“It reflects our conviction here at the Bank that no economy can be effectively managed unless the members of that society want it to be so. We feel it important, then, that the Central Bank be perceived as serving the community and not as being against the community.” - the late Sir Courtney Blackman, founding Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados, at the official opening of the Bank’s headquarters on September 18, 1986.
Since its inception, the Central Bank of Barbados has viewed its role as extending beyond the traditional role of a central bank to helping to develop all facets of Barbadian society. As such, the Bank is an avid supporter of the arts and culture, education, business, and more.
“The soul requires the nutriment both of religious experience and of the arts… In thinking of the nutriment derived from the arts, I should like to quote Pablo Picasso. He said ‘Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life’.” – Sir Courtney Newlands Blackman, founding Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados.
Every summer, the Bank offers several students the opportunity to gain on-the-job training in a range of fields. The students, chosen from local (and occasionally regional) tertiary institutions, are placed as much as possible in departments across the organisation that are related to their field of study.
The Central Bank of Barbados supports the growth and development of local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through the provision of a guarantee (i.e. collateral) via a number of authorised lending institutions. The Enhanced Credit Guarantee Fund, developed by the Inter-American Development Bank and the Government of Barbados, provides security of up to 80% of the loan amount for businesses in several sectors engaging in development projects.
The Annual Sir Winston Scott Memorial Lecture is sponsored by the Bank and dedicated to the memory of Barbados' first native Governor General Sir Winston Scott who died on August 9, 1976. The lecture is held each year in November or December and is delivered by noted intellectuals, experts in their field. Lectures have been delivered on a range of areas eg: Economics, Science, Culture, Health and Religion. Copies are available from the bank. Learn more
Held to coincide with the Chinese New Year, the Fish and Dragon Festival is a celebration of diplomatic relations between Barbados and the People’s Republic of China. The annual event is sponsored jointly by the Bank and the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China.
Central Bank Scholarship for outstanding performance in Economics and Mathematics at the University of the West Indies. The Bank has been awarding this scholarship to Barbadian students at the Cave Hill Campus, since 1977. In addition, the successful candidate benefits from a summer internship at the Bank.
The Roland Craigwell Scholarship for outstanding performance in Economics at the University of the West Indies. The successful candidate also benefits from a summer internship at the Bank.
The Central Bank of Barbados Distinguished Visiting Fellowship programme exposes Barbadians and Caribbean nationals to eminent international economists. Through this programme, these economists share their latest research, and bring attention to imminent developments in the areas of economics and finance. Learn more.
Each summer, the Bank sponsors a secondary school student, aged 16-18, to attend SPISE, a four-week programme for young people in the region who aspire to a career in a STEM-related field. The programme, which is sponsored by the Caribbean Science Foundation, is based on MIT’s MITES (Minority Introduction to Engineering and Science) programme.
The Central Bank of Barbados in conjunction with the Frank Collymore Hall provides support for the arts through strategic sponsorships. These include the Frank Collymore Literary Endowment and its prestigious literary competition that is held annually. Additionally there are sponsorships for the annual Crop Over Visual Arts Competition and Exhibition. There is also the Youth Pan Programme, run during the summer for children. The centrepiece is the Frank Collymore Hall itself and the related performing arts and exhibition spaces. Added to this is the Exchange Museum located in the former Masonic Lodge building. It will feature, exhibitions devoted to numismatics, commerce in Bridgetown, education and the Masonic Lodge in Barbados.
The Caribbean Economic Forum tackles the many issues confronting the region, and offers its peoples the opportunity to hear from and pose their questions to leading thinkers in the field of economics, finance, and more.
In 2020, in response to the ongoing pandemic, the forum, which began as part of the Bank’s Distinguished Visiting Fellowship Programme saw its format was revamped, transforming it from a once-a-year event into a six-part series that features policymakers, technical experts, and people in the trenches.
The Exchange Interactive Centre is the Central Bank of Barbados’ museum.
From the building that houses its interactive galleries to the exhibitions themselves, which depict the evolution of currency, trade, education, and Freemasonry, the Exchange Interactive Centre is steeped in Barbadian history. Visitors can immerse themselves in these stories through videos, audio recordings, and other interactive elements, all of which make for an engaging family visit.
Hosted jointly by the Bank and the Financial Services Commission, the Domestic Financial Institutions Conference offers a forum for members of the financial sector to discuss local and international issues affecting the sector.
Since 1981, the Central Bank of Barbados’ Annual Review Seminar has provided a forum for stimulating policy-related discussions among economists, academics, and other policymakers from within the economic and financial disciplines, as well as practitioners from other areas of expertise.
In support of the interaction between the Bank and it stakeholders a number of educational programmes were launched. These are in the format of short television series
To help constituents understand how the economy and the Bank’s policy works the Governor and Senior Management from time to time engage in meetings with key stakeholders. This includes meetings with governmental and private sector entities such as the Social Partnership, the business community and other special interest groups.