By Caribbean News Global contributor
BASSETERRE, St Kitts – The ECCB recently published its 2020-2021 Annual Report and Statement of Accounts which saw that the bank recorded a net profit of $25.2 million for the financial year ended March 31, 2021, a 60.1 percent decrease from the profit reported in the prior year.
According to the ECCB statement: “ The report further indicates that the decrease in net profit was due principally, to a significant reduction in interest income earned on the bank’s foreign reserves portfolio.”
Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) Timothy N. J. Antoine, examined the work and performance of the bank over the 2020/2021 financial year and discusses the outlook for the year ahead on ECCB Connects.
Governor Antoine said: “The reality is that we’ve had the single largest growth shock on the record. Our economies contracted last year, 2020, by 14.0 percent. That’s bigger than the Global Financial Crisis when the contraction was 6.0 percent.”
The Governor highlighted the importance of financial stability and the ECCB’s relentless quest for socio-economic transformation; a quest which he says the bank is even more determined to pursue in the face of the challenges brought on by the pandemic.
“Keeping the ECCB staff safe and serving the region well continue to be the bank’s top priorities,” said Governor Antoine as he outlined a number of programmes the ECCB initiated to help to move the region forward.
“As the ECCB looks ahead, some of the areas of focus will be the continued focus on financial stability; digital transformation and environmental; and social and corporate governance.
The Governor’s outlook for the new financial year can be view here.
Meanwhile, 2021 marks 45 years of the EC dollar, pegged to the US dollar, the ECCB said in a statement on July 8, 2021:
“The EC dollar remains strong after 45 years of being pegged to the US dollar at a fixed rate of EC$2.70 to US$1.00 on July 7, 1976.
“The EC dollar serves as a source of stability for the people of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) and the fixed exchange rate provides them with confidence in its value. On the international level, the stability of the value of the EC dollar provides ECCU’s trading partners and external creditors with the assurance they need to pursue transactions.
“One key element in maintaining the value and stability of the currency is the ECCB’s management of the region’s pool of foreign reserves which has allowed the peg to continue unchanged for the last 45 years.
“The stability of the EC dollar can be attributed to the founding fathers and framers of the currency union, including past governors, the monetary council and the board of directors whose efforts have allowed the currency to remain stable in spite of various threats to the global economy over the years.”