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Communiqué of the 94th Meeting of the Monetary Council of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank

The Ninety-Fourth Meeting of the Monetary Council of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) was held at the ECCB Headquarters, Basseterre, St Kitts and Nevis, on 11 October 2019 via videoconference, under the Chairmanship of Dr The Right Honourable Keith Mitchell.


Monetary Stability
Council received the…

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Communiqué of the 94th Meeting of the Monetary Council of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank

The Ninety-Fourth Meeting of the Monetary Council of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) was held at the ECCB Headquarters, Basseterre, St Kitts and Nevis, on 11 October 2019 via videoconference, under the Chairmanship of Dr The Right Honourable Keith Mitchell.


Monetary Stability
Council received the Governor’s Report on Monetary and Credit Conditions in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) based on the first nine months of 2019, or at least the first half of 2019, where data were available. The Report focused on recent trends in monetary and credit conditions against the backdrop of global economic and financial developments and within the context of the Bank’s broader objectives of ensuring the stability of the exchange rate and the financial system.

Council was apprised of the following:

 

  • The exchange rate anchor remained stable and strong during the review period supported by sufficient foreign reserves, which could support 5.6 months of imports.
  • The EC dollar remained strong with the backing ratio of 99.3 per cent and the international reserves at EC$4.4b as of 4 October 2019.
  • Domestic credit extended by commercial banks was projected to increase by 1.4 per cent by 30 September 2019. The rise was largely driven by credit to the private sector, which expanded by 1.1 per cent.
  • Monetary and credit conditions in the ECCU during the first nine months of 2019 were assessed as being favourable, reflected in an increase in money and credit to the private sector.
  • Factors impeding credit conditions over the last few years declined, resulting in the recovery of lending growth, especially in the commercial banking sector.
  • Economic activity was estimated to have increased at the ECCU level during January to September 2019, compared with the first nine months of 2018.
  • Growth in the ECCU was forecast as 3.3 per cent in 2019 and 3.2 per cent in 2020.
  • The global economy had slowed on account of US-China trade war, tensions in the Middle East and Brexit.

Financial Stability
The Monetary Council received the Financial Stability Report for the ECCU for the period January to September 2019. The report revealed that the ECCU’s financial system remained broadly stable during the first nine months of 2019. The report also indicated that the financial sector continued to experience growth, as evidenced by the rise in both assets and deposits; and credit growth had become more sustained and broad-based across sectors.

Fiscal and Debt Sustainability
Council was apprised that the ECCU region was projected to register an overall fiscal deficit of $32.9m in the first nine months of 2019, in contrast to an overall surplus of $171.5m in the corresponding period of 2018. Despite the predicted decline in overall fiscal performance, the Debt to GDP ratio for the ECCU was forecast to decrease to 66.2 per cent from the 68.3 per cent recorded at the end of 2018.

Growth and Competitiveness 
Council noted that growth remained resilient at the ECCU level, despite international conditions. Key contributing factors to growth included: an increase in tourist arrivals, higher public and private sector investments and an increase in Government consumption.

Report From the Technical Core Committee on Insurance (BAICO and CLICO) 

BAICO
Council noted that with reference to the BAICO resolution, a payment of approximately EC$30m was made during the third quarter of 2019.

CLICO
In December 2018, the JM CIL Montserrat filed an Application for Leave to appeal the decision of the Court to dismiss the Joinder Application in Financial Services Commission v. CLICO International Life Insurance Company. The application was heard on 27 February 2019 and a written decision to dismiss the application was delivered on 16 May 2019. To this end, the ECCU was exploring recourse through the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) option and was awaiting an opinion from its lawyers in Barbados on the matter.

