Tag Archives: Barbados Offshore Banking

Canadian banks unhappy with Caribbean investments and loans


“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


Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Disaster, Economy, Offshore Investments

Canada puts the tax squeeze on Barbados offshore corporations. Barbados puts on Happy Face!

Barbados Smiles Happy Face

Barbados puts on a happy face and buries in the press release that offshore secrecy between Bim and Canada is a thing of the past…

The Protocol amending the Agreement between Canada and Barbados for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income and Capital is now in effect. It entered into force on 17 December 17, 2013.

“On November 8, 2011, Canada and Barbados signed a Protocol to amend the 1980 DTA. This Protocol, among other things, now allows entities operating in the international financial services sector to benefit from a number of provisions in the Treaty, including the provisions on residency. In addition, such entities will now be covered under the new comprehensive exchange of information provisions which now meet the OECD standard.

Barbados values the mutually beneficial and long standing relationship with Canada and welcomes this development as it will further concretise Barbados’ principles of transparency and substance. Through our network of tax treaties, it will further solidify Barbados’ commitment to international best practices on the exchange of information.

Read the full story: Barbados Prime Minister: Protocol Takes Effect


Filed under Barbados, Canada, Offshore Investments

Cameco tax mess complicated by Barbados offshore companies?

Canada Revenue Agency Barbados

Back in early May, BFP told our readers how a Canadian company avoided 1.4 billion in taxes by using an offshore subsidiary. We speculated what it means for Barbados as the Canadian tax authorities attempt to track down and close the tax loopholes that, frankly, are the life blood of our offshore banking and financial industries. (See Cameco tax case is scary for Barbados!)

In the Cameco case profits were diverted to a Swiss based subsidiary that paid a far lower tax rate than the Canadian operations of the uranium producing company.

Now one of our sharp-eyed BFP readers has come up with five Barbados offshore companies that look like they could have something to do with the Canadian Cameco company involved in the international tax mess. Some of the Directors appear throughout the companies and we wonder what it all means. According to some of the news accounts, Cameco shareholders are facing some hefty losses depending on the outcome in the Canadian courts.

We will continue to follow this case as it is a canary in the coal mine for the health of our offshore banking and companies revenues.

The Barbados offshore companies are:






Here are the names of the Company Directors and Officers. Hmmmmm…. I recognize a few names!  Continue reading


Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking

Willie & Rib Bone respond to Offshore Banking customer information leaks

Barbados Ribs

What can Barbados do to regain offshore investors’ confidence?

Willie & Rib Bone Finanshul Servises have the answer!

Between the recent Tax Havens customer data leaks and the collapsed Harlequin property investment scheme, Barbados has been hit pretty hard. Foreign investors have been wondering if Bim is still a safe destination for their hidden cash. Will the police or tax departments in their own countries somehow learn about their millions stashed away on Barbados? That’s a worry for sure!

But no worries… Barbados Free Press has learned that our own regulars Willie & Rib Bone have established their own offshore bank right here in Grape Hall. It’s a little out of the way, but that’s not so bad all things considered!

We’ll let Willie & Rib Bone tell you about it themselves if they can put down that funny looking cigarette they are sharing…

Willie and Rib Bone

“Willie & Rib Bone Finanshul Servises”

Has open it doors by da rum shack on da coast road for gentlmens of forun extrax shun from da Grate White North of Canada what want to git there money washed. Any amount of money be welcom and yore estwile bankers who has many years of experence in keepin da cash aways from pryin eyes can garantee dat you gonna get da best servises what dat money can by. We is very experence in disapeering acts and can do all sorts of fancy investin wit whatever you give us. Trust us becuz we beein in bidness for years as our polise records will show you when you inqire bout how honest we is.

Thank you for yore support,
Willie and Rib Bone

Dis is Rib Bone and Willie forget to tel you dat if you see da polise cars by da rum shack on da coste road maybe you visit a litle later when dey leave so dey dont reqwire dat you plase yo investmunt wit dem sted of us estwile finanshul opertunitists dat we are.

