Central Bank of Barbados Announces Further Ease of Exchange Controls

The Central Bank of Barbados has further liberalised foreign currency transactions, continuing the movement toward more relaxed exchange controls that it began in 2019.

The new policy, which will impact several types of foreign currency transactions, took effect as of Monday 17th February 2020.

“Authorised dealers can now approve and execute larger foreign currency transactions, which will mean faster turnaround times and increased efficiency,” said Ian Collymore, Director of Foreign Exchange and Export Credits at the Central Bank. “This will benefit the average Barbadian, businesses and current and potential investors.”

Special attention has been paid to making it much easier for Barbadians to access foreign exchange for education and medical purposes. Under the new policy guidelines, Authorised Dealers may remit payments abroad for these transactions without the prior approval of the Central Bank.

The Authorised Dealers in Barbados are The Bank of Nova Scotia, CIBC FirstCaribbean, Citicorp Merchant Bank, Consolidated Finance, First Citizens Bank, RBC Royal Bank, Republic Bank, and SigniaGlobe Financial Group.

Collymore commented that the changes are wide in scope and are intended to improve the ease of doing business in Barbados. They are built on the start made last year with the travel allowances and the foreign currency accounts. In July 2019, the allowances for holiday and business travel were increased to BDS$20,000 and BDS$60,000 a year, respectively.

A full list of the changes and the circulars that authorise them can be found on the Central Bank of Barbados’ website, www.centralbank.org.bb

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