Antigua Daily Observer – Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), Timothy Antoine has assured the public across the region that there is “no immediate concern” over the $10 million in losses recorded for 2016, arguing that yearly losses are reducing.
Antoine also advised that the ECCB is not a profit making institution, and therefore the losses are not as alarming as they may seem at first glance.
“The Central Bank has made losses for the last three years– $18 million in 2014, $12 million in 2015 and $10 million in 2016. The good news is that we’re actually seeing a reduction in those losses. “There is no immediate concern. The central bank is not in the business of making profit,” the governor said.
According to him, the “principal reason” for the losses was because of the “low interest rate environment” in the global market. “We earn our income principally by investing our reserves in the international markets and use the interest income from those reserves to take care of our expenses.
“As a result of these low rates we’ve seen losses in recent times,” Antoine explained. He added, “We are beginning to reverse that and we expect that before long the bank will return to profitability.”
The governor was speaking at the press conference following the 85th meeting of the ECCB Monetary Council in Antigua & Barbuda recently.
When OBSEVER media asked if the ECCB should diversify its investment portfolio Antoine said “no”.
“We invest in very safe securities because of the backing of the EC dollar. Now the safer the securities, the lower the interest rates because it’s a risk reward paradigm.