Annual Report & Statement of Accounts, 2015
Published: Monday May 23rd, 2016
The Central Bank of The Bahamas is pleased to announce the release of its 2015 Annual Report, which includes a summary of the Bank’s operations over the year, an analysis of regulatory developments affecting the financial sector and a review of monetary policy and staff developments. The report also provides an examination of the economic and financial environment, both internationally and in The Bahamas during 2015 and presents a comprehensive analysis of the Bank’s Statement of Accounts for the year ending December 31, 2015.
In terms of the highlights, the Bank made significant progress on a number of legal and regulatory initiatives, including assuming full oversight of credit unions, the drafting of legislation to facilitate the creation of a credit bureau and the preparation of recommendations for further exchange control liberalization. The Bank's strategic priorities for 2016 include continued implementation of the new risk-based supervisory framework for licensees, accelerated progress on the establishment of a credit bureau, intensified efforts to improve exchange control administration and the strengthening of the economic surveillance frameworks. The Bank also remains very focused on monitoring significantly elevated levels of commercial bank non-performing loans.
The environment in which the Bank operated in 2015 was one of subdued economic activity, with positive impulses mainly from the growth in the stopover segment of the tourism market. However, the winding down of construction work on the multi-billion dollar Baha Mar project negatively impacted output, with further disruption to employment as the resort's opening stalled. With the introduction of the Value Added Tax (VAT) on 1st January, 2015—the centerpiece of the Government’s medium-term fiscal consolidation strategy—the overall deficit decreased sharply during the fiscal year 2014/2015. In the financial sector, both liquidity and external reserves grew in 2015, as the subdued credit conditions, inflows from real sector activities and public sector foreign currency borrowing, accumulated on net within the system.
A comprehensive breakdown of the Statement of Accounts for the year 2015, revealed that the Bank recorded a slight decline in total comprehensive income, as the low interest rate climate contributed to a fall in revenue, while expenses increased modestly.
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