Category Archives: Business & Banking

Abby Martin interviews Afra Raymond about the corrupt CL Financial – CLICO disaster.

“On the 30th of January 2009… that bailout was wreathed in political corruption because it was discussed and agreed behind closed doors. We later discovered the Minister of Finance who negotiated the bailout is a lady called Karen Nunez-Tesheira, I will call names.

She is an attorney at law, former lecturer of law, and in fact was a shareholder of CL Financial. She was later revealed by my research to be a shareholder of CL Financial that she was negotiating a bailout of.”

“The people who caused this collapse have really gotten away scot-free because the government purchased their debt.”

Afra Raymond to international journalist Abby Martin.

Two-thirds of Caribbean Government money stolen!

If this interview doesn’t rock you about how corrupt your Caribbean governments and politicians be then go back to smokin’ whatever you be smokin’ an doan bother with life.

Afra Raymond tells it like it is to international journalist Abby Martin. It’s all here – the whole history of corruption in the CL Financial collapse and bailout.

Ministers of Government who were CL Financial shareholders gave your public funds to shore up their own interests.

That was the corrupt foundation of the bailout.

I saw this interview on YouTube and had to post it. Don’t know when I’ll be back.

One Love… Cliverton.

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Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Corruption, Crime & Law, Ethics, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption, Trinidad and Tobago

Caribbean justice: Bank collapse settles after 30 years

Pennies on the Dollar

Joke of the Day – Pennies on the Dollar…

“… tremendous relief to the many suffering depositors”

BASSETERRE – Clients who lost money when the Bank of Commerce closed some 30 years ago were put on alert by Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris that a legal settlement had been arrived at that allowed for the payment of $15 million.

Prime Minister Harris made the revelation during today’s sitting of National Assembly.  He noted that the court settlement will bring “tremendous relief to the many suffering depositors in the Bank of Commerce,” noting that “a fresh start has now come to the depositors.”

… read the entire sad tale at the Nation News

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Filed under Business & Banking, Consumer Issues, Corruption

Banking executive from CIBC’s FirstCaribbean International Bank carried FIFA bribe!

Why would a CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank executive travel from the Bahamas to New York to personally pick up a US$250,000 cheque?

Why not just wire the funds? Why not send the cheque via courier?

The answer appears to be that the US$250,000 was being money-laundered by one of FIFA’s top officials, Chuck Blazer. After picking up the cheque in New York, the banking executive returned to the Bahamas and deposited the cheque into Blazer’s personal offshore account.

I didn’t really catch onto this at first. I thought it was a situation where the CIBC had been unknowningly duped or had a client misuse the bank. But that isn’t what happened according to the articles in the press – the CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank was directly and knowingly involved in money-laundering.

Surprised? You shouldn’t be. Anyone who has seen the award-winning documentary about the 2008 meltdown – Inside Job – knows that the banks are rotten to the core, and in conjunction with bribed elected and appointed officials ensure that the motto of the inside crowd remains “Profits are private. Losses are public.”

Closer to home just look at Clico and the Barbados DLP government.

But for you and me though, just miss a mortgage payment or don’t pay taxes and see what happens. Wuhloss!

FIFA scandal exacerbates Canadian banks’ Caribbean troubles

An eyebrow-raising disclosure in the U.S. indictment of FIFA officials is that a representative of a Caribbean bank made it easy for one allegedly illegal transaction to be done by flying to New York to personally collect a check and then returned to deposit it in an account in the Bahamas.

This unusual courier service, which reduced the electronic trail on a $250,000 payment to former FIFA official Chuck Blazer in May 2011, was provided by an unnamed officer of Barbados-based CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank, the indictment shows. CIBC FirstCaribbean is a subsidiary of Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Canada’s fifth-largest bank.

That cheque, U.S. prosecutors allege, was part of a $10 million bribe paid in return for the votes of then FIFA vice president Jack Warner, Blazer and another FIFA official in support of South Africa being granted the rights to host the 2010 World Cup.   Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Corruption, Offshore Investments

Joke of the day… Senator Jepter Ince promises DLP government will invest oil revenues for the people of Barbados

jepter ince CLICO barbados

“Government is looking at how best we can take those monies and invest those monies for the people of Barbados,” Senator Jepter Ince told the gathering in the Unity Bar at DLP headquarters in Belleville, St Michael.

