Barbados courts Canadian captives

"We recognize that we are operating in times where things are moving very quickly"

Barbados courts Canadian captives

Insurance News

By Jen Frost

Top 10 global captive destination Barbados will continue to look to set standards and build on its flexibility, attendees at an Ottawa reception hosted by Invest Barbados heard last week.

“As we look ahead, we are committed to continuously enhancing our capabilities, refining our regulations, and fostering an environment of strengthened collaboration and increased knowledge exchange,” High Commissioner of Barbados to Canada H.E Gline Clarke (pictured below) told attendees.

“We see a future where Barbados remains a trailblazer in the captive insurance industry, setting new standards and exemplifying the potential that emerges when nations work together toward a common goal.”

Photo credit: Invest Barbados

Barbados has traditionally been an attractive destination for Canadian captives. There were 308 active captive insurance companies in Barbados as of December 31, 2021, with Canadian and US captives making up around 74% of these, according to figures from the Financial Services Commission of Barbados (FSC).

“The relationship between Barbados and Canada is not just a diplomatic one – it’s a partnership built on shared values, common goals, and mutual respect,” Clarke said. “Our nations have a long history of collaboration in various fields, and it’s heartening to see the synergies extend to the world of risk management and insurance.”

Warrick Ward, FSC CEO, told attendees who were in Ottawa for RIMS Canada 2023, that the Barbadian regulator will look to eschew “heavy handed” regulation of the past.

“We recognize that we are operating in times where things are moving very quickly, so we need to regulate with a different touch,” Ward said. “We still want to make sure that we have a robust system, but we also want to make sure that we are sufficiently flexible to foster the levels of innovation that will be required to have a very vibrant financial sector, one that is also resilient.

“What we have been doing is building in these levels of, I would want to say, efficiencies within our system, within our ecosystem [in] Barbados as well as the FSC, and we want to continue.”

Barbados and Bermuda, which takes the global number one spot, may be more typically thought of as destinations for insurance captives, but Canadian onshore options have grown. Last year, Alberta became the second Canadian province to open for business to new insurance captives, joining British Columbia (BC).

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