What Are the Best Banks in Barbados?

The best banks in Barbados vary by customer profile and include both domestic banks and international banks with a local presence in the country.

In this article, we’re looking at the best banks to open accounts with in Barbados for expats, foreigners, and foreign entities.

If you would like to access our free Caribbean banking series, Barbados-specific, click the link and unlock our team’s expert take on Barbadian banks, Barbados banking requirements, personal and business banking in Barbados, and much more.

You can also use the table of contents and jump to the section that covers your area of interest in Barbados.

Table of Contents

  1. What Are the Best Banks in Barbados?
    1. What Are the Best Banks for Expats in Barbados?
    2. What Are the Best Banks for Foreign Non-Residents in Barbados?
    3. What Are the Best Banks for Foreign Entities in Barbados?
  2. Benefits of Opening an Account With Barbados Banks?
  3. Frequently Asked Barbados Banking Questions?
  4. Alternative Countries to Banking in Barbados
  5. Ready to Open an Offshore Bank Account?

What Are the Best Banks in Barbados?

The best banks in Barbados include both domestic and foreign banking institutions like RBC, Scotiabank, and First Caribbean. However, these banks and other top-rated financial institutions in Barbados can be difficult to access if you are applying as a foreign or non-resident individual or entity.

With this in mind, most applicants looking for personal banking or corporate banking will need to carefully assess their profile, requirements, and ties to Barbados before choosing which bank to apply with. This is especially true if applicants want to open with one of the international banks in Barbados. These international banks tend to have very specific account opening criteria and qualifying requirements, and in most cases, they require ties to Barbados.

Additionally, if you are actively looking to open a bank account in Barbados, you should also take time to assess the Barbados economy, Barbados banking regulations, and the local financial industry more broadly.

Likewise, before applying for accounts with a specific bank, you should confirm that they offer the money management solutions and Barbados banking services you require, cater to clients with your profile, and accept an initial deposit you can afford.

If you would like to explore a more detailed schedule of operating financial corporations and a list of banks in Barbados, you can click here to access our free guide. Alternatively, we’ve also compiled details on the top leading financial groups and the largest banks in Barbados, though these banks are typically not available to foreign non-residents.

By taking the time to assess these Barbados-specific factors, you will be able to confirm whether Barbados is a suitable banking jurisdiction for your needs. Likewise, by assessing each Barbadian bank directly, you will end up finding the best bank in Barbados for your unique requirements.

With this in mind, we’re going to help you explore Barbadian banking options by looking at which banks in Barbados are best for expats.

What Are the Best Banks for Expats in Barbados?

Before discussing the best banks for expats in Barbados, it’s important to point out that we are defining “expats” as foreign individuals who have the legal right to work or reside in Barbados, either on a visa or with residency status.

Not surprisingly, expats in Barbados typically have more options to consider than foreign non-residents who do not reside in the country. That said, even with the legal right to be in the country, Barbadian financial institutions can still be difficult to access.

With this in mind, we typically suggest that expats in Barbados look for financial institutions with the following attributes.

Characteristics of the Best Banks in Barbados for Expats

  • Accepting foreigners with Barbadian residency and work permits
  • Flexible requirements for proof of address in Barbados
  • Minimum deposit requirements for foreigners with clear ties to Barbados
  • Low-cost domestic transfers between Barbadian banks
  • Accepts deposits via transfer services from outside of Barbados
  • Reasonable hours for in-person services in key locations like Bridgetown
  • English-speaking customer support

Again, these are the characteristics that individuals living and working in Barbados should consider when deciding where to apply to open accounts.

If you fit into this category and would like to take a closer look at managing your wealth with a personal bank account in Barbados, you can click this link to access our free guide now. Alternatively, if your objectives are more aligned with international financial management or offshore banking in Barbados you may find our dedicated offshore banking guide more helpful.

What Are the Best Banks for Foreign Non-Residents in Barbados?

Foreign non-residents of Barbados, meaning individuals without the legal right to reside or work in Barbados, need to consider Barbadian banks that specifically cater to international clients. Fortunately, as an offshore banking jurisdiction, Barbados does have international options to choose from, though the account opening requirements at the larger international banks tend to be more difficult to meet. It’s also important to note that foreign non-residents will need to meet qualifying financial requirements in order to open an account in Barbados. In most cases, this involves a combination of total assets, annual income, and a qualifying deposit.

When it comes to foreigners opening accounts in Barbados, we typically suggest Barbados financial institutions with the following attributes.

Characteristics of the Best Banks in Barbados for Foreign Non-Residents

  • Accepting foreign non-residents of Barbados
  • Accepting of your citizenship and residency
  • Requires supporting documents you can provide
  • Does not require Barbados documents you don’t have
  • Does not require ties to Barbados that you don’t have
  • Requires a deposit amount you can afford
  • Allows transfers to and from Barbados and desired countries
  • Charges reasonable international transaction fees
  • Charges reasonable account maintenance fees
  • Offers international debit and credit cards
  • English-speaking customer support

If you are a foreign non-resident of Barbados and you would like to explore your options further, you can use the personal guide linked above.

Alternatively, if you’re looking to make a larger deposit, you can explore luxury financial services and private banking in Barbados using our free guide here.

What Are the Best Banks for Foreign Entities in Barbados?

Foreign entities refer to legal entities registered as holding companies, operating businesses, and foreign trusts and foundations outside of Barbados. Importantly, while these entities often struggle to bank elsewhere, Barbados is a stable jurisdiction that these entities can usually access.

Of course, in order to open accounts with a bank in Barbados, these entities need to pass compliance obligations, meet Barbados banking requirements, and make a qualifying deposit. Additionally, many banks in Barbados will want to see these entities establish a local presence or demonstrate a suitable economic tie.

