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(Barbados Today) Describing as “unfortunate and unwarranted”, the decision by commercial banks to suspend over 300 real estate-related transactions estimated at more than $200 million, Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler Wednesday accused the financial institutions of finding every practical reason to oppose the changes made to the Barbados Revenue Authority (BRA) Act.

In a stinging rebuke of the concerns of the commercial banks, Sinckler said they were all excuses for non-cooperation with Government generally, and the BRA specifically, as the state seeks to collect the tax revenue that is legally due to it.

“It is rather unfortunate that some banks and some lawyers in Barbados are hell bent on frustrating Government’s legitimate attempts to collect the tax revenue that is due to the state by their clients,” Sinckler said Wednesday in a statement from the Ministry of Finance.

“First they said it was unconstitutional, then they said they were not clear about how the law would work, now they are claiming it is delaying transactions because the BRA cannot give tax clearance certificates fast enough,” he added.

President of the Barbados Bankers Association (BBA) Donna Wellington warned Tuesday that until there was clarification on the process of obtaining a tax clearance certificate, the financial institutions would not be in a position to close any real estate-related transactions or disburse monies associated with those deals.

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