Frequently Asked Questions

Complaints may be directed to the Office of the Financial Services Ombudsman (OFSO), First Floor, Central Bank building, Eric Williams Plaza, Independence Square. The OFSO investigates, mediates and resolves complaints brought in by any member of the public against commercial banks, non-bank financial institutions and insurance companies.  Additional details may be accessed by visiting http://www.ofso.org.tt/ 

A financial institution is required to make copies of audited financial statements available for inspection by its depositors and other customers upon request. This information must be kept at each of its offices.  In addition, the Financial Institutions Act 2008 requires all financial institutions to publish audited financial statements in a daily newspaper within three months after the close of its financial year.

Where a customer has an established business relationship with a financial institution and the funds being deposited are in accordance with normal activity on the account (e.g. salary deposits to the accounts from the customer’s employer), the customer may not be required to disclose the source of funds.  

 
However, a customer is required to disclose the source of funds where a new customer is seeking to open an account with the institution or where an existing customer conducts a transaction that either: 
a) exceeds the threshold established in Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorist Financing legislation (e.g. TT$90,000); 
b) exceeds the institution’s established threshold; or 
c) is not in keeping with the regular business activity on the account.  

The cornerstone of banking business is the solicitation and acceptance of sums of money from the public on current account or deposit account which can be withdrawn on demand and the solicitation and granting of loans and other credit exposures. 

 
Business of a financial nature means the solicitation and collection of funds in the form of deposits, shares, loans and premiums and the investment of those funds in loans, shares and other securities and includes a number of activities (such as lease financing, mortgage lending, foreign exchange dealing and managing trust funds specified in the First Schedule of the Financial Institutions Act, 2008 (FIA). However, institutions carrying on business of a financial nature, also known as non-bank financial institutions (NFIs) are not licensed to carry on the full range of banking business and, in particular, are precluded from accepting deposits or granting loans for periods under one year. Further non-banking financial institutions are prohibited from engaging in payment card business, including credit and debit cards.

The requirements for the establishment of a commercial bank are set out at Part III of the Financial Institutions Act, 2008 (FIA), entitled “Licensing of Financial Institutions”.  However, persons desirous of obtaining a licence to conduct either banking business or business of a financial nature should before submitting an application, first write to the Inspector of Financial Institutions at the Central Bank advising of that fact. This would enable the Central Bank to arrange a meeting with the applicant prior to the submission of formal application to discuss the nature of the business the applicant is seeking to engage in and also to advise what type of license, if any, should be applied for.

 

The Central Bank does not offer deposit insurance. The Deposit Insurance Corporation (DIC) was established by the Central Bank and Financial Institutions (Non-Banking) (Amendment) Act, 1986 to manage a Fund to provide insurance protection for depositors of the banks and non-banks regulated under the Financial Institutions Act, 2008. All banks and non-banks are required to be members of the DIC.   See the DIC website for details on the level of insurance guaranteed to the depositors in the event that a member institution fails.  

 
Currently, there are twenty-five (25) members of the Deposit Insurance Fund. Members of the Deposit Insurance Fund include:
 
COMMERCIAL BANKS
Bank of Baroda (Trinidad and Tobago) Limited 
Citibank (Trinidad and Tobago) Limited 
First Caribbean International Bank (Trinidad & Tobago) Limited 
First Citizens Bank Limited 
Intercommercial Bank Limited 
RBC Royal Bank (Trinidad and Tobago) Limited 
Republic Bank Limited 
Scotiabank Trinidad and Tobago Limited
 
INSTITUTIONS CARRYING ON BUSINESS OF A FINANCIAL NATURE
AIC Finance Limited 
Ansa Merchant Bank Limited 
Caribbean Finance Company Limited 
Citicorp Merchant Bank Limited 
Development Finance Limited 
Fidelity Finance and Leasing Company Limited 
First Citizens Asset Management Limited 
First Citizens Trustee Services Limited 
General Finance Corporation Limited 
Island Finance Trinidad and Tobago Limited
Guardian Asset Management Limited 
Intercommercial Trust and Merchant Bank Limited 
RBC Investment Management (Caribbean) Limited 
RBC Merchant Bank (Caribbean) Limited 
RBC Trust (Trinidad and Tobago) Limited 
Republic Finance and Merchant Bank Limited 
Scotiatrust and Merchant Bank Trinidad and Tobago Limited 

The Inspector of Financial Institutions is one of the Executive positions at the Bank. The Inspector has responsibility for the Financial Institutions Supervision department. 

The Financial Institutions Supervision Department (FISD) is responsible for the supervision and regulation of all persons that fall under the regulatory ambit of the Central Bank with a view to maintaining confidence in, and promoting the soundness and stability of the financial system.  In fulfilling these responsibilities, FISD evaluates applications for licences, and monitors and examines the activities and operations of those regulated entities. 

 
Additional details may be accessed by following the link below:
 

 A list of regulated financial institutions may be accessed on the Central Bank’s website at http://www.central-bank.org.tt/content/supervision-regulation Please click on the tab for each sector for more details.  

 No. All financial institutions in Trinidad and Tobago are not supervised by the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago.  For example, the Central Bank does not supervise institutions that carry out securities business only, credit unions, and building societies. 

At this time, the Central Bank regulates and supervises:

Institutions carrying on the business of banking or business of a financial nature in accordance with the Financial Institutions Act 2008; 

Insurance companies and insurance intermediaries (agents, brokers, adjusters etc) registered under the Insurance Act Chap 84:01;

Private occupational pension plans;

Bureaux de change operators; and

The financial activities of the Home Mortgage Bank (merchant banking, mortgage institution, trust company and collective investment schemes classes of business).