Rib Bone Washington, eskwire


Filed under Barbados, Offshore Investments

Tax Havens under fire in massive new leak of hidden offshore accounts


Washing money, Hiding money

contributed by “M”

Unlike the mainstream media in Barbados which seems disinclined to report on the financial shenanigans of its politicians/public figures (except the $75,000.00 cheque), the media in Canada has no such hesitation, as seen at the attached link to CBC website.  Other major media in Canada are running with the story. While 38 media outlets around the world are probing the data leaks reported in the material reported in Canada by CBC, I do not expect to read about it in the Barbados papers.

Canadian CBC: Senator’s husband put $1.7M in offshore tax havens

Canadian CBC: 450 Canadians in offshore leak

Yahoo! Finance: Report exposes secrets of offshore tax havens

While Barbados does not figure prominently in this and related CBC articles, I think Barbados authorities should be concerned.

Barbados is the third largest recipient of Canadian outward Foreign Direct Investment, after the USA and the UK; with the principal industry being “financial services”, which I expect is mainly in “offshore” accounts. Canadians are believed to to be the largest depositors in Barbados offshore bank accounts.

It may well be the case that all of those a legal.

Notwithstanding, with the spotlight being shone on the issue of  “offshore accounts” and “tax havens”, and Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty’s pledge in last week’s budget the government will bolster its efforts to fight offshore tax evasion, including launching a new whistleblower line that pays rewards for tips, improving compliance programs and demanding more information on certain financial transactions; it seems likely that some Canadians “investors” will choose to repatriate their foreign direct investments to Canada rather than face the scrutiny for Canada Revenue Agency

Not Taken


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

Banking Panic in Cyprus as accounts raided by European Union and government

Cyprus bank bailout

Germans kill Cyprus offshore banking industry and tourism

German Chancellor Angela Merkel accomplishes what the Nazis could not: ruling Europe, UK

60,000 Britons out millions of pounds thanks to the Germans

by West Side Davie

Who wants to holiday in Cyprus? How about some offshore banking transfers or savings? Thinking of buying a vacation residence?

For Brits, Europeans and just about anybody else in the world the answer to these questions just became a solid “NFW” (that’s slang for “No thank you”) as the Cypriot government moved on Friday to seize up to 9.9% of all bank accounts in the country. Electronic transfers were stopped and the auto-teller machines were emptied within a few hours of the announcement.

“This is a breach of fundamental property rights, dictated to a small country by foreign powers and it must make every bank depositor in Europe shiver. Although the representatives at the bailout press conference tried to present this as a one-off, they were not willing to rule out similar measures elsewhere – not that it would have mattered much as the trust is gone anyway.

If you can do this once, you can do it again. if you can confiscate 10 percent of a bank customer’s money, you can confiscate 25, 50 or even 100 percent. I now believe we will see worse as the panic increases, with politicians desperately trying to keep the EUR alive.

Depositors in other prospective bailout countries must be running scared – is it safe to keep money in an Italian, Spanish or Greek bank any more? I don’t know, must be the answer. Is it prudent to take the risk? You decide.

This is a major, MAJOR game changer and the fallout will be with us for a long time to come. I believe it could be the beginning of the end for the Eurozone as this is an unbelievable blow to the already challenged trust that might be left among investors.”

… Lars Seier Christensen,, CEO Saxo Bank, Denmark on his blog

If you have below 100,000 Euros in a Cyprus bank the government will only seize 6.9%. How nice of them! What’s next to go, holiday home expropriations via a 25% tax? Why not? Once a government starts grabbing private property, that’s really it. We can talk about how much to take and what to take but debating the morality is over – it’s a done deal.

Why is this happening, you might ask? The Germans won’t bail out Cyprus’s banks unless everybody Cyprus takes a hit: much the same as the Barbados Government did with CLICO victims. It’s really all the same, isn’t it?

This is bad business for Barbados too – and for a lot of reasons.

People are going to be nervous and reluctant to spend or travel. All those condo projects on the island are, overnight, looked at in a different way by Brits and Europeans. Everything is unsettled. Throw in the Harlequin Hotels and Resorts scandal and there isn’t much except clouds on the horizon for travel and tourism in Barbados and the greater Caribbean.

