Annual Report & Statement of Accounts, 2021
Published: Thursday May 5th, 2022
The Central Bank of The Bahamas is pleased to announce the release of its 2021 Annual Report, which includes a summary of the Bank's operations over the year, an analysis of regulatory developments affecting the financial sector, a review of monetary policy, as well as payment systems developments. The Annual Report also provides an examination of the economic and financial environment, both internationally and in The Bahamas during 2021, and presents a comprehensive analysis of the Bank's Statement of Accounts for the year ending December 31, 2021.
According to the Report, the Bahamian economy registered growth in 2021, a recovery from a sharp contraction in 2020. Global lockdowns to contain the spread of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) eased, given aggressive vaccine campaigns, resulting in a rebound in the tourism sector, albeit still below pre-COVID-19 levels, supported by the rebound in the high value-added air segment and a seasonal upswing in sea traffic. In addition, a number of small to medium-scale foreign investment projects undergirded activity in the construction sector. Further, the fiscal deficit widened significantly for FY2020/21, as the COVID-19 related disruption in economic activities led to a falloff in revenue collections. However, for the first half of FY2021/22, the deficit narrowed considerably, underpinned by a VAT-led growth in total revenue, which outweighed the increase in aggregate expenditure. In the financial sector, both bank liquidity and external reserves expanded in 2021, as the build-up in the deposit base, outweighed the rise in domestic credit.
Given the healthy levels of external reserves, bolstered by the Government’s external borrowing activities and the receipt of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the MPC decided that the Bank leave its accommodative policy stance unchanged throughout 2021.
In terms of other major developments, the Bank maintained its risk-based approach to surveillance. The Bank’s supervisory focus also remained on ensuring that the domestic financial institutions were deploying effective strategies to reduce the level of non-performing loans (NPLs) in the banking system. Other noteworthy milestones in 2021 included, CRIF Information Services Bahamas Limited, the credit bureau operator, officially going live on 30th April. Further, the Bahamian Dollar Digital Currency Regulations, 2021 were gazetted and passed into law in November, 2021.
A comprehensive breakdown of the Statement of Accounts for the year 2021, showed that the Bank recorded a decrease in total comprehensive income, as the decline in revenue overshadowed the reduction in expenses.
For full text reading, please download the attached document.