Barbados)
Dancap Bank (Barbados) Inc.
DGM Bank & Trust Inc
First Horizon Bank (B’dos) Limted
London Life Bank & Trust Corp.
Royal Bank of Canada
Whitten Bank and Trust Company Limited

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