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Caribbean Islands Table of Contents

Caribbean Islands

Banking and Finance

The Central Bank of Barbados (CBB) was created in 1972 to assist the government in stabilizing the economy by facilitating development and financial intermediation (see Glossary). Since 1972, Barbados has minted its own Barbadian dollar, which has been pegged to the United States dollar at a rate of B$2.00 to US$1.00.

The government created the CBB for numerous reasons, all related to gaining more control over domestic and international financial intermediation. Paramount to maintaining financial stability was Barbados' new-found control over its money supply. Unlike other Eastern Caribbean states, which were dependent on a regional financial institution for central governance of the monetary system, Barbados was capable of establishing its own monetary program to supplement fiscal policy in meeting national economic goals.

Financial priorities were also advanced by the Barbados Development Bank, which was created in 1963. It functioned as an independent corporation designed to facilitate development by encouraging domestic savings and investment and providing loans to development enterprises, cooperatives, and small businesses. It was also empowered to issue its own securities to ensure sufficient funding to meet development needs. In 1985 it reemphasized its effort to assist the small manufacturing sector, which had failed to expand significantly during the previous year.

In the mid-1980s, Barbados was also served by numerous local banks and seven foreign commercial institutions. In addition, it was the headquarters for the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), which acted as a conduit for multilateral lending arrangements.

Data as of November 1987