Further Reading

Daily Mail: The great EU bank robbery: British taxpayers to bail out victims of outrageous raid on Cyprus accounts

About the cartoon: Someone sent it around in an email with a Greek caption. We’ve inserted the English caption but we haven’t a clue where to give credit. If it’s yours, it’s brilliant, and please give us permission to use it!


Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Offshore Investments

Canadian Parliament to re-examine Barbados ‘tax-haven’

Barbados has no Integrity Legislation, no Freedom of Information, no Conflicts of Interest Rules

We stumbled upon an article in yesterday’s Nation that proves all old can be new again. It must have been a slow day in the news room because the news article TAX ATTACK is based on a blog entry from last August and is marketed as new news.

We don’t doubt that much of the Canadian doubts about Barbados and other “Tax Havens” has to do with our lack of proper regulations and laws respecting Integrity Legislation, Freedom of Information and Conflicts of Interest. How can the Canadian Government protect its citizens if offshore banking centres like Barbados do not have the same controls, rules and oversight as Canadian banks?

There is no secret why Canadian and other nation’s banks like Barbados: our “island time” slackness extends to the rules. The Canadian and European banks can get away with things in Barbados that they wouldn’t dare do ‘over ‘home. Canadian tax law permits money to flow through Barbados in many billions – but without any concommitant requirement for ITAL. (ITAL = Integrity, Transparency and Accountability Legislation)

ITAL was promised five years ago by the newly elected DLP government – but they lied.

Here’s a quote from the real story at the original blog source and the link where you can read it for yourself. How does this impact Barbados? That’s easy: tourism is in trouble and if Canada makes offshore investing difficult for Canadians, you just watch how things go ’bout hey!

“A growing share of Canada’s investment overseas is being channeled by Canadian banks into tax havens.”

“The finance and insurance sector now accounts for over 51% of Canada’s total direct investment overseas, more than double its share from 1987, more evidence that a large share of this money is going overseas to avoid taxes.   The Harper government has lauded Canada’s growing investment overseas, claiming it shows looser foreign investment rules (which allowed numerous takeovers of Canadian industry) have been beneficial, but the actual figures show the reality is quite different.  A large and growing share of this money isn’t going into real capital investments that could ultimately benefit people overseas or in Canada; it’s going into tax avoidance that benefits a wealthy few at the expense of the large majority in Canada and around the world.”

… from the August 16, 2012 Progressive Economics blog by Toby Sanger: Canadian banks use of tax havens keeps growing


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

Canadian & US authorities targeting offshore banking again

HSBC, PayPal, American Express latest accused

Barbados again called ‘tax haven’

by passin thru

Concern about the use of offshore banking in the Caribbean and other areas ebbs and flows like the tide depending upon the moods of government, notable incidents that bring the public’s attention and most of all, the state of the economy. When the economy is bad, governments and others look longingly for the hidden tax revenues and ill-gotten profits stashed offshore.

“It is apparent that the golden time of offshore banking is ending for Barbados. The question for Bajans is… what do we have to replace banking in our foreign currency earnings…?”

"Offshore banking nightmare"

In case you hadn’t noticed, the economy is bad in Canada, the USA and elsewhere. There have been some very noteworthy tax evasion cases and banking busts lately and it’s about to rain gasoline on the fire with the latest revelations about HSBC Bank. John Cruz, an employee of HSBC, has gone rogue (or gone legal) with data for thousands of HSBC bank accounts and corporations he says are used for money laundering with HSBC’s knowledge. PayPal and American Express are also fingered by the same HSBC employee for being wilfully blind or worse.

In case you’re wondering, Mr. Cruz brings a new HSBC scandal – different from when Herve Falciani (head of computer security at HSBC) went public with the detailed data of 80,000 foreign clients of HSBC’s Private Bank in Geneva, Switzerland.