“It is not going to be a free-for-all – live as you like because the country got a lot of money. It’s not going to happen because once you border on that and you don’t prepare for further down the road you’re going to have problems and my opinion is once [the oil exploration] goes well, continue to build Barbados, continue to build our people.”

Nation News No Wild Spending

You remember Senator Jepter Ince, don’t you?

Senator Ince’s Qualifications?

Qualifications? Hell – he should be under investigation for the CLICO Fund debacle!

Wuhloss!

This man is talking about protecting Bajans by properly investing our yet-to-exist oil revenues. Jepter Ince – who destroyed the life savings of countless old folks by advising them to invest in CLICO. Jepter Ince, who advised old folks to mortgage their home to borrow money to invest in the future with CLICO.

That Jepter Ince.

Ince was appointed by now-dead PM David Thompson – probably to keep him quiet.

CLICO and CL Financial. What a scam – including money laundering by Prime Minister Thompson from a company where insiders took bribes to have the company purchase land for way more than market value.

Mr. Ince, why don’t you tell us what returns you’ve achieved for your clients since you created the CLICO Balanced Fund in 2000?

How did all those folks do who borrowed money from you to invest in your fund so you could put that money back into Clico? Huh? How did they do?

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Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Corruption, Crime & Law, Politics & Corruption

Central Bank of Barbados still hiding from news media

That's Governor Worrell on the right... er, left!

That’s Governor ‘Weasel Words’ Worrell on the right… er, left!

Over a year ago Dr. DeLisle Worrell, the head thug of the Central Bank of Barbados, took issue with a Nation News story about the central bank.

So did Worrell ask the paper for space to present his thoughts to the citizens? Did he demand an apology, retraction or correction? Did he write an article to be published in the media or on the bank’s website?

Nope… Worrell banned Nation journalists from all bank events. Worrell wants to control what the press says about him and banning them was his stupid, thuggish reaction to an article he disagreed with.

This is so typical of the Bajan elites’ contempt for freedom of the press and the right of citizens to hold government officials and institutions accountable.

Journalist Ian Bourne

Journalist Ian Bourne

Then the central bank issued a press release in an attempt to backpedal, but as our friend Ian Bourne of Bajan Reporter points out, the Central Bank of Barbados hasn’t held a quarterly statement media briefing since then.

Bajan Reporter is sticking to its guns and hasn’t published the bank’s quarterly reports, and won’t until the institution resumes press briefings. In return, the bank has cut off advertising revenues to The Bajan Reporter, but as Bourne says, he will not sacrifice his dignity at the alter of CBB’s coffers.

And as Worrell is showing – once a thug, always a thug.

Check out The Bajan Reporter for the whole story on how the Central Bank of Barbados is failing to be accountable and transparent to citizens and government alike: Bajan Reporter will carry CBB’s media statements as soon as Quarterly Press Conferences resume.

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Government, Business & Banking, Economy, Ethics, Freedom Of Information, Freedom Of The Press

Loveridge: A competitive world means businesses must perform or fail

monkey-business-barbados.jpg

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

From a tourism perspective and many other sectors, it is almost impossible to comprehend how so many businesses seem to think they can trade to an optimal degree without maintaining a fully functioning and up-to-date website and/or Facebook page.

Also surprising is the number of local companies who take to the air via radio or in print with ‘ads’ promoting new products, but have simply not thought through any potential consumer response, especially in terms of disseminating details like price, sizes, varieties and availability.

Do they realistically think that possible buyers are going waste time trying to extract the details in a protracted phone call and that’s assuming that the person on the other end actually knows anything about the item(s)?

Of course there are notable exceptions, but certainly in my experience, frequently emails are not either answered at all, or days go by without a timely response.

In case some have not noticed our world has become increasingly more competitive and many ‘buyers’ simply will not wait for prolonged periods, when often they have responsive alternatives a simple click away.  Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Business & Banking

Harlequin selling Headquarters building for £525,000 – Where is the £400million taken from investors?

harlequin headquarters fraud

We’d say it was like selling off the family silverware, except there is no silverware left. Probably never was any.