While the deposits to open in Barbados for holding companies and certain operating businesses are considered reasonable, foreign trusts and foundations should expect to deposit considerably more when opening a Barbados bank account for private banking and wealth management purposes.

With this in mind, we typically suggest Barbados financial institutions with the following attributes for foreign entities

Characteristics of the Best Banks in Barbados for Foreign Entities

  • Accepting of entities registered outside of Barbados
  • Accepts your entity’s specific country of registration
  • Accepts the citizenship and residency of the shareholder and directors
  • Supports the specific industry or purpose of the entity
  • Does not require documents from Barbados your entity doesn’t have
  • Does not require ties to Barbados that your entity doesn’t have
  • Requires a deposit amount your entity can provide
  • Allows transfers to and from Barbados and desired countries
  • Charges reasonable international transaction fees
  • Charges reasonable account maintenance fees

If you’re interested in financial solutions for a legal entity and need a Barbados business bank account, you can click this link to access our free guide now.

Benefits of Opening an Account With Barbados Banks?

When compared to other offshore jurisdictions, the potential financial rewards and Barbados banking benefits include over 40 double tax agreements, access to reputable international banks, a stable country with a commitment to international standards, and the availability of USD banking facilities.

Additionally, a Barbados account can be opened remotely, is available to a wide range of citizenships and nationalities, and is also accessible to both foreign and offshore entities. That said, many of the banks operating in Barbados prefer to see a local presence or economic tie.

Here is a full list of the benefits you can receive when you open accounts in Barbados.

Benefits of Opening a Bank Account in Barbados

  • 40 double tax agreements
  • Access to sophisticated private banking
  • Remote account opening
  • Reasonable deposit requirements
  • Accepting of many citizenships and residencies

Lastly, Barbados financial institutions also offer access to a wide range of foreign account services, ranging from investment products to multi-currency accounts. Of course, this is in addition to offering direct access to the Barbadian Dollar (BBD), the official currency of Barbados.

Foreign Bank Account Services in Barbados

  • Multi-currency accounts
  • Online account management
  • International debit cards
  • International credit cards
  • International transfers
  • Domestic transfers
  • Fixed deposit accounts
  • Investment products

Of course, many of these benefits can be obtained when opening accounts outside of Barbados as well. With this in mind, let’s take a look at the alternative countries to Barbados that you may want to consider.

Alternative Countries to Banking in Barbados

There are a number of alternative countries you may want to consider instead of banking in Barbados. However, each Barbados alternative has its own unique considerations. Likewise, similar to Barbados, they tend to cater to specific client profiles.

In the case of Barbados, applicants typically include individuals who have a specific connection or tie to Barbados. Alternatively, Barbados also attracts individuals seeking private banking and wealth management. For this reason, Barbados is often suitable for anyone looking for attractive private banking services who wants to bank with one of the international banks active in the country.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that there are many account expenses and other costs to banking in Barbados, as there are in the alternative jurisdictions you might be considering. It’s also important to note that you may have difficulties transmitting money or sending money to Barbados from your existing accounts. These are factors you should also consider when looking at alternative options.

Here are a few alternative banking hubs to Barbados that you might want to consider. These first three alternatives were selected because they are home to institutions with similar onboarding processes and deposit requirements as Barbados. However, the last two typically cater to a different clientele than banks in Barbados. With this in mind, they may be worth considering if you decide that the deposit requirements in Barbados are too high.

Alternatives to Banking in Barbados

  • Bermuda
  • Guernsey
  • Bahamas
  • Panama
  • The Isle of Man

Needless to say, there are risks to banking in any of these countries just as there are wealth-related concerns and risks to banking in Barbados as a foreign non-resident.

So, before deciding where to apply, don’t forget to do your research, understand the risks of each country and bank, and choose the option that best meets your profile and needs.

Frequently Asked Barbados Banking Questions

Below are a few of the most common questions we receive from people searching for the best banks in Barbados. If you have further questions you would like answered, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us directly.

What International Banks Are Licensed in Barbados?

There are seven (7) international banks that are licensed to operate in Barbados. The banks available to you will depend on the type of banking services you require and your desired deposit level. This is because not all international banks in Barbados offer services to non-resident clients. In fact, non-resident banking in Barbados can be difficult to access unless you are able to meet specific financial requirements.

What Are the Major Banks in Barbados?

The major banks in Barbados include both local and foreign financial institutions. For example, one major local bank in Barbados is First Citizens and one major foreign bank in Barbados is FirstCaribbean. That said, although these are considered major banks in Barbados, it does not necessarily mean they are suitable banking options for your client profile. Instead, it’s important to choose a bank that meets your banking needs and deposit level.

What Are the Top 3 Best Banks?

The top three best banks in Barbados ultimately depend on the individual (or business) applying to open a bank account. This is because each bank caters to specific client types, whether it is retail banking, business banking, or private banking. More specifically, the top bank for one client can differ from the top bank for another client, and vice versa. So banks should be assessed based on how they relate to the specific profile and needs of each prospect.

Ready to Open an Offshore Bank Account?

If so, you can access GlobalBanks Insider and start the process of applying for an offshore account in a few clicks.

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And “yes!” GlobalBanks Insider is designed to help foreign and non-resident individuals and companies open bank accounts.

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GlobalBanks Team
GlobalBanks Team

The GlobalBanks editorial team comprises a group of subject-matter experts from across the banking world, including former bankers, analysts, investors, and entrepreneurs. All have in-depth knowledge and experience in various aspects of international banking. In particular, they have expertise in banking for foreigners, non-residents, and both foreign and offshore companies.

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