With the HSBC news breaking out of Washington and New York, the new issue of Canadian Lawyer magazine calls Barbados a “Tax Haven” and talks about money laundering in the Caribbean…

“The Canada Revenue Agency refuses to divulge estimates of monies lost due to Canadian tax cheaters hiding cash offshore, but evidence suggests it’s a vast sum…”

“Canada Steamship Lines Inc., the family business of former prime minister (and lawyer) Paul Martin, has an international division registered in the Caribbean tax shelter of Barbados. The Barbadian corporation is owned by a holding company in Bermuda, another offshore haven. This complicated setup allows Canada Steamship Lines to escape paying millions in Canadian taxes.”

Canadian Lawyer: The offshore banking nightmare

Barbados makes substantial profits from offshore banking and enjoys the benefits of having thousands of tourists arriving every year for “board meetings” of their fully legal Barbados-based corporations. Common sense says there must be some criminal funds and tax evasion taking place, but we also know that our banking industry can’t be seen to be difficult or unreasonable to deal with because there are dozens of other offshore banking jurisdictions within an hour or two via business jet or airline.

Barbados is being squeezed between seeking to please the USA, Canada and the EU – and the reality that our offshore banking clients can move with the push of a few buttons of a keyboard.

Whatever the outcome of the latest HSBC scandal or anti-tax ‘haven’ moves by the US and Canadian governments, it is apparent that the golden time of offshore banking is ending for Barbados. The question for Bajans is… what do we have to replace banking in our foreign currency earnings as our offshore banking business continues to come under pressure?


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

Russian billionaire Alexander Lebedev “Barbados bank laundered a billion dollars”

Barbados Louis D’Or Bank tied to Russian organized crime money laundering

“We possess a huge amount of [supporting] documentation: Fyodorov’s payments, transferring $2 million to Suren Yegiazaryan on Cyprus via the Louis D’Or Bank. His brother Ashot Yegiazaryan cleaned a minimum of $1 billion using the same bank on Barbados. The Yegiazaryan brothers obtained control of two banks in Moscow, the Moscow National Bank and UnikomBank. They withdrew several hundred million dollars. Moreover they’ve done deals with the Ministry of Finance and cleaned the money through the Louis D’Or Bank on Barbados.”

Russian billionaire Alexander Lebedev talks to RUSSIA! Blog about big time money laundering in Barbados and other concerns.

Further Reading

Alexander Lebedev personal website


Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law

Patrick R. Hoyos: Poor Barbados justice system frightens away foreign investors

“Where is the justice?”

Editor’s comment: This article by Patrick Hoyos brilliantly explains what is probably one of the most destructive forces in our society and economy – the inability of our justice system (for a variety of reasons) to deliver justice. Bajans have long known that our highly politicized and under-funded justice system cannot be relied upon, and that “Rule of Law” in Barbados means that those in positions of power can change or ignore the rules and the law without accountability.

The big problem for the elites is that with the advent of the internet, Barbados lost the power to control information. Thus, foreign investors and people who might be thinking about doing business in Barbados now know that business disputes typically take decades to resolve before the Barbados courts. Smart money runs from doing business in such a jurisdiction.

Increasingly international investors and companies are happy to have their money flow through Barbados to other jurisdictions – but invest or do business here? Leave the money here? Now that’s something else.

We’ve reprinted Patrick’s article here in full, lest someone pressure him to remove it from his own website, but we ask you to read the full article at The Broad Street Journal. If you live, do business or invest in Barbados, you’ll soon find yourself visiting The Broad Street Journal on a daily basis and eagerly anticipating the next article.

A bridge too far

By Patrick R. Hoyos    Published May 24, 2011

It is now three months since I wrote in this space about The Tribunal That Won’t Deliver its Judgment.

Three months since I noted that, despite having to wait three years after winning their case in court to have hearings before the Severance Payments Tribunal to determine the “quantum of severance,” and nearly a year since those hearings had ended, no judgement had yet been delivered.

Three months since I pointed out the frustration felt by all of the plaintiffs that justice for them seemed only to exist on paper but could not find its way into coin of the realm.

Three months since I pointed out that one of the plaintiffs had died without receiving his settlement.

