Central Bank: Banks and Trusts drops 20 percent over decade

Central Bank: Banks and Trusts drops 20 percent over decade
Central bank logo

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The number of Banks and Trust companies in The Bahamas has declined nearly 20 percent since 2010, according to data released by the Central Bank.

The regulator in its February 2020 quarterly statistical digest revealed there were 276 licensed bank and trust companies operating in The Bahamas in 2010.

In 2019 the number of licensed bank and trust companies dropped to 221, with 15 licenses expiring in 2019.

Seventeen licenses expired in 2018, and 14 in 2017.

The contraction in the financial services sector continued with Global Swiss private banking giant Julius Baer announcing in early February that it will shutter its Nassau booking centre.

The closure will result in the termination of 30 employees.

The announcement came on the heels of a statement by Julius BaerChief Executive Philipp Rickenbacher that the Zurich-based wealth manager will cut 300 jobs this year as it seeks to boost profitability.

In a recent interview with Eyewitness News on the contraction in the financial services sector, Bahamas Financial Services Union (BFSU) president Theresa Mortimer said: “The financial sector continues to contract. Years ago it was the sector everyone would try to get into.

“We saw it as a comfortable sector. Things are not that way anymore.”

Mortimer said: “This whole issue of knowing your customer (KYC) has changed the way we do business big time. We also have places like the Cayman Islands offering the same products we are.”