After slickly removing £400 million from little old ladies and transit pensioners, David Ames and his gang are selling off their headquarters to pay the bills.

The Serious Fraud Office and the Essex Police have had an open file on the bunch since early 2013, but after two years Ames is still walking around with the rotting financial corpses of thousands of victims in his wake.

Two years should be long enough for the police and the SFO to do the job. What’s the delay?

From the Professional Adviser…

Troubled Harlequin puts HQ up for sale

Troubled overseas property investment scheme Harlequin has put its headquarters up for sale.

The warehouse and offices in the Honywood Business Park in Basildon have been listed for sale on property website Rightmove for £525,000. Harlequin owner David Ames would also consider leasing back the first floor offices at a rent of £25,000 per year, according to the advert.

A spokesperson for the company said: “Harlequin owns its Basildon offices and occupies the first floor of Unit 11, with all other space let to third parties.

“Harlequin is attempting to sell in order to discharge its liability and remove its responsibilities as a lessor.”

The move raises further questions over the financial situation of the company, which has received £400m from investors that they are currently unable to access.

Unregulated investment scheme Harlequin worked by taking deposits from mainly UK pension investors to build off-plan properties in the Caribbean, which could then be sold at a profit on completion or used to generate a rental income from holidaymakers. But out of a scheduled 6,000 properties, about 300 have been built.

… read the rest at the Professional Adviser

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Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Consumer Issues, Crime & Law, Offshore Investments

Does Leroy Parris of CLICO infamy have anything to do with Welches Insurance Agent Inc. ?

Editor’s note: Remember folks… this is an anonymous blog so don’t take anything for true without a little salt and lots of questions. We received this anonymously and have no way to check the information.

If it is true, it is news. If it’s not true, it was sent by some anonymous mischief troublemaker…

submitted by anonymous…

I would like for somebody to tell me how it is that Faye Wharton-Parris wife of CLICO Ex boss Leroy Parris has so boldly displayed on the door next to her business Premier Event Services Inc @ Welches Plaza a sign with the name Welches Insurance.

Are people so blind or is it that they don’t know of this newly formed insurance Company? I know for a fact that it is belongs to them. The PARRISES making jokes at us and turning some Bajans into parros because they can’t get their investments back.

Name    WELCHES INSURANCE AGENT INC.
Number    37958
Category    Company
Date registered / Incorporated    2014-02-18

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Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Corruption, Offshore Investments

Barbados Tourism Minister Richard Sealy on natural gas shortage – Hotels, businesses at fault for failing to plan for government’s failure to plan.

Barbados is paying the price for Prime Minister Stuart's wrong decisions and planning failures.

Barbados businesses and citizens are paying the price for Prime Minister Stuart’s wrong decisions, planning failures.

submitted by old todd

For the past four months – not “a few weeks” as said by The Nation newspaper – businesses, restaurants and hotels have been devastated by the failure of the Barbados Government to deliver sufficient natural gas. Every industry using natural gas has been impacted, right from biscuit maker WIBISCO that lost 60% production and 50% of export sales in December, to restaurants and hotels along the west and south coasts forced to close or suffer tourist cancellations.

Tourism Minister Richard Sealy says businesses should be ready for his government's failure to plan.

Tourism Minister Richard Sealy says businesses should be ready for his government’s failure to plan.

The harm to our tourism and manufacturing sectors will not be over when the shortage ends. It will take a year or more to regain the confidence of tourists and business customers who were directly impacted.

The government and the National Petroleum Corporation are portraying this as the failure of two wells – something that could not have been foreseen. What rot!

The truth is that Barbados has been running too close to the line for years, with known insufficient reserves and weaknesses in the distribution system. There was no surprise – this has been coming for years as predicted by industry pundits.

So now that the crisis is here, government is taking steps to import the machinery and perform repairs that should have been done years ago. That is only a stop-gap until new wells and natural gas imports can be arranged for.

And we have no money.

