Election uncertainty affecting investment, banker warns

Uncertainty surrounding the general election date is taking a toll on the country’s investment climate, according to one senior banker.

Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Republic Bank (Barbados) Ltd Anthony Clerk said potential investors had pulled back and were in a “wait-and-see” mode as Barbadians await a poll date.

“Around this time – pre and post elections – you would find there is a lull. There is a sort of wait-and-see attitude. So we are seeing some of that,” Clerk told Barbados TODAY in a wide-ranging interview.

In addition to the indecision linked to the election, the banker also singled out the economy for a reluctance by investors to put their money into projects here.

“Those circumstances would lead to a reduction in what would normally be a higher level of investment,” he said.

Clerk said there was “still relatively good demand” for mortgages, although, he said, even this had diminished.

He also said there were several opportunities for investment, most of which concentrated on tourism sector, with some in the renewable energy sector, albeit on a small scale.

“Barbados has traditionally been a tourist destination and I think that we have some level of advantage in that area. So I think we should continue. Barbados is a relatively safe country with a stable political climate [and] a good quality of education. So those are some of the positive areas that will continue and the concentration in tourism has held Barbados in relatively good stead over a number of years. So I believe they should continue that area,” he said.   

The banking executive recommended that the country be positioned as a high-end destination, with a strong focus on medical and health care tourism.

“That would be a good advantage. Barbados is a good place to recuperate,” he added.

Pointing out that financial institutions here were “ready and willing” to back a number of investments, Clerk said he also saw tremendous potential for investments in retirement homes and assisted living “for both residents [since] Barbados is an aging population . . . but also tied into tourism and foreign visitors”.

The banker of more than three decades, who took up his current position in October last year, said he was most concerned about the island’s poor ranking in the World Bank Doing Business 2018 Report, in which Barbados is ranked 132nd, down from the 119th in the 2016 report. The country was not ranked in the 2017 report.

“We are going in the wrong direction,” he said of the island’s performance.

“So one of the things I would like to see is the whole ease of doing business being improved and Government laying the foundation to facilitative framework for the private sector led growth, that is a very important initiative that must happen,” Clerk stressed.

25 Responses to Election uncertainty affecting investment, banker warns

  1. archy perch March 6, 2018 at 3:03 am

    I wish the people of Barbados would take all their monies out of these banks and join Credit Unions instead. Republic; Scotia and the likes are now all controlled by Trinidad and Trinidadians. They all have us by the hopping balls. All your credit histories are in Trinidad and everything goes to Trinidad for their approval. These Trinidad controlled banks snatch homes in this country from persons who might miss a few payments on their mortgages, and sell them to their Trinidadian friends for bargain prices. The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados. Lord help us.

  2. archy perch March 6, 2018 at 3:04 am

    Owen Arthur and the Barbados Labour Party sold us out first.

    • Jennifer March 6, 2018 at 7:48 am

      I like how u said “FIRST” – lovely. But does it really matter who was first or second?? mind you, and still doing IT.

      • Jennifer March 6, 2018 at 7:52 am

        Our bread has been made stiff, and waters bitter. And our education like a water course.

        • lester March 6, 2018 at 9:28 am

          Credit Unions are operating just as the bank

          • Jennifer March 6, 2018 at 9:39 am

            But why wouldn’t they?? Same carbon copy.

  3. hcalndre March 6, 2018 at 4:10 am

    @archy perch; belching out more sewage again, have you read and understand what Mr. Clerk have said. What do you expect when you miss your monthly mortgage payments, the lending institutions have to get their monies. You should ask the PM about the dismal ranking of 132 or as he said that Barbados have Rihanna and Sir Garry so rankings don`t mean a thing, do you agree with him?

  4. hcalndre March 6, 2018 at 4:33 am

    The PM believes that he is hurting Miss. Mottley and the BLP by delaying the election as long as possible and on the other side he is causing the country more financial loses, what a smart man?

    • Atman March 6, 2018 at 10:58 am

      Fundel is damn dog.

  5. Carson C. Cadogan March 6, 2018 at 6:56 am

    These white people are crawling out of the woodwork in large numbers to offer support to their Barbados Labour Party.

    • Jennifer March 6, 2018 at 7:17 am


      @hcalndre- Come on, Archy is correct.

      • hcalndre March 6, 2018 at 8:18 am

        @Jennifer; archy is correct about what. You lived in England and you have known and seen that bajans are the least of people (immigrants) that have or ran their own affairs. The Jamaicans, the Indians are some of entrepreneurs and business people, bajans are not, so why blame the Trinidadians for Barbados` ineptness. Where can you miss a few payments on your mortgage and want to be given a hand shake, get real.

        • Jennifer March 6, 2018 at 9:09 am

          Okay, for starters, in the UK there is leniency measures in place for mortgage owners for starters, who may miss payments – something like a tapering off system.
          Then we as a people keep getting side track by the same fictitious man made titles for the same race of people, i.e Trinidadian, South African, Guyanese, Bajan, Vincentian, etc. We need to forget the titles and use the RACE eyes. The races of the Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Asian, etc were not made bare, cloned and brainwashed, this is mainly why they stand up for the slightest hint of foreseeable injustice.

