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Country ‘can benefit from scandal’

SHAWN CUMBERBATCH, [email protected]

Country ‘can benefit from scandal’

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THE PANAMA PAPERS scandal can work in favour of Barbados’ international business and financial services sector.

While a negative spotlight is now being shone on offshore financial centres like Barbados in the wake of millions of confidential client documents at a Panama law firm being leaked, a senior official of the Barbados-based international business company, J&T Bank and Trust Inc., is seeing positives from the scandal.

Speaking recently at Invest Barbados during the launch of J&T’s 20th anniversary celebrations, Jacqueline Inniss, head of the company’s trust and corporate department, said the Panama Papers could be an opportunity for Barbados to attract more international business.

“Because Barbados is a well regulated jurisdiction, clients have confidence in Barbados, and I see it as an opportunity. We can use this Panama Papers [issue] to our advantage,” she said.

J&T’s chief executive officer Derrick Cummins said clients understood that things like the Panama Papers and black listings took place sometimes.

“Our clients are primarily high net worth or ultra-high net worth individuals, or persons with an active business . . . . They understand our commitment to them,” he said.

J&T, which has a client base in Canada, Latin America, west and central Europe, is one of the leading private banking and investment companies in Barbados. It employs about 20 people.

Chairman Daniel Drahotsky of the Czech Republic said his company was committed to Barbados. He noted that Barbados’ attraction went beyond the weather to include its “stability”.

The J&T group manages about US$10 billion in assets, and the chairman said Barbados provided an opportunity to expand its client base.

Barbados International Business Association executive director Henderson Holmes congratulated the company for the contribution it has made to Barbados over the last 20 years. (SC)