Date and Venue of 95th Meeting of the Monetary Council 
Council agreed to  the convening of 95th Meeting of the Monetary Council on Friday, 14 February 2020 in St Kitts and Nevis

Attendance

Council Members attending the meeting were:

  1. Dr The Right Honourable Keith Mitchell, Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Grenada (Chairman);
  2. The Honourable Victor F Banks, Premier and Minister for Finance, Anguilla;
  3. The Honourable Gaston Browne, Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Antigua and Barbuda;
  4. The Honourable Donaldson Romeo, Premier and Minister for Finance, Montserrat;
  5. The Honourable Camillo Gonsalves, Minister for Finance, St Vincent and the Grenadines;
  6. The Honourable Delmaude Ryan, Monetary Council Alternate, Montserrat; and
  7. The Honourable Bradley Felix, Temporary Alternate, Saint Lucia.
Latest News
Top Performers of Inaugural ECCB/RSS ARU Creative Youth Competition Hail from Six ECCB Member Countries

13 September 2019, Basseterre, St Kitts and Nevis – Students from six ECCB member countries emerged as the top performers in the Inaugural Creative Youth Competition sponsored and hosted by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) and the Regional Security System – Asset Recovery Unit (RSS ARU).

Nailah Samuel…

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Top Performers of Inaugural ECCB/RSS ARU Creative Youth Competition Hail from Six ECCB Member Countries

13 September 2019, Basseterre, St Kitts and Nevis – Students from six ECCB member countries emerged as the top performers in the Inaugural Creative Youth Competition sponsored and hosted by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) and the Regional Security System – Asset Recovery Unit (RSS ARU).

Nailah Samuel of the Girls’ High School in St Vincent and the Grenadines and Khadijah Halliday of the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College in Saint Lucia captured first place in the two categories.

Nailah emerged winner of the 13 to 16 category with an essay on the topic: “Towards a Cashless Society: challenges, opportunities and the realities for the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union.” She proposes that a cashless society provides the opportunity for more efficient, secure alternatives to traditional cash transactions and increased access to financial services.

In the 17 to 19 category, Khadijah captured the first place with her submission on the same topic. She is of the view that due to the realities of small Eastern Caribbean societies, it is likely that the two systems – the traditional utilisation of physical cash and the ultimate proposed digital cashless system – will continue to coexist in parallel for the immediate future.   

 

Micale Wishart of the St Joseph’s Convent in Grenada and Tiffany Weekes of the Montserrat Secondary School were the second and third place winners respectively in the age 13 to 16 category. In the age 17 to 19 category, Kheri Hughes of the Albena Lake Hodge Comprehensive School in Anguilla won second place, while Shanique Davis of the Antigua State College placed third.

The first place winners in each of the categories will be awarded a $2,500 cash prize and a grant of $1,500 will be awarded to their respective schools.  The students who placed second will each receive $1,500 and their schools will be presented with a grant of $1,000. The third place winners will each receive $1,000 and their schools will be awarded a grant of $500. 

The ECCB/RSS ARU Creative Youth Competition, is part of the ECCB’s Community Outreach Programme, and is aimed at encouraging critical and innovative thinking as well as raising the awareness of secondary school and community college students in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) on issues of economic and social development.

 

 

 

About the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank

The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) was established in October 1983. The ECCB is the Monetary Authority for: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines.

 

Media Contact: Shermalon Kirby, Acting Director, Corporate Relations Department

Phone: (869) 465-2537 | Fax: (869) 465-9562

E-mail: info@eccb-centralbank.org | Website: www.eccb-centralbank.org

Latest News
ECCB Approves Republic Financial Holding Limited’s Application to Acquire Bank of Nova Scotia Operations in Most ECCB Member Countries

7 September 2019, Basseterre, St Kitts and Nevis – The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), in consultation with the ECCB Monetary Council, has approved the application for the transfer of the assets and liabilities of the Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS) to the Republic Financial Holding Limited (RFHL) in Anguilla,…

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ECCB Approves Republic Financial Holding Limited’s Application to Acquire Bank of Nova Scotia Operations in Most ECCB Member Countries

7 September 2019, Basseterre, St Kitts and Nevis – The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), in consultation with the ECCB Monetary Council, has approved the application for the transfer of the assets and liabilities of the Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS) to the Republic Financial Holding Limited (RFHL) in Anguilla, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines, pursuant to Section 43 of the Banking Act.


Discussions on the future of Scotiabank’s operations in Antigua and Barbuda are ongoing.


