Barbados - Country Commercial Guide
Trade Financing
Last published date:

Methods of Payment

The U.S. Embassy recommends that U.S. exporters to Barbados require payment using confirmed letters of credit at least until firms have a satisfactory record of doing business.  Businesses in Barbados usually provide notice of the accepted major credit cards as they may vary.  The Caribbean Information and Credit Rating Service, which is in Trinidad and Tobago, provides an objective assessment of an entity’s creditworthiness relative to other debt issuing entities.

Caribbean Information and Credit Rating Service

3rd Floor, Furness House,

90 Independence Square,

Port of Spain,

Trinidad and Tobago

Telephone: 868-627-8879

Fax: 868-625-8871


For more information about the methods of payment or other trade finance options, please read the Trade Finance Guide available at

Banking Systems

The banking system in Barbados includes banks servicing commercial, developmental, and offshore finance needs.  The CBB (Central Bank), established in 1972, is responsible for the administration of monetary policy, regulation of exchange controls, and supervision of commercial banks and other financial institutions.  The CBB has special arrangements for discounting loans made by commercial banks to tourism, agriculture, and manufacturing.  The CBB also operates an export credit guarantees scheme, covering up to 75 percent of amounts paid in advance of an export.  Commercial and political credit risks after shipment may be insured up to 90 percent of gross invoice value. 

Commercial banking facilities are provided by the branches of three Canadian banks and two regional banks.  Citibank established a merchant bank in 2001.  Financing using domestically generated funds is generally available only to Barbadians or permanent residents of Barbados.  The Caribbean Financial Services Corporation is a major source of medium and long-term development financing for projects that contribute to economic growth, such as tourism, manufacturing, agroindustries, service industries, and cooperatives. 

Several offshore banks operate in Barbados, licensed under the Offshore Banking Act.  These banks take foreign funds for deposit, sell or place foreign currency securities, and make loans, advances, and investments.  Trusts, exempt insurance companies, and international business companies also offer offshore financial services.

Other financial institutions, such as local finance houses and trust companies, offer a range of services, such as leasing, installment purchase loans, factoring, and hire purchase.  Life insurance and trust companies offer long-term individual and commercial mortgages.  Republic Bank (Barbados) Limited, formerly Barbados Mortgage Finance Company Ltd., also provides mortgage loans to low-income borrowers.

Foreign Exchange Controls

The CBB has delegated the authority to the commercial banks to approve advance payments for imports up to $125,000 $250,000 Barbados dollars) per transaction, subject to the provision of the pro-forma invoice or order details.  Individuals or businesses requiring funds in excess of $125,000 ($250,000 Barbados dollars) must apply to the CBB for authority to purchase the foreign exchange from a commercial bank.  

U.S. Banks & Local Correspondent Banks

Citibank operates a merchant bank in Barbados, and it is the only U.S. bank located in the jurisdiction. The commercial banking sector is dominated largely by Canadian and regional banks.  In the past, the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) has offered loan guarantees for the financing of projects in Barbados under special provisions.  Please visit  for more information.

The Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank)

First Floor, CGI Tower,

Warrens, St. Michael, Barbados

Tel:  246-431-3100

Fax:  246-421-7110


Republic Bank (Barbados) Ltd.

Independence Square

Bridgetown, Barbados

Tel:  246-227-2700

Fax:  246-429-2606


CIBC First Caribbean International Bank

Regional Head Office

The Michael Mansoor Building


St. Michael, Barbados

Tel:  246-367-2300

Fax:  246-421-0606


Citibank Barbados

Cedar Court, Wildey Business Park

St. Michael, Barbados

Tel:  246-426-2458

Fax: 246-426-1034


First Citizens Bank (Barbados) Ltd.

#2 Broad Street

Bridgetown, Barbados

Tel:  246-431-4500

Fax:  246-429-2421


RBC Royal Bank (Barbados) Limited

Barbados & Eastern Caribbean Regional Office

Broad Street

Bridgetown, Barbados

Tel:  246-467-4000

Fax:  246-427-8393


Caribbean Financial Services Corporation

Radley Court, Collymore Rock

St. Michael, Barbados

Tel:  246-431-6400

Fax: 246-426-1869


Starting in late 2015, several banks in the region have been faced with the increasing problem of correspondent banks, located primarily in the United States and the United Kingdom, cutting ties with Caribbean banks to de-risk themselves from any potential penalties related to accounts perceived as being at higher risk of fraud, money laundering, and terrorist financing.  This has made it increasingly difficult for banks to complete certain international money transactions.  Regional financial institutions are now actively pursuing solutions to mitigate this challenge.

For more information about the methods of payment or other trade finance options, please read the Trade Finance Guide available at