Author(s): Central Bank Of Barbados
On the heels of the successful relaunch of its savings bonds programme, the Central Bank of Barbados has expanded its campaign to Barbadians in the diaspora.
“Almost immediately after the launch last May, we received emails from Barbadians who live overseas asking how they could purchase savings bonds,” revealed Novaline Brewster, Public Affairs Officer at the Central Bank, “so we knew there was interest outside of Barbados.”
Brewster said that extending the campaign beyond the island’s borders was a natural progression, adding. “There are thousands of Barbadians living abroad who still have strong ties to the island, and they, like us here, want to grow their money. Savings bonds are a safe, smart way to do that.” Brewster added that the fact that the government uses funds raised from investment in savings bonds for capital works projects and other initiatives is an additional incentive for some in the diaspora. “They want to make money, they want to diversify their investments instead of having all their money in one place, and they like knowing that while they’re doing this, they’re helping Barbados to develop even more.”
An important facet of reaching out to Barbadians in the diaspora is to make purchasing savings bonds a simple exercise and the Central Bank has taken steps to do just that. “Over the past few months, we’ve been working to streamline the application and payment process,” explained Linel Franklin, a Senior Operations Officer who works with the savings bonds programme. “If you’re a Barbadian living overseas, you can apply directly to the Central Bank, and if you pay for your savings bonds with money from your overseas account, we will automatically register those funds when we receive the transfer. This will make it easier for you to remit the proceeds from your investment.”
Foreign-based Barbadians buying savings bonds with money from Barbadian accounts will need to apply for permission to transfer the funds, however. “If the money you invest came from outside Barbados, you can take it out of Barbados. If it originated within Barbados, you should still be able to do that, but you’ll need to apply for permission,” Franklin clarified.
Brewster said the Central Bank has so far focused its efforts mainly on the USA, UK and Canada, where there are large numbers of Barbadians, and the response has been positive. “We’ve heard from Barbadians who used to buy savings bonds but weren’t sure how to go about it now that they live overseas or even if they still could. If you’re a Barbadian citizen, you can buy savings bonds.”