International business and financial services are the second highest contributors to foreign exchange income in Barbados after tourism receipts. Given the immense contribution financial services make to the national economy, government administrations have over the years sought to ensure that this jurisdiction maintains its reputation for regulation and supervision consistent with the highest international standards.
The Ministry of Finance has overall responsibility for the financial sector, but direct regulation and supervision of entities carrying on financial services business is undertaken by: the Central Bank of Barbados; the Securities Commission; the office of the Supervisor of Insurance and Pensions; the International Business Unit; and the Registrar of Cooperative Societies.
There is also an Anti-Money Laundering Authority with general regulatory powers which cover, but are by no means limited to, the financial services sector. The regulatory agencies derive their functions and powers from various statutes, and these powers are bolstered through regulations and guidelines