Barbados Offshore Banking
Barbados Offshore Banking services are world renowned. For eligible companies and qualified foreign banks seeking a stable, secure and well-regulated location in which to base their offshore services Barbados tops the charts.
One of the most prosperous countries in the Western hemisphere, Barbados has a strong democratic government, excellent health services and an English-speaking, educated and trained workforce. The country enjoys low crime rates and a well-developed infrastructure.
Barbados shares the same time zone with Eastern Canada and the United States for 6 months with a 1 hour difference during the rest of the year. Island-wide telecommunications services add to the appeal for investors looking for modern, convenient and accessible international communications facilities.
Attesting to the country’s development, Barbados ranked highest in the region and 36th on a global scale in the 2008-2009 Information Technology Report by the World Economic Forum.
Recent global ratings place Barbados as forerunner within the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) while the Wall St. Journal and The Heritage Foundation ranked Barbados the 4th freest economy in the Americas in their 2009 Index of Economic Freedom.
The Government of Barbados is committed to providing stable and secure offshore banking services while maintaining its reputation as a leader in the international financial industry.
The country’s Offshore Banking Act was first established in 1979 later replaced by the International Financial Services Act of 2003.
The Act offers a variety of attractive incentives such as:
» Strong legislation and regulatory provisions
» 1% tax on profits over US$15 million and up to 2.5% on profits up to US$5 million
» No direct tax or capital gains
» No with-holding tax
» Exemption from exchange control restriction
A Money Laundering (Prevention and Control) Act was instituted in Barbados in 1998 under which an Anti-Money Laundering Authority was established in 2000. Operations of the Authority are under the responsibility of the Financial Intelligence Unit.
For further information concerning Barbados’ efforts to create a secure, safe and well-regulated offshore banking sector, please refer to the Central Bank of Barbados’ (CBB) Anti-Money Laundering Guidelines for Licensed Financial Institutions.
Barbados offers a well regulated banking system ideally suited to offshore banking needs. The CBB is responsible for the licensing, regulation, and inspection of all offshore banking institutions in the country.
Currently, Barbados has over 57 licensed offshore banks and 14 licensed Trusts, Finance and Merchant banks.
To establish an offshore bank in Barbados, interested parties must:
» Be incorporated under the Companies Act.
» Restrict banking activities to offshore banking from within the country.
» Ensure that at least 1 director be a Barbadian resident.
» Ensure minimum capital requirements of US $5,000,000 cash (non-residents) or US $125,000 (residents).
» Provide quarterly reports.
» Have overseas directors meet with Central Bank authorities on an annual basis.
» Submit shareholder names (for residents of Barbados) and the number of shares held.
License applications must be submitted to the CBB before final approval is granted by the Minister of Finance.
Licensing fees are imposed by the government at a flat annual rate of US $12,500.
For forms and further information, please visit www.centralbank.org.bb today.