The St Kitts and Nevis-based Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) is reporting that its total assets stood at $3.3 billion by March 2012, compared to $2.8 billion for the previous year.
The figures have been disclosed by Central Bank Governor, Dwight Venner, who says this was mainly due to inflows of grants and loans to member governments from international institutions.
“Also contributing to this increase was the reinvestment of income on foreign assets and gains on the sale of foreign securities held within the ECCB’s foreign reserve portfolio,” Sir Dwight said in a report on the bank’s performance.
He’s also been reporting however, that the ECCB’s financial performance was impacted by the global crisis.
“The Bank realized net income of $11.7m as compared to the previous year’s income of $22.6m,” he said in an address televised across the OECS sub-region.
Sir Dwight said contributing to this “was a reduction in commission income on foreign transactions and lower gains on the sale of securities”.
According to the Central Bank governor, the major challenge facing the OECS countries is “the return to growth at a sufficiently high level to reduce unemployment to reasonable rates, to lower poverty levels, and to assist in maintaining the human development indices at their current levels and improving them where warranted”.
He says the ECCB has placed this subject very high on its agenda.
“We have been involved in some very intense work in-house and have participated in discussions at the country, currency union, regional and international levels in search of solutions to this problem,” Sir Dwight said.
A task force on debt, growth and development has been set up by the bank’s Monetary Council to look into that matter.
Its membership includes representatives from the ECCB, OECS member countries, the Caribbean Development Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
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