||Central Bank Of Barbados
Xia Greaves-Woodroffe, Wilkie Cumberbatch Primary School
It was the morning of March 15, 2022. I was doing my exercises before I started my duties for the day. One meeting and a three-hour conference were the items on my schedule. It was an important day for me.
I am Xia Greaves-Woodroffe, Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados and I represent the Central Bank of Barbados at many meetings and conferences. The meeting, which started at 9:30 a.m. was somewhat different this time. I met with Ms. Gibson, Director of the Currency and Payments Oversight Department at the Central Bank and Mr. Evans, Country Director for Currency at De La Rue, the company which has been used for the printing of Barbados’ banknotes since 1973. We were discussing the launch of the new polymer banknotes for May 4, 2022. These banknotes are different from paper notes in that they have higher security features which make them harder to counterfeit than paper notes. They are stronger and can withstand extreme temperatures and they can be produced at a lower cost to taxpayers and the environment. The polymer banknotes have new features that make them more accessible to the visually impaired community. This will be a game changer for Barbados.
Once the meeting was over, we had lunch before I made my way over to the Hilton Hotel for the first day of a seven-day conference which started at 1:00 p.m. It was the Domestic Financial Institution Conference (DFIC) of the Central Bank of Barbados which focused on investment in renewable energy. It was a very important and interesting conference as it showed us how renewable energy can truly benefit Barbados in the long run, especially with the goal of stopping the use of fossil fuels by 2030. The purchase of these fuels is one of the reasons for the decrease in the foreign exchange reserves which affects my role in managing the reserves. These reserves are important for many reasons, especially keeping the value of the Barbados dollar high and paying off the country’s external debt.
Being in this role can be very demanding but also rewarding. Most times it takes me away from my family, especially when I must travel for various meetings and conferences. Making decisions about the finances and the future of my country is what I like best about being in this role. Being a part of the redesign of the banknotes of Barbados was the most exciting project undertaken while I was Governor and to see that we were on our way to launch in a few months was the highlight of my day.
Slade Evelyn, St. Winifred’s School
As Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados, my role and duties can be both exciting and challenging at the same time. I can honestly say that it is a job I look forward to doing every day and thoroughly enjoy.
My main responsibility is to oversee and control the local banking industry. This involves setting up and implementing both the monetary and regulatory policies as it relates to the industry and dictate what the banks can or cannot do. My other responsibilities are implementing policies as it relates to the management of foreign exchange rates. I also determine the interest rates domestic banks can use. As Governor, I also oversee the management of the Bank’s holdings of all official international reserves.
Another one of my responsibilities is to obtain economic and financial data from my team and update the country on the performance of the economy in any given time period which is usually every three months. With this data, I can also advise the government of any measures or policies that may need to be implemented on a macroeconomic level to promote financial stability.
As you can see, a day as the Governor of the Central Bank comes with no shortage of responsibility. The nature of the job is one of great importance.