Local foreign currency accounts in Barbados
Barbadians will be able to open local foreign currency accounts soon. This was announced by Minister in the Ministry of Finance, Ryan Straughn.
Starting 2 August 2019, this facility would be available to all residents, but it could not be bolstered by purchasing currency from the local foreign exchange pool.
Instead, Straughn explained, they were putting the regulatory framework in place to encourage investor confidence and attract new business.
He said that those Barbadians who previously had their accounts overseas can safely have them at home for both personal and business purposes as they were currently moving to eliminate the 70 per cent surrender value on those accounts.
Previously, anyone with a foreign exchange account overseas who attempted to bring those funds home could only retain 30 per cent in foreign exchange while the rest had to be converted to local currency.
Personal allowances will also be increased and a cap put in place for businesses.
Residents were limited to $7 500 annually in currency for foreign exchange, but that will be increased to $20 000 or roughly US $10 000.
For businesses, the foreign exchange fee will be capped at $100 000 so it is not a disincentive to investors.
Straughn said they wanted to send the message to all investors that they could put their money in Barbados with confidence because the framework was in place and it also paved the way for lawyers and other professionals to go after a new set of business which could not previously be conducted in Barbados because of those foreign exchange restrictions.