Government made decisions to withhold spending on distribution system maintenance and improvement. Government made decisions every year for the past seven to lower natural gas reserves and to sail closer to the disaster zone, counting on luck and hope that we would have enough gas to get through the busy tourist high season.

That was a decision and it was the wrong decision. Now the country is paying.

Further Reading

Barbados Today: Toppin: Deal with natural gas shortage

Nation News: Hoteliers told to get back-up energy

Nation News: Biscuit Blues

Advocate: PM: Efforts on to resolve natural gas shortage

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Business & Banking, Economy, Energy

Inter-American Development Bank cancels $160m loan for Barbados Four Seasons project

barbados four seasons construction

Another monster project left to rot in the Bajan sun

The on again – off again Barbados Four Seasons resort project may have received its final coffin-nail with the IDB finally withdrawing from this decade-old debacle. (Nation News: IDB withdraws loan for Four Seasons)

How much taxpayer funding has the Barbados government poured into this mess? Are we allowed to know? Did the government transfer any of the National Insurance Scheme pension funds to the project developers?

Barbados Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler has made all sorts of claims. In March 2013 he told Bajans that our taxpayer monies would be recovered on the sale of the Four Seasons. Well Mr. Sinckler? Where’s our money?

Back then, BFP’s readers were asked if Bajan taxpayers would recover all the monies that their government invested in the Four Seasons. 50% said we’ll never know the truth, 43.5% said there was not a chance that we would recover the monies. 6.4% said we’d get back all the money, (but that was probably Minister Sinckler himself sitting there for voting for hours.)

Former PM Thompson said that supporting Four Seasons could be “extremely risky” to the DLP Government, but Freundel Stuart went ahead and did it after Thompson died.

“Now of course the first objective is not for Government to give guarantees to projects of this type. So the Government is not available, generally speaking, for that kind of thing and I want to make that abundantly clear. It is extremely risky. It has brought down Governments in other countries and I don’t intend to let it bring down my government. And it can sometimes smack of an element of favouritism and once you start it, it becomes like a rolling stone that will gather moss…and therefore, we have to be very careful,”

February 2, 2010 – Prime Minister David Thompson in the Barbados Advocate article PM defends stance on Four Seasons

Hard Times have arrived in Barbados

We’ve said it before, and we’ll keep saying it…

1/ Shun debt. Shun expenses. Live as frugally as you can.

2/ Work hard, save what you can.

3/ Look after family and friends as you are able because you might need their help someday.

4/ Learn to grow food, repair your own car, maintain your own home. Repair clothes, repair everything. Don’t buy new anything: let some other fool pay the depreciation!

5/ Smile at the tourists, make them feel welcome but never pressured. Pick up the rubbish where you can and never do anything that takes away from the beauty of Bim.

6/ Thank God for what you do have – then get back to working harder than you ever have before.

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Business & Banking, Economy, Offshore Investments, Real Estate

Harlequin victims hit with new lawsuit from Guardian SIPP

Abandoned Harlequin H Hotel is a testament to Barbados politicians' greed and incompetence.

Abandoned Harlequin H Hotel is a testament to Barbados politicians’ greed and incompetence.

Many “investors” in Dave Ames’ Harlequin ponzi scheme lost everything they had and more. Many of the gullible mortgaged their homes to “invest” in Harlequin, and relied upon the promises of Harlequin’s sales representatives. But the sales people knew that no legitimate investment could afford to pay the commissions that Harlequin was paying it’s representatives.

Now after losing everything, Harlequin victims are set to lose even more as Guardian SIPP is suing the investors for non-payment of the fees related to their self-invested personal pension.

Who is to blame for the mess?

Start with David Ames – but lined up with Ames should be the Government of Barbados, that allowed Harlequin companies to get away without oversight, accountability, annual filings and statements for the entire time. And our Government allowed Ames to acquire and start projects with zero oversight or consideration as to whether Ames had the means to finish those projects. As a result, the ‘H’ Hotel and Merricks projects look like bombed out disaster sites that are a testament to the greed and incompetence of the Bajan political class. Another Barbados property investment disaster that sends the wrong message to the world.

