||Central Bank Of Barbados
In 2022, the Central Bank of Barbados celebrated its golden anniversary and marked the occasion with a number of events. These, along with many of its regular activities, made for a busy year for the organisation.
This article is the fourth in a four-part series that looks back at some of the Bank’s initiatives and activities, both those related to its core objectives of maintaining Barbados’ fixed exchange rate and promoting financial stability; and to its domestic outreach, during the year. Read parts one, two, and three here.
2021 Financial Stability Report
In October, the Bank collaborated with the Financial Services Commission to publish the 2021 Financial Stability Report, which assessed the health of Barbados’ financial system during the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic. The report found that
“In spite of these unfavourable circumstances, increased economic activity and a recovering labour market over the second half of the year kept the financial system stable and resilient. Deposit taking institutions (DTIs) remained well capitalised and registered improved credit quality as the loan moratoria programmes that were introduced in 2020 were winding down. The general and life insurance industry also met regulatory solvency criteria over the course of 2021, while pension plans and mutual funds which have exposure to foreign-issued instruments were boosted by gains in equity markets internationally.”
Sir Winston Scott Memorial Lecture
Billionaire tech guru and philanthropist Strive Masiyiwa was the Bank’s guest for its 42nd Sir Winston Scott Memorial Lecture. The Zimbabwe-born entrepreneur, who is the founder and Chairman of the Econet Group, which comprises Econet Wireless and Cassava Technologies, had a virtual sit-down with Governor Haynes to discuss “How Entrepreneurs Can and Do Use Technology and Philanthropy to Solve Economic and Social Issues.”
The Bank’s educational television series CBB 101 returned for its second season in the final quarter of the year. This time around, the series, which explains the what, why, and how of the Central Bank of Barbados’ mandate, took an in depth look at Barbados’ economy, with episodes exploring what an economy is and the key macroeconomic indicators economists use to assess the health of Barbados’ economy before taking a deep dive into GDP, international reserves, fiscal policy, and the benchmarks against which policymakers measure the island’s performance.
The final two episodes of the series focused on Barbados’ new banknotes.
The 2022 Polymer Banknotes Series
On December 5, almost 49 years to-the-day since it first issued the national currency, the Bank introduced Barbados’ first polymer banknotes.
The new series was first announced in April 2022 with the Bank revealing that switching to the new substrate would increase the lifespan of the new banknotes and make them harder to counterfeit. In addition to being made of a new material, the banknotes feature vertical orientation and an updated design.