The banking sector comprises commercial banks, which are licensed to conduct the business of banking, and non-bank financial institutions, which are licensed to conduct business of a financial nature, under the Financial Institutions Act, 2008. All institutions in the banking sector are listed below. Most of the banks have expanded their operations to other countries in the Caribbean region.
The products and services offered by the banking sector are wide ranging and include TT- and US-dollar savings and investment instruments, foreign exchange dealings, money market instruments, trade financing, project financing, floating and underwriting of shares and bonds.
The business of banking permits two major products which are excluded from the business of a financial nature. Under the business of banking, the commercial banks can accept deposits that are repayable on demand, and grant loans for periods of less than one year. Additionally, commercial banks can take deposits from the public on current accounts and offer chequing facilities to their customers.
Insurance for Depositors
The Deposit Insurance Corporation of Trinidad and Tobago (DIC) plays a major role in maintaining stability of the financial system. Its primary function is to manage a fund to provide insurance protection for depositors against the potential loss of their deposits, should a member financial institution fail. This coverage is up to $125,000 per depositor, per institution. It is applied across three different "rights" or "capacities" which refer to the type of account ownership, namely, Single (Individual) Accounts, Joint Accounts and Trust Accounts. Ultimately, a depositor can receive protection up to a maximum of $375,000 in any one member institution, assuming all three "rights" or "capacities" are provided by the institution. Membership in the Fund is compulsory for all institutions licensed under the Financial Institutions Act, 2008.