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The Central Bank of Barbados' 2019 Annual Report

Central Bank Act

A revised Central Bank Act will replace the existing legislation during 2020. This new Act represents the most significant change ever to the Bank’s governing legislation and focuses on the framework for the Bank’s internal governance, financing of Government and the requirements for capitalising the institution. The revised Act also clarifies the role and functions of the Bank, and strengthens the Bank’s authority to collect timely information to fulfil its mandate.

Financial Performance

After a difficult 2018, in which the Bank experienced a significant write-down of its holdings of Government debt, adversely affecting its capital position, the Bank’s financial performance improved in 2019. The increase in foreign reserves raised earnings from its external assets, compensating for a reduction in its income from domestic securities. Despite the increase in operating expenditure the Bank was able to return to profitability. A recapitalisation plan for the Bank will be developed during 2020.

We have prepared this year’s financial statements in compliance with International Financial Reporting Standards. The major changes relate to incorporation of the Bank’s pension plan and the consolidation of the Bank’s subsidiaries and associated entities.

Organisational Developments

The year 2019 was extremely challenging for the Bank’s staff, particularly for those deeply involved in the economic adjustment programme. On behalf of the Board of Directors, I thank management and staff for their dedication and commitment over the year and I look forward to their continued cooperation.

The coming year will be equally challenging. We will accelerate our efforts to use technology to modernise our processes. We will continue to enhance governance and risk management, including strengthening our business continuity planning and mitigating our cyber-security risks.

We will upgrade the Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) system and provide access to credit unions to the Automated Clearing House (ACH) to enhance the efficiency of the payments system. We anticipate the passage of new payments and credit reporting legislation that will enable the establishment of new supervisory regimes to support these areas of activity.

As we strengthen our human resources capabilities to address the changing economic environment, we will focus on performance measurement and management. We will not achieve our goals without the commitment of everyone. Therefore, as we pursue our vision to be “an institution of world-class excellence”, we will continue to collaborate and communicate with all our stakeholders.

Central Bank of Barbados 2019 Annual Report.pdf