Category: News

Changes to the EU Tax Blacklist for Caribbean Territories

On 13th March, 2018 the EU removed Bahrain, Marshall Islands and St. Lucia from the list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions as these jurisdictions have taken high level political commitments to address the EU’s concerns. The Bahamas, St. Kitts and Nevis and the U.S. Virgin Islands have correspondingly been placed on the blacklist, joining Trinidad and Tobago. The EU Council has advised that the screening of these countries’ tax systems was postponed due to the impact of the 2017 hurricane season.…

FSB Publishes updated data on Correspondent Banking

In its efforts to assess the decline in correspondent banking relationships, the FSB has published an update using SWIFT data. Some of the main findings are as follows: The number of active correspondents continued its decline in the first half of 2017; The number of active corridors continued to fall, however the rate of decline decreased between 2016 and 2017 (with the exception of the Americas (excl. North America)); and The decline in the number of correspondent banks did not…

St. Lucia to be removed from EU Black list

St. Lucia will join Barbados and Grenada as one of the countries removed from the EU Black list published earlier this years. The proposal was made by EU tax experts after the island “made specific commitments to adapt its tax rules and practices to EU standards.” The move is expected to be endorsed by the EU finance ministers at a meeting in Brussels on March 13th, 2018. Trinidad and Tobago is the only Caribbean territory remaining on the black list.…

The Wolfsberg Group Publishes new Questionnaire on Correspondent Banking

The Wolfsberg Group has published a new Due Diligence Questionnaire on Correspondent Banking as a primary initiative to help address the decline of Correspondent Banking Relationships. Prior to this, there was no standardized format for information required in maintenance of Correspondent Banking Relationships. According to Wolfsburg, the new form will aim to set an enhanced standard for Correspondent Banking Due Diligence and reduce additional data requirements to a minimum. This standardized document should result in a less tedious and costly…

The Bahamas approve construction of US$5.5 billion Oil Refinery and storage facility

The construction of an oil refinery and oil storage facility will be built in Grand Bahama at an estimated cost of US$4 billion. The project will be undertaken by Oban Energies Management. The first phase of the project will consist of a deep-water dock. In addition Oban will build a 4 million barrel storage facility which will be scaled up to 20 million barrels by year four and a 50,000 barrel per day oil refinery which will be scaled up…

Bitt and Montserrat sign MOU

Montserrat and Barbados based tech-firm Bitt have signed an MOU to create a digital payments eco-system in Montserrat. The MOU will provide a framework for Montserrat and Bitt to create a pilot programme which includes a feasibility study designed to test the viability of Digital E.C. Dollars in the Montserrat economy. Read more HERE…

ECCU Currency to get a major overhaul

The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) has advised that the material which the currency notes are made with will be changed from cotton to polymer. Polymer notes generally have greater longevity and durability over paper based notes. They also facilitate advanced security features like the use of metameric inks. Polymer notes, however require higher upfront production costs. The ECCB expects the first notes will be printed in 2019. Read more HERE…

Globe Finance Inc. and Signia Financial Group Inc. start merger talks

Globe Finance Inc. and Signia Financial Group Inc. have confirmed that they are currently exploring a merger, subject to regulatory approval. Globe Finance was launched by Sagicor and Goddard Enterprises; Signia was established by United Insurance Company Ltd.( now Massy United Insurance), Cave Shepherd & Company and Grace Kennedy Ltd. Signia maintains an asset base in excess of US$114 million. Read more HERE…

Tensions escalate between Guyana and Venezuela, Brazil pledges military support

Amidst the rising tensions concerning the Essequibo area in Guyana, Brazil sent a high level delegation to Guyana and Suriname to pledge military support to Guyana in the event of a Venezuelan invasion. While the visit was described as a meeting to discuss border security issues, reports have been circulating that Brazilian intelligence discovered evidence that Venezuela was considering military action against Guyana. Brazil currently has strained ties with the Maduro administration over its authoritarian governance. Meanwhile, Brazil has been…