What are External Accounts in the banking system in Barbados?

External Accounts are local accounts denominated in Barbados Dollars that can only be held by non-residents. [1] They cannot be 'overdrawn' without permission from the Central Bank of Barbados.

Like regular Barbados Dollar denominated accounts, they are subject to exchange controls but External Accounts have unrestricted access to foreign exchange up to the balance on the account. [2]

Local banks will only allow a customer to open and maintain a bank account in Barbados if they have an appropriate visa or permit allowing them to reside in Barbados. If that visa or permit expires, the bank account is normally closed shortly thereafter.

If you are residing in Barbados on the Welcome Stamp visa, you can open a local bank account if you wish. You can choose to hold a Foreign Currency Account, or an External Account denominated in Barbados Dollars.

Please note External Accounts are subject to the 2% Foreign Exchange Fee, as with other Barbados Dollar denominated accounts, when accessing the foreign exchange market.

[1] See Exchange Control Circular No. 3 for the definition of 'non-residents' for exchange control purposes.

[2] External Accounts have unrestricted access to foreign exchange pursuant to Exchange Control Circular No. 4