It’s fine to say that Ames and his crooked friends are responsible – but they couldn’t have done it without the wholesale purchase of willing politicians in Barbados and throughout the Caribbean.

Professional Adviser: Guardian sues Harlequin investors over SIPP fees

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Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Crime & Law, Offshore Investments, Politics & Corruption, Real Estate

With David and Matt Ames as mentors, expect great things from Colonial Capital Group PLC

“That’s quite a team!

With quite a track record: ruined lives, pensions destroyed, homes lost. Suicides. Marriage breakups. Families falling apart as the work of a lifetime vanishes.”

The Ames Gang rides again…

These guys just won’t quit.

Last March saw Harlequin’s Matthew Ames jailed for 40 months for his Forestry for Life fraud that took £1.6million from investors. Ames stole from the rich, from the poor, from widows and pipefitters.

Matt Ames was an equal opportunity swindler who dressed well and talked with such easy confidence that people immediately trusted him. And, hey… didn’t his family develop the acclaimed Harlequin Resorts? Yeah… shouldn’t be any problem with investing in Forestry For Life. Even James Middleton was in the picture! (Oh… you don’t know James? Ah… you might be more familiar with his sister Kate and brother-in-law William: as in “our future King and Queen”.)

One of Matt Ames’ colleagues at Forestry for Life was Kevin Neil – then on the rebound from seeing the High Court shut down his two property firms in the public interest – Agri Ventura PLC and Farm Venture Ltd. Neil was also the main figure in the CleanTech NRG financial collapse.

Three of Kevin Neil's CleanTech victims

Three of Kevin Neil’s CleanTech victims. Despite all Mr. Neil’s current directorships and past failed companies, we couldn’t find a photo of Mr. Neil. Can anyone assist?

The Mirror UK called Neil’s business a “Landbanking scam” and reported…   Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Crime & Law, Ethics, Offshore Investments, Real Estate, Royal Family

Typewriter salesman calls for Barbadians to save his job by giving up their computers

Barbados Travel Agent

Okay, Okay… Indar Weir isn’t really a typewriter salesman – he is the President of the Travel Agents Association of Barbados and operates the Indar Weir Travel Centre. Indar and his industry are hurting badly because Bajans are booking their flights and vacation accommodations online – by themselves – and without a travel agent between the customer and the keyboard.

Barbados travel agents are pleading with Bajans to use their services instead of booking online “to save jobs and keep money in the country.”

In my little corner of this rock, charity will have to begin at home. I am not willing to pay the extra fee for something I can do myself online, after Google searching the millions of vacation options on the internet.

As much as I feel sorry for Indar and his colleagues, the writing was on the wall ten years ago. Mr. Weir and his colleagues tried to adapt, but were pushed out by the large online travel agencies. The travel agents’ plea in the latest Nation reminds me of the Luddites – who protested against newly developed labour-replacing machinery in the first quarter of the 1800’s.

Now that the Bajan economy is in melt-down with the government continually late delivering paycheques to employees, contractors and suppliers, most folks don’t have money to travel. Thousands are taking that “stay-cation” called unemployment after being made redundant.

Booking online is cheaper, easier, faster and offers more choices than any local travel agent. Sorry, but the world changed, and I will no longer be taking the afternoon off to pick-up my tickets from the travel agency.

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Business & Banking, Economy

Newly revealed report details Harlequin Resorts due diligence disaster

Dave Ames Harlequin Ponzi

If you can’t see fraud and Ponzi schemes here… you aren’t looking!

According to a due diligence chart posted online, Harlequin Resorts’ The Merricks development in Barbados did not file financial accounts for seven years between 2006 and 2013.

During that same period The Merricks took in £47,946,581 in payments from victims ‘investors’ but only spent £7,971,246 for land and construction costs.

That leaves £39,975,335 outstanding, or… a better way would put it: that leaves £39,975,335 MISSING.

How many Ministers of Government received ‘campaign donations’ from Harlequin during this period? How did our government protect investors and Barbados’ reputation during this period?

Why did the Barbados government allow this to happen? Seven years without required filings and Barbados politicians were content to line up for photographs with Harlequin’s David Ames? What the heck were they thinking?

