It covers payment methods and information on, banking systems, foreign exchange controls, and U.S. and correspondent banking.
For more information about the methods of payment or other trade finance options, please read the Trade Finance Guide available at https://www.trade.gov/trade-finance-guide-quick-reference-us-exporters.
To access Trinidad and Tobago’s ICS section on financing, visit the U.S. Department of State Investment Climate Statement website.
Methods of Payment
Banking Systems: The financial services industry in TT is one of the most developed in the Caribbean. There are eight commercial banks in TT, comprising a mix of local and foreign banks. Citibank is the only American bank operating in TT. Two locally-owned banks have a commercial presence in various territories in the Caribbean: Republic Bank Limited and First Citizens Bank.
The Central Bank of TT determines monetary policy, sets rates and reserve requirements, and regulates the operations of the commercial and other financial institutions. There are no restrictions on borrowing by foreign investors.
Foreign Exchange Controls
The Central Bank of TT manages foreign exchange (forex) and has been combatting forex shortages since 2015 through regular injections of U.S. currency from the country’s sizeable but dwindling foreign reserves. Companies sometimes have to wait three to nine months to exchange their TT dollar profits to U.S. dollars. The forex shortage is expected to persist through 2022 due to exchange rate management given the imbalance between forex inflows, import liabilities, and local demand. The repatriation of capital, dividends, interest, and other distributions and gains on investment may be otherwise freely transacted without limits.
U.S. Banks and Local Correspondent Banks
Citigroup is the only U.S. bank in TT but it does not offer retail services. A full list of local and foreign banks can be found at https://www.central-bank.org.tt/core-functions/regulated-commercial-banks