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Mr. John Kiff, Jihad Alwazir, Sonja Davidovic, Aquiles Farias, Mr. Ashraf Khan, Mr. Tanai Khiaonarong, Majid Malaika, Mr. Hunter K Monroe, Nobu Sugimoto, Hervé Tourpe, and Peter Zhou
This paper examines key considerations around central bank digital currency (CBDC) for use by the general public, based on a comprehensive review of recent research, central bank experiments, and ongoing discussions among stakeholders. It looks at the reasons why central banks are exploring retail CBDC issuance, policy and design considerations; legal, governance and regulatory perspectives; plus cybersecurity and other risk considerations. This paper makes a contribution to the CBDC literature by suggesting a structured framework to organize discussions on whether or not to issue CBDC, with an operational focus and a project management perspective.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This paper highlights The Bahamas’ Request for Purchase Under the Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI). The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic comes on the heels of the widespread destruction caused by Hurricane Dorian in September 2019. Coupled with domestic containment measures, the collapse in tourism will cause a deep recession. The Bahamian authorities have taken timely and targeted measures to boost health spending and mitigate the socioeconomic impact of the pandemic, supporting jobs and vulnerable segments of the population. The disbursement under the RFI will help boost resources for essential COVID-19-related outlays, strengthen reserves, and catalyze additional support from other international financial institutions, development partners, and the private sector. In order to address the urgent fiscal needs, the central bank will on-lend the disbursement to the Ministry of Finance. The IMF staff is confident that the authorities will pursue appropriate policies for alleviating the impact of the pandemic, based on the country’s strong track record. The Bahamas is assessed to have sustainable debt and adequate capacity to repay the IMF.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department

The Bank Supervision Department (BSD) of the Central Bank of the Bahamas (CBoB) has a generally effective supervisory program in place for the size and complexity of the Bahamian banking system. Since the prior FSAP in 2012, clear progress has been made enhancing the framework in a number of areas as well as in the execution of its supervision program. CBoB supervision continues to evolve in a number of positive directions, with most of the areas viewed by assessors as warranting enhancements included in the execution of the program.

International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
The CBOB considers increased financial inclusion as a critical reform area. In this regard, the FSAP assessed developments in financial inclusion for individuals and enterprises (SME finance), retail payments and provides recommendations for improvements. A review of the market was undertaken using the Payment Aspects of Financial Inclusion (PAFI) framework covering areas such as the legal/regulatory framework and oversight, retail payment systems and instruments, access to transaction accounts and use cases, as well as SME policy, credit infrastructure, economic empowerment funds and consumer protection and financial literacy.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
The Bahamas appears to be resilient to current threats to its financial stability, but action is needed to safeguard against potential weaknesses. There is a large stock of problem assets that needs to be dealt with from a variety of perspectives: systemic risk monitoring, banking supervision, and crisis management. Vulnerabilities to natural disasters and external economic contagion heighten this need. The banking sector dominates the financial system and has focused on residential mortgages and consumer loans during a long period of economic stagnation. Despite poor growth the sector has remained profitable. However, the small domestic residential property market backing most secured lending is prone to shocks and illiquidity. This has historically led to high and persistent levels of nonperforming loans (NPLs), which significantly increase uncertainty and fragility in the banking system.