The Central Bank of Barbados (CBB) was founded by the Government of Barbados in May 1972, just a few years after the country gained Independence in 1966.
The establishment of the CBB eliminated the need for external monetary regulation and management by the East Caribbean Currency Authority (ECCA) thus promoting national autonomy.
The CBB also took on the responsibility of regulating financial institutions and propelling the economic development of the island.
Today, the CBB stands as the apex of Barbados’ financial sector. The CBB is a semi-autonomous body governed by a Board of Directors who are appointed by the Minister of Finance. The Central Bank has been headed by the Governor of the Bank, Dr. Marion Williams since March 2005.
“The mission of the Central Bank of Barbados is to foster a sound economic and financial environment which promotes the development of its stakeholders and encourages a culture of excellence and leadership”
Unlike a commercial bank, the CBB does not offer public banking services. Rather the CBB – together with the Government of Barbados – works to create sound monetary and fiscal policies that promote development and maintain public confidence in the economy.
The Central Bank is committed to promoting monetary stability, creating a sound financial structure, strong monetary and capital markets, and the investment of commercial bank credit into productive activities.
As the nation’s central bank, the CBB has 6 main areas of responsibility:
— Monetary regulation (issue, supply, availability)
— Banker to Government and commercial banks
— Government advisor on monetary and financial issues
— Foreign exchange reserves management
— Public debt management
— Supervises financial institution operations
The Central Bank also provides accurate, timely and relevant data to the Government and the public. The Bank monitors and reports on the following sectors:
— Real (construction, wholesale, retail trade, agriculture production, electricity…)
— Financial/ Monetary (trusts, insurance, finance)
— Public (tax administration)
— External (Balance of Payments)
— Regional (CARICOM, trends and performance indicators)
— International (trade agreements, monitoring and evaluation…)
CBB outreach programmes include public awareness and education campaigns through the delivery of seminars, conferences, lectures and workshops focusing on economic and financial issues at the national, regional, and international levels.
The Central Bank is also a strong supporter of the Arts. The CBB funds a literary endowment and collaborates with the National Cultural Foundation in support of the visual arts.
The Central Bank also supports the Youth Steelpan Development “Pan in the Plaza”. One of the Central Banks greatest contributions to the Arts community in Barbados has been the contribution and administration of Frank Collymore Hall, a 500 seat venue used for recitals, drama, creative arts and education initiatives.
For more information regarding the Central Bank of Barbados, visit CBB’s head office located in the Tom Adams Financial Centre on Spry Street in the capital city of Bridgetown or access www.centralbank.org.bb today.