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International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
The fallout from the COVID-19 crisis is hitting ECCU economies hard. Tourism receipts (accounting for nearly 40 percent of GDP) have dried up, as tourist arrivals have come to a grinding halt. The authorities successfully contained the spread of the virus at the onset of the pandemic by largely closing the borders, but a reopening of the economies since the summer has led to a surge in COVID cases. The ECCU economy is projected to contract by 16 percent in 2020 and by a further near ½ percent in 2021. Fiscal positions have deteriorated sharply, and public debt is projected to reach near 90 percent of GDP in 2021 and remain at an elevated level for years to come. Headline indicators suggest the financial system is relatively sound with ample liquidity buffers, but nonperforming loans are expected to rise significantly. The outlook is clouded by exceptionally high risks, including from the uncertainty concerning the evolution of the pandemic.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This paper presents IMF’s 2019 Discussion on Common Policies of Member Countries of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU). ECCU’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth accelerated from 3/4 percent in 2017 to 3 3/4 percent in 2018, reflecting buoyancy in the tourism sector, sizable Citizenship-by-Investment (CBI) inflows, and a recovery from the 2017 hurricanes in Anguilla and Dominica, which were supported by large public investments in reconstruction. Fiscal deficits increased in 2018–2019, but they have remained moderate. Efforts are needed to streamline, and re-balance tax incentives based on clear principles consistent with international best practices. External imbalances are sizable and significant financial sector vulnerabilities affect both banks and non-banks. Growth is projected to gradually moderate toward its long-term average of 2 1/4 percent as the cyclical momentum normalizes and CBI inflows ease. These trends would also contribute to wider fiscal deficits, ending the downward drift in public debt dynamics. The outlook is clouded by downside risks, including a possible intensification of natural disasters and financial sector weaknesses.
International Monetary Fund
The downturn has accentuated strains on the financial system of Anguilla. The 2011 Article IV Consultation highlights that the growth outlook is improving with major tourism projects getting back on course, although a slow recovery is only expected to begin in 2012. Executive Directors have emphasized that a new fiscal framework is needed with an appropriate balance between current and capital expenditure and in line with the resources available. Fiscal policy should be designed to meet the combined objectives of debt sustainability, deficit reduction, and long-term economic growth.
International Monetary Fund
This Financial System Stability Assessment on the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) reviews overall stability assessment. The fiscal position of the governments in the region has deteriorated sharply in recent years. A source of strength of the ECCU has been the large historical presence of strong foreign banks. However, the structure of the banking industry is changing with the entry of more aggressive regional banks, and the share of privately owned banks has increased. The limited activity of the organized ECCU securities markets reflects the small number of securities available for trading.
International Monetary Fund
Anguilla is in the process of strengthening its legal and supervisory framework, which includes the creation of an operationally independent regulatory body, the Financial Services Commission. Priority should be given to improving the system for suspicious transaction reports, enhancing the customer due diligence requirements for introduced business, and conducting onsite inspections of company and trust service providers. The aim is to issue regulatory and industry codes that broadly meet the recommended best practices as contained in the draft Offshore Group of Banking Supervisors’ Statement.
Mrs. Ruby Randall, Mr. Jorge Shepherd, Mr. Frits Van Beek, Mr. J. R. Rosales, and Ms. Mayra Rebecca Zermeno

Abstract

The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank is one of just a few regional central banks in the world and the only one where the member countries have pooled all their foreign reserves, the convertability of the common currency is fully self-supported, and the parity of the exchange rate has not changed. This occasional paper reviews recent developments, policy issues, and institutional arrangements in the member countries of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union, and looks at the regional financial system, its supervision, and the central bank's initiatives to establish a single financial space. The paper includes a large amount of statistical information that is not readily available elsewhere from a single source.