||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 three here.
In the final quarter of the year, the Central Bank of Barbados revealed the findings of a health check of Barbados’ financial sector, discussed the role of multilateralism with a finalist for head of the World Trade Organisation, and paid tribute to Barbados’ essential workers.
2019 Financial Stability Report
Following the publication of the 2019 Financial Stability Report, a joint effort between the Bank and the Financial Services Commission that examines the soundness of Barbados’ financial sector, the Bank produced a four-part series to breakdown the major findings. In interviews with the Bank’s Chief of Corporate Communications, Novaline Brewster, the Director of the Bank’s Research and Economic Analysis Department (READ) and the head of its financial stability unit gave an overview of the report; discussed the performance of the island’s commercial banks in 2019 and early 2020; revealed the findings of stress tests; and looked at the level of household debt in Barbados and how that could impact financial stability.
45th Sir Winston Scott Memorial Lecture
Like many of the Bank’s programmes, the Sir Winston Scott Memorial Lecture was staged as a virtual event. There was also a change in format, which saw the speaker, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, have a one-hour conversation with Governor Haynes rather than deliver a solo address.
During the programme, Okonjo-Iweala, who is Chair of the Board of Gavi, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation, and a finalist for the post of Director General of the World Trade Organisation, and Governor Haynes discussed “International Cooperation in the Time of COVID” touching both on the time for cooperation between nations to eradicate the coronavirus and on multilateralism more broadly.
Glow in the Dark Coin
In late November, the Bank, in collaboration with the Government of Barbados, issued a limited edition painted, glow-in-the-dark circulation coin as a tribute to Barbados’ essential workers. During the virtual launch, Governor Haynes also praised the Bank’s essential workers, who continued to work at the headquarters during the lockdown.
The coins went into circulation on December 1 and thousands were specially packaged and given to the island’s frontline workers.
Caribbean Economic Forum
The Bank hosted two more editions of its Caribbean Economic Forum during the quarter. In October, Her Excellency the Honourable Paula Ingabire, Minister of ICT and Innovation in Rwanda shared the story of her country’s digital transformation with regional audiences when she, the Minister of Health, ICT, Entertainment, Entrepreneurship, and Talent Development for St. Kitts and Nevis, the Honourable Akilah Byron-Nisbett; and Rodney Taylor, Director of the Ministry of Innovation, Science, and Smart Technology’s Data Processing Department, discussed “How to Digitise an Economy”.
In the year’s final forum, the Prime Ministers of Barbados and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the Honourable Mia Amor Mottley and the Honourable Ralph Gonsalves, who is also the Chairman of CARICOM, took part in an extended discussion with the Director of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Director of the Western Hemisphere, Alejandro Werner.