The ECCB Monetary Council met on 6 September, via videoconference, to discuss the ECCB’s assessment of the Republic Financial Holdings Limited’s application to acquire the Bank of Nova Scotia’s operations in ECCB member countries.

 

The ECCB undertook a review of the proposed transaction to assess the following:

1. The RFHL’s Strategic Plan 2018-2020;
2. The financial condition of RFHL to support the operations of the acquired banking business of BNS, as well as all of RFHL’s subsidiaries;
3. The implications for the stability of the ECCU banking system; and
4. The technical/human resource capacity of RFHL to effectively govern its subsidiaries across multiple jurisdictions.

In completing its assessment, the ECCB consulted with the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago (CBTT), RFHL’s home regulator.
The approval granted to the RFHL is subject to the condition that RFHL will be required to make a stake of its ECCU operations available to the people of the ECCU through approved ECCU entities.

The ECCB is in the process of communicating the requirements for finalisation of the transaction between RFHL and BNS and will continue to monitor the process to ensure full regulatory compliance. The ECCB believes that Republic Bank’s corporate banking record and its extensive network of correspondent banks will bode well for the ECCU banking sector.
The ECCB is resolute about its mandate to protect the EC dollar and will continue to maintain high levels of foreign reserves while protecting the stability of the banking system.
Citizens and residents in ECCB member countries are encouraged to stay abreast of developments in the financial sector.


About the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank
The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) was established in October 1983. The ECCB is the Monetary Authority for: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines.


Media Contact: Ingrid O’Loughlin, Senior Director, Corporate Relations Department
Phone: (869) 465-2537 | Fax: (869) 465-9562
E-mail: info@eccb-centralbank.org | Website: www.eccb-centralbank.org

 

Latest News
EC Polymer Notes in Circulation in all ECCB Member Countries

4 September 2019, Basseterre, St Kitts and Nevis – The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) is reminding the public that it has issued a new family of EC notes made from polymer.

Polymer is a thin, flexible and transparent plastic film made from a versatile and complex material, which allows polymer banknotes…

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EC Polymer Notes in Circulation in all ECCB Member Countries

4 September 2019, Basseterre, St Kitts and Nevis – The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) is reminding the public that it has issued a new family of EC notes made from polymer.

Polymer is a thin, flexible and transparent plastic film made from a versatile and complex material, which allows polymer banknotes to be cleaner, safer and stronger.

 

The family of EC polymer notes was launched in May.  The Acting Director in the Currency Management Department, Rosbert Humphrey says that so far, the ECCB has issued the $20, $50 and $100 polymer notes to commercial banks in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union.  The $10 is expected to be issued by October and the $5 around August of 2020.

 

Humphrey reminds businesses that the EC polymer notes are legal tender and as such should be accepted for the transaction of business.  He advises persons to look for the key features of the polymer notes to determine whether they are genuine.

One of the key features of the EC polymer notes is the unique tactile feature on each note. These are raised bumps at the top left-hand corner on the front of the note, which form familiar shapes designed to assist blind and visually impaired individuals with identifying the denomination of each note.  Other features of the EC polymer notes include:

  1. The portrait orientation where the notes are read from top to bottom instead of left to right as is the case with the paper notes;
  2. The holographic foil strip, which is on the $20, $50, and $100. The images and colours in this section of the notes change when the notes are tilted; and
  3. The image of the former Governor of the ECCB, the late Sir K Dwight Venner on the back of $50.

 

EC polymer and paper banknotes are in circulation at the same time. That is, in conducting business individuals may receive both the polymer and paper banknotes. The paper notes will be withdrawn from circulation over a period of not less than five years after the issue of the $5 polymer note in 2020. 

 

About the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank

The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) was established in October 1983. The ECCB is the Monetary Authority for: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines.