Or… were our politicians simply delivering the service that they had been paid to deliver? With no Integrity Legislation and no Freedom of Information laws, Bajans will likely never be able to prove who the villains are.

The Harlequin Resorts chart is nothing more or less than a confirmation that Harlequin was and is nothing more or less than a gigantic Ponzi scheme.

More and more the questions are shifting from Harlequin to the UK and Barbados authorities charged with maintaining the law…

The question has become: Why have the authorities not acted to arrest and charge David Ames and his co-conspirators?

Comments are open!

You can download the due diligence report at Barbados Free Press here, or download it from FileTea.

 

 

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Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Offshore Investments, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption

The real reason greedy Bajan political elites want to dump the Westminster parliamentary system

Even the Captain of a floating wreck lives better off than the crew!

Even the Captain of a floating wreck lives better off than the crew!

submitted by Not Michael Carrington

“Rare indeed is a Barbados Cabinet Minister without a bank account in New York, London, the Caymans or Zurich.”

Every few months we hear rumbling from our esteemed political elites that the Westminster parliamentary system is somehow “obsolete” or that it no longer fits a modern society.

Speaker of Parliament Michael Carrington recently said the Westminster system “pits Government and Opposition inexorably against each other in aggressive, contentious and oftimes seemingly unnecessary confrontation.”

Mr. Carrington has it only half right. The two parties often go at it aggressively and unnecessarily, but not because of the Westminster system – it is because they feel the need to put on a show for the electorate to create the illusion that something is happening. The politicians certainly can’t have the public judging them solely upon actual accomplishments because, well, that just wouldn’t do. This would happen no matter what political system Barbados chose. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Corruption, Freedom Of Information, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption, Uncategorized

A camel named Barbados

Barbados Taxes

In case anyone hasn’t noticed, opposition to the new Solid Waste Tax is turning into a national cause – uniting taxpayers across party lines. It may well be the proverbial ‘straw’.

The sight of Opposition Leader Mia Mottley cursing the government for introducing the tax is laughable though – considering that it was Mottley and Arthur and their BLP who robbed de place bare when they were the government. Had the BLP government acted properly when in power, Barbados would be in much better shape today.

We’re broke. Something has to give and both parties are responsible.

But this tax is not going to fly. People haven’t got it, and they can’t pay what they don’t have and won’t ever have.

Freundel Stuart should read some books on what happened 1937.

Different situation, I know, but this kettle is already boiling and the Municipal Solid Waste Tax just turned up the heat.

Thanks to talented artist Connie O’Neill for allowing us to steal her drawing.

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Filed under Barbados, Business, Business & Banking

Canadian banks unhappy with Caribbean investments and loans

Caribbean-bank-money_laundering

“Last year unemployment in Barbados stood at nearly 12%, but it the rate is forecast to rise to 15.6% in 2015, according to the IMF.”

According to the International Monetary Fund, RBC, CIBC and Bank of Nova Scotia are dominant players across the region with about 60% of total banking assets, almost as strong as their position in Canada. But are those players starting to question their enthusiasm in the face of the regions worrying economic malaise?

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce warned last week that it will take a $420-million charge to goodwill related to its subsidiary CIBC FirstCaribbean, which it blamed on “persistently challenging economic conditions and our current expectations for conditions going forward.”

With unemployment in the U.S. still stubbornly high, the middle class seems to be taking more modest holidays, with far fewer traveling to the Caribbean. The developed world is starting to recover from the turmoil but the numbers suggest that’s not the case in countries like Barbados and Jamaica.

… much more in the Financial Post: How the Caribbean is not so sunny anymore for Canadian banks

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Central Banking Review: “Newspaper spat puts serious dent in credibility of Central Bank of Barbados”

central bank Barbados dispute

When the governor of the Central Bank of Barbados had his little hissy-fit against The Nation, do you think that he envisioned the worldwide condemnation his actions attracted?

Here’s the link for CentralBanking.com’s story, but you’ll need to sign up for a free trial to read the whole thing. We didn’t sign up but your choice might be different.

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados News & Media, Business & Banking, Freedom Of The Press