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The Central Bank of Barbados' 2023 Annual Report

Governor’s Message

In 2023, the Central Bank of Barbados embarked on a transformative journey, embracing the ethos of “Internalising Excellence.” This guiding principle, which I introduced upon my appointment as Governor in March, reflects our unwavering commitment to fostering an institution that embodies global standards of excellence. It’s a vision that aligns seamlessly with our perennial ambition to be a beacon of world-class distinction in the financial landscape.

At the heart of this vision lies the conviction that a fulfilled and joyful workforce is the cornerstone of innovation, creativity, and boundless energy. It’s about nurturing a team that’s not only dedicated, but also eager to exceed expectations, embodying productivity in its purest form. In pursuit of this, we’ve implemented a myriad of initiatives, both grand and modest, designed to cultivate an environment where happiness thrives.

The past year saw us acknowledging the hard work and loyalty of our team through the promotion of 49 staff members, alongside reconfiguring our organisational structure to better meet the needs of our stakeholders and offer more avenues for career growth. Our enhanced staff advances scheme now offers more advantageous loan conditions, further testament to our commitment to staff welfare.

Reinvigorating social cohesion and fostering a sense of camaraderie became a focal point, especially as we transitioned from a period of remote work. Our digital transformation journey continues unabated, equipping our team with the necessary tools and systems to work seamlessly, irrespective of location. These efforts have collectively fuelled a vibrant and spirited workforce, as evidenced by our inaugural happiness survey, which yielded a commendable score of 4.08 out of 5, and an employee engagement rating of 78.3 percent. While these figures are encouraging, we view them as just the beginning of our journey towards unparalleled workplace satisfaction.

A significant initiative has been to deepen our engagement with the Bank’s retirees, recognising their invaluable contributions and the wealth of knowledge they continue to offer. This has led to the creation of mentorship programmes and the Forerunners Forum, facilitating meaningful exchanges on central banking and economic issues, thus leveraging decades of institutional wisdom for contemporary challenges.

The fruits of our labour are evident in the Bank’s performance over the year. Our data-driven advisories have supported governmental policies, contributing to an economic resurgence with growth of 4.4 percent in 2023, surpassing pre-COVID levels. This economic revitalisation is mirrored across all indicators, showcasing a robust and forward-moving economy.

Our strides in banking, capital market revitalisation, and public education through initiatives like the Caribbean Economic Forum have reinforced public trust and financial security. The introduction of counterfeit-resistant polymer banknotes marks a milestone in our commitment to secure financial transactions.

Looking ahead, we remain undaunted by the challenges of further economic enhancement. Our focus will extend to fostering inclusive and sustainable growth, enhancing financial intermediation, and supporting wealth creation among Barbadians. Our planned digital financial literacy campaign underscores our dedication to navigating the evolving financial landscape responsibly.

Our digital transformation within the Bank will set new standards for efficiency and modernisation, all while maintaining an environment that cherishes a happy and dynamic team. Our agenda for 2024 is ambitious, yet essential for fulfilling our mission to cultivate an economic and financial climate that propels sustainable growth and development for all Barbadians. With a foundation built on excellence, we move forward with confidence, ready to embrace the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

2023 Annual Report