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Annual Report & Statement of Accounts, 2019

Published: Thursday May 7th, 2020

The Central Bank of The Bahamas is pleased to announce the release of its 2019 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 2019, and presents a comprehensive analysis of the Bank's Statement of Accounts for the year ending December 31, 2019.

According to the Report, the domestic economy sustained its modest growth momentum in 2019, supported by expansionary impulses from tourism and foreign direct investments. However, the passage of Hurricane Dorian in September left the Abaco market temporarily offline and Grand Bahama with weather-related loss of hotel capacity. With regard to employment, for the twelve-months to November 2019, the jobless rate decreased for New Providence. Meanwhile, hurricane-induced dislocation and labour migration invalidated comparative assessments for Abaco and Grand Bahama. Further, the fiscal deficit declined sharply for FY2018/19, as the VAT-led growth in total revenue outstripped the rise in aggregate expenditure. In contrast, in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian, trends over the first half of FY2019/20 revealed that the overall deficit widened. In the financial sector, both bank liquidity and external reserves expanded in 2019, as the growth in the deposit base, outpaced the increase in domestic credit.

Given the modest economic growth, constrained credit demand and adequate levels of external reserves, the Central Bank's Monetary Policy Committee maintained its accommodative policy stance in 2019.

In terms of other major developments, the Bank remained committed to its supervisory and regulatory agenda in 2019, employing risk-based supervision, with widening focus on non-bank entities. Further, The Bahamas' second Financial Sector Assessment Programme (FSAP) mission, led by the IMF, was conducted in January 2019. In addition, the Central Bank launched, Project Sand Dollar, the digital currency pilot, in Exuma in December, 2019. The Bank also issued, in December, 2019, a credit bureau license to CRIF Information Services Bahamas Limited.

A comprehensive breakdown of the Statement of Accounts for the year 2019, revealed that the Bank recorded a modest decrease in total comprehensive income, as the increase in expenses outpaced the growth in revenue.

For full text reading, please download the attached document.