Foreign currency accounts soon available for locals

Barbadians will soon be able to have local foreign currency accounts.

Minister in the Ministry of Finance, Ryan Straughn, said come August 2, this facility would be extended to all residents, but it could not be bolstered by purchasing currency from the local foreign exchange pool.

Instead, Straughn explained, the Barbados Labour Party Government was putting the regulatory framework in place to encourage investor confidence and attract new business.

He was addressing members of the media earlier today at the post-Cabinet press briefing at Government Headquarters, Bay Street, St Michael.

Similarly, 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.


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