          • Jennifer March 6, 2018 at 9:35 am

            Banks are owed by a FEW well orchestrated organizations which stretch as far back as Alexander the great and his generals. NOTHING LOCAL AT ALL. Don’t get side tracked.

  6. Greengiant March 6, 2018 at 7:03 am

    @hcalndre: Why is it you all don’t want to admit the faults of the BLP under Arthur? Whenever issues are mentioned you all call it sewage. I guess the sewage is the latest issue so you all like obedient lip servants can only use that word. It’s the latest negative buzz word of the BLP.

    Even the investment bankers wants an election date called, they’ve probably been made promises by the opposition. They probably can’t wait to get their claws on what’s on offer in a Barbados under the BLP. These are all possibilities when parties start their campaigns, they meet with the business community, the finance institutions, and the foreign investors first before the people. The people are at the back of their plans, as we only offer votes, which they can’t spend.

    It’s time we in Barbados stop being so politically loyal to parties, and become true guardians of our fate.

    • hcalndre March 6, 2018 at 10:55 am

      @Greengiant; you`ll seem to want baby sitters for Barbados. Is it no longer punching above its weight with the big boys?

  7. Jennifer March 6, 2018 at 7:11 am

    “Anthony Clerk said potential investors had pulled back and were in a “wait-and-see” mode as Barbadians await a poll date”

    Two things – honestly, you lot can wait, because there will be no pressurize date setting from the bank board room.

    It does not matter if you wait or not as you lot reap all the sweets which ever way the compass turn.

  8. O. Walrond March 6, 2018 at 9:19 am

    Did you have a problem when the banks were British, American and Canadian and the credit histories were in those countries, or is only when the bank is owned by Caribbean people like you?

  9. Atman March 6, 2018 at 11:09 am

    Our constitution needs to change so that election is a set date. No longer should it be up to any PM to decide when to call elections. Make it the first Wednesday or Thurs in February or March every 5 years.

  10. Adrian Hinds March 6, 2018 at 3:12 pm

    Carson C. Cadogan yes I notice um too. They are getting excited
    because a Mottley is leading the party and bringing them back to the helm of Barbados like days of yore. That speech she gave last Sunday night was a wink and nod to Charles Herbert and his white shadows. It was a disjointed and poorly connected speech in which she was sure to mention that she is the grand daughter of Barbados biggest known white adjacent black man and father of cornbeef n biscuits politics Deighton Mottley, and also to mention Father Andrew Hatch who once said that White bajans are better managers and leaders of enterprise in Barbados than blacks, A refrain that is probably at the root of comments about the DLP parliamentary team, and has role to play in the comments from white bajans in regards to the engineers of the BWA. The only use Mottley and bajan white shadows has for black bajans are as workers and consumers.

    • Atman March 6, 2018 at 3:45 pm

      @Captain America
      You are so far removed from anything Bajan that you sport a Captain America image as your avatar. Do you have any idea how many black bajans became entrepreneurs during the 1994-2008 period? People like you just sprew out non-sense simply because you can. Isn’t this same DLP gov’t trying hard to get in bed with whites like Mark Maloney and Kyffin Simpson? What’s the first thing David Thompson did when he became PM, not squash $19m in tax debt owed by the Barbados Turf Club(rich white people)? What uses does Fundel have for the black bajans other than to shower them with contempt as is evident in his responses to the hardships and problems that we face?

    • Carson C. Cadogan March 6, 2018 at 8:37 pm

      Well said.

      The white Plantation class wants to be in political control as well as economic control.

      And the crooked Barbados Labour Party is just the instrument to have them achieve their goals.

      I didnt know Barbados had so many White people in it until now. And the thing is that they dont trust MIA AMOR MOTTLEY and the Barbados Labour Party to bring home the bacon and win the Govt. for them.

      Hence this regular WHITE intervention.

  11. Victor March 6, 2018 at 5:02 pm

    Archy, Carson, Greengiant and the hooded American, I have to ask why are you so bitter that you continue to spew attacks on individuals. Is this what you call going down in the gutter? The opposition leader can only become PM if the people of Barbados vote in the party and the parliamentary group endorse her as the leader. Negativity at this stage will not be embraced by the electorate. As a matter of fact, what you all are doing are giving the electorate a reason not to vote for your party of choice. We are known to be an educated country looked upon by first world countries. However, due to our decline we are being fooled by fire-sale salesmen who are enjoying under-priced Government silver. Cussing one another will not help our beloved country….so stop the verbal diarrhea. Let us focus on our country and our youth.

    • Carson C. Cadogan March 6, 2018 at 8:40 pm


      She does not have the moral structure that the Bajan voting public is looking for.

  12. Helicopter(8P) March 7, 2018 at 3:15 pm

    Many long stay visitors are expect during these two up coming months, the Sol Barbados International Motor Rally will bring port entry fees by way of customs and excise, work for local mechanics, car rental services, hospitality services, bed and breakfast and supermarkets and resturants lets not be spoiled potatoes and spoil the whole bunch. Just do the right thing Barbadias as we are an educated society. Come what may; we are Barbadian and have always been great hoast for visitors from around the world. We pray that our existing sea level rise and sewage system can be combated with scientific engineering thought and regain our infrastructure back to normal. Greenland is most effected by global warming as we speak and they remain comitted as `a nation!


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