I asked then, “Where is the justice?” Continue reading


Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Offshore Investments

Canada probing Barbados Offshore Investment tax losses

Largest Canadian Labour Union calls Barbados “Tax Haven” a “problem”

An article at the Toronto Sun news agency says that a Canadian House of Commons committee recently began probing offshore accounts and tax evasion. Some Canadians are concerned that Canada’s government is “missing out on billions in potential revenue” because of low tax countries. The article names Barbados, Bahamas and the Cayman Islands.

“I was really struck to the extent to which this trend seems to be increasing when we were assured it was less of a problem… This money is not going into investing in real activities and in growing the (Canadian) economy.”

…Toby Sanger, Canadian Union of Public Employees CUPE senior economist. CUPE has almost 600,000 members and is Canada’s largest workers’ union.

This is serious business for Barbados because our national economy and well being are highly dependent upon that offshore investment from Canada. Not only that, our tourism industry is also closely linked with the offshore banking and investment sector. Many Canadians and other tourists who head for Barbados in the winter are coming for their “annual shareholders meeting” that just happens to be scheduled every year in the middle of the coldest winter months.

And don’t kid yourself that it’s about all offshore jurisdictions: Barbados is a big big player in Canadians’ offshore tax strategies. I once heard it said that Barbados is the #1 Caribbean country for Canadian offshore banking and companies. I don’t know if that is still true, but Barbados is big enough that we are squarely in the sights of those who want to curtail the ability of Canadians to pay lower tax rates.

All Hands on Deck!

The Toronto Sun article seems to be a balanced piece that gives both sides of the Canadian debate. There is a side that says offshore banking and corporate centres like Barbados actually benefit the Canadian economy by allowing Canadian companies to be competitive in the world markets.

The danger for Barbados is that in bad times governments can get focused only upon revenues and lose sight of the big picture.

As we’ve seen occasionally in Barbados, governments can raise taxes too much and ‘kill the goose’. Some Canadians want their government to restrict access to offshore banking centres like Barbados, and don’t realize this would harm Canadian industry in the long run.

Let’s hope that our government acts decisively and swiftly to convince the Canadian Government, tax authorities and Canadians in general that both countries greatly benefit from our long standing relationship and the agreements that allow both Canada and Barbados to prosper in the world economy. We are both lesser without each other.

Further Reading

Please read the article at the Toronto Sun, but we’ll reprint it here because sometimes articles go missing in cyberspace and then we have nothing to support our fair commentary. Continue reading


Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Canada, Economy, Offshore Investments

How will new Canadian tax and trust ruling impact Barbados offshore financial industry?

Canadians are some of the largest users of our Bajan offshore financial resources

An interesting article came in this morning via an email from reader “Frank”. I’m not sure what the full implications are for Barbados, but the article in the Ottawa Citizen talks like things just changed in a big way for Offshore Trusts in Barbados that are run by Canadians. Here are a few excerpts…

Canadian Court just changed the rules after 30 years!

The new rule is that a trust with multiple trustees resides where a majority of the trustees reside if the trust instrument permits majority decisions on all matters within the discretion of the trustees and the trustees actually discharge their fiduciary duties.


The issue before the Tax Court in Garron was whether a Barbadian Trust was resident in Barbados or in Canada. One determines this issue by looking at where central management and control of the trust actually resides. In Garron, Canadian residents made the key decisions on the trust’s investments and distributions. The Barbados trustee performed mere administrative functions. The Barbados trustee had minimal, if any, involvement in the affairs of the trusts other than to act as functionaries in the execution of agreements and in administrative, accounting and tax matters.

The trustee was an arm of an accounting firm formed to provide services that were complementary to its core practice areas, and in particular tax services. Although the accounting firm had significant expertise in accounting and tax matters, it was unlikely from the evidence that they had expertise in managing trust assets.

The Tax Court looked at the substance of the offshore structure and concluded that the trust was resident in Canada. Hence, it would be taxable on its worldwide income in Canada.

The details of offshore structures set up in the last 30 years warrant re-examination. Small details can trip up even the most sophisticated plans when courts move the goal posts.

…read the full article at The Ottawa Citizen Courts move offshore trust goal posts


Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Offshore Investments