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International Monetary Fund

This report provides the details of the IMF's projections and estimates of The Bahamas on generation and sale of electricity; central government revenue and expenditure; summary central government operations; operations of the nonfinancial public sector; accounts of the financial system; accounts of the central bank, commercial banks, and other local financial institutions; loans and advances of commercial banks; liquidity positions of commercial banks; selected interest rates; balance of payments; composition of merchandise exports and imports; external public debt and debt service; comparative real exchange rate; operations of the National Insurance Board (NIB), and so on.

International Monetary Fund

Prudent macroeconomic management, strong growth, low inflation, small fiscal deficit, and public debt have helped The Bahamas attain the highest standard of living in the Caribbean. Executive Directors supported the government’s goals of balancing the budget and reducing debt. They encouraged the use of market-based monetary policy and tax administration. They emphasized the need of a macroeconomic policy framework, international reserves, and a strong financial framework. Directors appreciated the performance of the financial system and also for modernizing the regime to combat money laundering and terrorism financing.

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

This article is an overview of the structure of the Bahamian financial system. After the financial crisis in the United States, the Bahamian financial structure showed fragile growth. Tourism, the main source of income for the domestic economy, weakened owing to the U.S. crisis. The increase in oil prices was the key reason for the destroyed infrastructure. However, amidst the vulnerabilities, the banking sector showed stability with high capital and liquidity and sustained challenges; the insurance sector also showed significant improvement. The current financial framework needs to be strengthened, and the mission recommends several reforms to handle financial shocks.

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.