 

Media Contact: Ingrid O’Loughlin, Senior Director, Corporate Relations Department

Phone: (869) 465-2537 | Fax: (869) 465-9562

E-mail: info@eccb-centralbank.org | Website: www.eccb-centralbank.org

Latest News
Call for Papers - 51st Annual Monetary Studies Conference

The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, in conjunction with the Caribbean Economic Research Team (CERT), will host the 51st Annual Monetary Studies Conference. The conference will be held over the period Tuesday, November 19 to Thursday, November 21, 2019 at the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank Headquarters,…

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Call for Papers - 51st Annual Monetary Studies Conference

The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, in conjunction with the Caribbean Economic Research Team (CERT), will host the 51st Annual Monetary Studies Conference. The conference will be held over the period Tuesday, November 19 to Thursday, November 21, 2019 at the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank Headquarters, Basseterre, St Kitts and Nevis, West Indies.

The theme of the Conference is Socioeconomic Transformation in the Caribbean: Policy Implications of the 4th Industrial Revolution. A number of sub-themes have also been included to guide the deliberations of the Conference and to provide avenues for meaningful dialogue between regional and international policy-makers. The broad sub-themes, which will help determine the final Conference programme, are as follows:

1. Economic Growth, Innovation and Development
2. Fiscal and Debt Policy
3. New Considerations for Monetary Policy
4. Financial Sector Stability and Emerging Technology
5. Climate Change, Central Banking and Risk Management
6. Transportation, Trade, Investment and Competitiveness
7. Poverty, Inequality and Financial Exclusion
8. Public Policy and Governance
9. Financial Technology: Supporting Regional Transformation.

Authors wishing to participate in this year’s conference are invited to submit their abstracts and completed papers as outlined below.  Please indicate whether you will be willing to act as a discussant. 

Participants should provide the following information by the dates indicated:

• The name(s) of the person(s) likely to participate
• Abstract(s) of the paper(s) must include the title of the paper(s) and sent in by Friday September 6, 2019.
• Forward papers to the host Bank, via email in Microsoft Word format by Friday October 11, 2019.
This must be submitted to Eastern Caribbean Central Bank and to the following email addresses:

Shernnel.thompson@eccb-centralbank.org

Rochelle.harris@eccb-centralbank.org

Waverley.Paul@eccb-centralbank.org

Kareem.martin@eccb-centralbank.org

jjhinkoo@central-bank.org.tt.

Please note that the ECCB will be hosting a day of social activities for the AMSC 2019 participants on Friday November 22, 2019.

Should you require further details, please contact Ms. Patricia Welsh, Acting Director, Research Department at Patricia.welsh@eccb-centralbank.org or at RD_CORE@eccb-centralbank.org.

 

We look forward to your participation in this year’s conference.

 

CERT Secretariat
Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago
Eric Williams Plaza, Independence Square, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad , Trinidad and Tobago
Postal Address : P.O. Box 1250
Telephone: (868) 621-2288; 235-2288; Fax: (868) 627-4696 Telex: 22532; 22386
E-mail Address: certsecretariat@central-bank.org.tt

 

 

 

 

Daily Indicative Exchange Rates to the EC Dollar
16th Oct 2019

AUSTRALIA
1.81967
BARBADOS
1.35000
BELIZE
1.35000
CANADA
2.04290
SWITZERLAND
2.70446
DENMARK
0.39860
EUROPE
2.97797
UNITED KINGDOM
3.43143
GUYANA
0.01278
JAMAICA
0.01996
JAPAN
0.02485
S. KOREA
0.00227
KUWAIT
8.88845
NORWAY
0.29405
NEW ZEALAND
1.69250
SWEDEN
0.27544
TRINIDAD
0.39896
UNITED STATES
2.70000
AUSTRALIA
1.82696
BARBADOS
1.35000
BELIZE
1.35000

Interest Rates

ECCB FIXED DEPOSIT RATE 1 MONTH
1.55%
16th Oct 2019
ECCB FIXED DEPOSIT RATE 2 MONTH
1.6%
16th Oct 2019
ECCB FIXED DEPOSIT RATE 3 MONTH
1.65%
16th Oct 2019
ECCU MINIMUM SAVINGS DEPOSIT RATE
2%
1st May 2015
ECCB DAILY CALL RATE
1.15%
16th Oct 2019
ECCB DISCOUNT RATE
6.5%
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