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Easier access to Central Bank financing


Easier access to Central Bank financing

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THE CENTRAL BANK of Barbados has amended its financing schemes to make them more easily accessible to local businesses.

Effective October 1, the Bank instituted several changes to its suite of schemes that will allow, among other things, for a larger number of businesses to utilise the facilities.

Small and medium-sized enterprises from across the manufacturing, construction, engineering, tourism, renewable energy and several other productive sectors, can benefit further from these enhancements.

Acting deputy director of foreign exchange and export credits, Ian Collymore, explained that businesses seeking finance from schemes administered by the Bank through Authorized Financial Institutions (AFIs) can for the first time submit their application along with the business plan to the Bank’s foreign exchange and export credits department.

Other significant changes include the reduction in guarantee premium rates which have all been reduced to 0.75 per cent. Another important change is the increase in maturity period for loans to businesses providing accommodation in the tourism sector. Also, AFIs have been granted the authority to approve loan guarantees up to BDS$250 000. These are just some of the major adjustments made to the financing schemes.

“The enhancements will make it easier for a larger number of businesses to obtain credit facilities, while simultaneously creating an operational structure to encourage greater use by financial institutions,” Collymore stated.

He further stated that “it was very important to note that the amendments to the schemes were made after comprehensive consultations with stakeholders. Our schemes now satisfy both the needs of businesses and financial institutions in Barbados.”

The schemes were established from as early as 1978 with the most recent being added in 2010, all in an effort to make finance more easily accessible to local businesses mainly through the provision of guarantees and loans via AFIs. The existing facilities are: Export Credit Insurance, Export Finance Guarantee, Industrial Credit Fund, Credit Guarantee Scheme for Businesses, Tourism Loan Guarantee Facility and the Trade Receivables Liquidity Facility. (PR)