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(Barbados Today) Describing as “unfortunate and unwarranted”, the decision by commercial banks to suspend over 300 real estate-related transactions estimated at more than $200 million, Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler Wednesday accused the financial institutions of finding every practical reason to oppose the changes made to the Barbados Revenue Authority (BRA) Act.

In a stinging rebuke of the concerns of the commercial banks, Sinckler said they were all excuses for non-cooperation with Government generally, and the BRA specifically, as the state seeks to collect the tax revenue that is legally due to it.

“It is rather unfortunate that some banks and some lawyers in Barbados are hell bent on frustrating Government’s legitimate attempts to collect the tax revenue that is due to the state by their clients,” Sinckler said Wednesday in a statement from the Ministry of Finance.

“First they said it was unconstitutional, then they said they were not clear about how the law would work, now they are claiming it is delaying transactions because the BRA cannot give tax clearance certificates fast enough,” he added.

President of the Barbados Bankers Association (BBA) Donna Wellington warned Tuesday that until there was clarification on the process of obtaining a tax clearance certificate, the financial institutions would not be in a position to close any real estate-related transactions or disburse monies associated with those deals.

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(Reuters) Uber Technologies Inc said on Tuesday it underpaid its New York City drivers for the past two-and-a-half years, an error that could cost the ride-hailing company tens of millions of dollars.

Uber generally takes a commission from its drivers after deducting taxes and some fees, but it instead took a higher percentage from its New York City drivers using the full fare before accounting for sales taxes and fees, according to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the news. on.wsj.com/2rPJOUk

Uber usually takes a 25 percent commission from U.S. drivers under a November 2014 nationwide driver agreement, the report said.

The company could pay drivers back at least $45 million, averaging at about $900 per driver, the Journal reported.

"We are committed to paying every driver every penny they are owed - plus interest - as quickly as possible," Rachel Holt, Uber's regional general manager for U.S. and Canada, said via email.

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(Barbados Today) Barbados is on pace for a second straight record year in long-stay visitor arrivals, according to Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy.

Sealy today announced that the island recorded an 8.2 per cent rise in arrivals as at the end of April, when compared to the same period last year, setting it on course to easily surpass the 610,000 visitors who came to these shores last year.

He said the performance over the first four months of the year was above the projected figure, and things are set to get even better with the annual Crop Over festival, the Caribbean Festival of Arts and several conferences still to come.

“For . . . 2017 to be trending even higher with respect to arrivals is a good thing,” the minister told reporters today on the sidelines of the 31st annual Sales Congress for the Caribbean Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors at the Hilton Barbados Resort.

Sealy did not disclose the total number of tourists who visited Barbados during the period under review, or which market performed best.

He also did not say whether the tourists have spent more money here this year than they did during the corresponding period last year.

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(Barbados Today) Commercial banks have had to suspend over 300 real estate-related transactions estimated at $211 million due to a “lack of clarity” on the processes involved in the issuance of a tax clearance certificate by the Barbados Revenue Authority (BRA).

And President of the Barbados Bankers’ Association (BBA) Donna Wellington has warned that until there was clarification, the financial institutions would not be in a position to close any real estate-related transactions or disburse monies associated with those deals.

As of March 16, 2017, the amended Barbados Revenue Authority Act, opposed by the Barbados Bar Association, demanded that individuals and corporations be fully paid up to all branches of the state before obtaining a tax clearance certificate.

The grouping of lawyers had warned that the measure would have “constitutional implications” and would “cause more mischief than it cures”.

According to the amended legislation, those wishing to obtain a tax clearance certificate to facilitate a conveyance of land, must pay all tax, interest and penalties accrued under the Land Tax Act, Cap. 78A. People are also required to repay all input taxes in accordance with Section 48(4) of the Value Added Tax Act, Cap. 87 where such tax was previously allowed under Section 46(2) of that Act.

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Barbados, May 23, 2017 – CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank has been named the “Best Retail Bank in Barbados”.

Leading print and online magazine, Global Banking and Finance Review awarded the Barbados business of the regional bank in recognition of its continued commitment to excellence in retail banking.

“CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank’s commitment to retail banking is reflected in their strategic vision, organizational structure and strong risk management which contributed to their outstanding performance for the year,” said Wanda Rich, Editor, and Global Banking & Finance Review.

“They have demonstrated a strong commitment to enhancing customer experience through including value added services and client surveys. We look forward to seeing further growth and industry-leading solutions from them in the years to come,” she added.

CIBC FirstCaribbean’s Managing Director, Barbados Operating Company, Donna Wellington said the award was “testament to the commitment of our staff at all levels, to go that extra mile every day to ensure we meet the varied needs of all of our clients both in-branch and online.” 

Managing Director, Retail, Business and International Banking, Mark St. Hill said the award was “especially gratifying for our retail staff who are on the front lines working with our clients to ensure they receive superior banking products and services which fit their lives”.

The awards honor companies that stand out in particular areas of expertise in the banking and finance industry. CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank was selected as this year’s Best Retail Bank in Barbados because of the company’s outstanding achievements and dedication to retail banking and by performing well in the following categories according to the judging panel:

•Dedication to client relations

•Launching of new mobile banking application

•Loan processes and performance

•Strong Corporate Governance and Risk Management in place

•Continued investment in technology

•Positive impact on the community they serve through financial support and volunteer efforts.

CIBC FirstCaribbean operates in 17 territories across the English and Dutch Caribbean.

 

 

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