||Central Bank Of Barbados
Throughout 2020, the Central Bank of Barbados was involved in a number of initiatives and activities both related to its core business of promoting economic, monetary, and financial stability; and more broadly to supporting and promoting the arts, education, and culture.
This article, the third in a four-part series, looks back at some of the Bank’s activities and initiatives over the past 12 months. Read parts one, two and four here.
In the third quarter of 2020, the Central Bank of Barbados was able to host several of the events usually on its calendar as well as to fulfil a promise made by Governor Haynes.
Domestic Financial Institutions Conference Series
COVID-19 reached Barbados weeks before the Bank was scheduled to host its annual Domestic Financial Institutions Conference, forcing the postponement in the event. In July, the Bank reimagined it as a series of single topic discussions. The first one, held in July, focused on “Mitigating the Impact of Climate Change: A Financial Sector Perspective”. This was followed by another panel discussion in August that discussed anti-money-laundering and combatting the financing of terrorism, and a final session in September themed “COVID and Mental Health”.
40th Annual Review Seminar
In late July, the Bank hosted its first ever virtual Annual Review Seminar. The three-day event included sessions on digital currencies, renewable energy and even the economics of media advertising. The keynote panel discussion featured the Bank’s Deputy Governor, Alwyn Jordan, Dr. Justin Ram and Ian Durant, the former and current Directors of Economics at the Caribbean Development Bank, respectively, and Dr. Simon Naitram, who discussed the topic “COVID-19 in the Caribbean: Challenges, Outlook, and Policy Recommendations”.
Naitram was later appointed to the Board of Directors of the Bank along with attorney at law Vere Brathwaite.
In a speech back in February, Governor Haynes announced the Central Bank’s intention to publish select bank fees charged by the island’s commercial banks. In July, the Bank made good on its promise, posting a comparison of the fees the five local commercial banks charge for basic savings and chequing accounts, as well for senior and junior accounts, and debit and credit card related transactions. The Bank has promised to update the comparison every six months, with the next update due in January 2021.
During the quarter, the Bank also hosted a webinar on central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) and three more editions of the 2020 Caribbean Economic Forum: “Reviving Caribbean Tourism”, “The Future of Work is Here”, and “Adjusting to the Post-COVID-19 Economy”.