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The Central Bank of the Bahamas.

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Relaxed lending rules for domestic credit

THE Central Bank of The Bahamas is relaxing the guidelines for domestic banks and credit unions around the qualification criteria for provision of credit to the private sector. This takes account of the domestic economy’s increased capacity to sustainably absorb more credit expansion, given the potential for credit growth to stimulate greater imports and increase the net use of foreign exchange.

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Dirty money - The biggest policy failure of all

THE Central Bank’s former chief enforcer says the US and UK are the biggest recipients of “dirty money” and suggests racial bias against countries like The Bahamas in anti-money laundering (AML) programmes.

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FNM warning: We need action - now

THE Free National Movement yesterday expressed concern about the Bahamian economy and the management of the country’s fiscal affairs.

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Central Bank: Investors no longer ‘tepid’ on Gov’t debt

The Government’s domestic debt issues were fully subscribed for the first time in almost three years during the 2022 second quarter, the Central Bank has revealed, arguing that “tepid investor sentiment” has been reversed.

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Banks and regulator seek to ‘mute’ cheque-end dissent

The Central Bank yesterday removed from its website a document seeking bids for a campaign “to mute” opposition to the elimination of cheques after the language used was questioned by Tribune Business.

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Banks’ fee income doubles in decade

Bahamian commercial banks are generating an ever-increasing share of their income from the fees detested by many consumers, which now account for more than $1 out of every $5 in earnings.

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Foreign reserves stay over $3bn despite May decline

The Bahamas’ foreign currency reserves closed May 2022 above $3bn despite a $65m drop-off during the month, with the Central Bank reiterating its belief that they remain “more than adequate” to sustain the US dollar peg.

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Collateral Registry to ease 231% loan security burden

The Central Bank has unveiled plans for an Internet-based collateral registry that will ease Bahamian small business access to funding in a market where the security demanded is often more than three times’ the loan amount.

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March air arrivals near to 75% of pre-COVID

Tourist arrivals to The Bahamas increased almost ten-fold in March 2022 compared to the prior year aided by the continued easing of COVID-related border restrictions and a rebound in global travel, it was revealed yesterday.

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BOB shedding ‘haunted’ past with 20% growth goal for ‘23

Bank of The Bahamas top executive yesterday asserted it is moving beyond the bail-outs that “will forever haunt” the institution with predictions it will grow this year’s forecast $7m profit by a further 20 percent in 2023.

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Tourism arrivals rise by a sixth

The Central Bank of The Bahamas said tourist arrivals grew by 17 percent in 2021, but are still a way off 2019 numbers.

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‘Entrenched reduction?’: Bad loans down $22m

The Central Bank is “holding off” in determining whether COVID-related loan delinquencies have peaked despite a $22.4m reduction in non-performing credit during the 2022 first quarter, its governor revealed yesterday.

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Governor raises reserves forecast as $3bn beaten

The Central Bank yesterday raised its year-end forecast for The Bahamas’ external reserves holdings after they started May above $3bn following a $523m expansion during the first three months of 2022.

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External reserves jump on banks’ $84m inflow

The Bahamas’ external reserves grew by almost $55m in February 2022 as commercial banks collectively received a net $84.2m foreign currency inflow from their customers.

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National debt still bigger than Bahamas economy

The Bahamas’ national debt remained larger than the size of the country’s economy at year-end 2021, it was revealed yesterday, standing at a sum equivalent to 100.3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).

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Bahamas’ $3bn in Russian assets ‘under 1%’ of sector

The Central Bank’s governor yesterday said the nearly-$3bn in Russian-connected assets held by the Bahamas’ international financial services industry represents “less than 1 percent” of the sector’s total business.

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$2.92Bn of Russian funds in Bahamas

THE Central Bank said international banks and trust companies had about $420m in deposits and $2.5bn in custody or trust assets for which the ultimate beneficial owners were from or connected to Russia.

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Central Bank: Inflationary pressure to be ‘contained’

The Central Bank yesterday forecast that “inflationary pressures will remain contained” while The Bahamas’ foreign currency reserves will close 2022 above “international benchmarks”.

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Central Bank to explore cross-border Sand Dollar

The Central Bank aims to explore the Sand Dollar’s use outside The Bahamas within the next three years, it was revealed yesterday, with 20 percent of this nation’s adults having no bank account.

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Domestic Gov’t bond just 25% subscribed

Concerns were raised last night over investor appetite for the Government’s debt after just 25 percent of a recent $47.326m bond issue was picked up by the market.

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External reserves to end 2022 ‘not far from’ $2bn

The Central Bank’s governor yesterday predicted that The Bahamas’ external reserves will end 2022 “not far off $2bn” and ensure the US dollar exchange rate peg faces “no undue pressure”.

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Pre-COVID output ‘not good enough’

The Central Bank’s governor yesterday warned that returning to pre-COVID economic output “is not enough” as he reaffirmed forecasts that GDP will expand by 8 percent in 2022.

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Year ends seeing first shoots of growth

THE Central Bank of The Bahamas said that the economy will “register marginal growth” for 2021.

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Cheques to be eliminated in three years

THE Central Bank of The Bahamas is looking to eliminate cheques by the end of 2024.

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Central Bank wants to see ‘prepare for worst plans’

The Central Bank of The Bahamas has called for recovery plans for all supervised financial institutions (SFIs) to help enable them to fully restore operations after a crisis situation.

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National debt just under economy’s size at 98.4%

The Bahamas’ national debt was just less than the size of the economy at end-September 2021 after increasing to almost $10.5bn over the previous three months, it was revealed yesterday.

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Central Bank unions file second trade dispute

THE two unions representing Central Bank employees have filed a second trade dispute over stalled negotiations with management related to an outstanding industrial agreement and other issues.

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Central Bank hit by staff sickout

A NUMBER of Central Bank workers called in sick yesterday to protest unresolved grievances with management.

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Regulator loses $116k roof repairs strike-out

The Central Bank’s bid to strike out a Bahamian contractor’s $116,000 claim for breach of contract relating to roof repairs has been rejected by a Supreme Court judge.

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National debt breaks $10bn

The Government last night confirmed that The Bahamas’ national debt had breached the $10bn mark due to the borrowing blow-out inflicted by the combination of COVID-19 and Hurricane Dorian.

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INSIGHT: Legal letters and libel stir the waters at Central Bank

WEEKS after an interview with the press, a banker’s union boss has been told to apologise for remarks she made or face the consequences.

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