Financial sector operations decline by 7.5 percent in 2022

Financial sector operations decline by 7.5 percent in 2022

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The total financial sector operations in the country experienced a decline of approximately $11.2 billion or 7.5 percent in 2022, as revealed by a recent survey conducted by the Central Bank on the financial services sector.

The survey for 2022 highlighted that the sector was affected by global economic developments, leading to a contraction and consolidation of international banking balance sheet activity.

Throughout the year, the estimated balance sheet size of financial sector operations decreased by approximately $11.2 billion (7.5 percent) to reach $138.6 billion. This decline was primarily driven by a reduction in the assets of international banks, which surpassed the decrease in the balance sheet of domestic banks.

The Central Bank reported that an analysis of the financial sector’s performance showed a decrease of 11.9 percent in the total taxes and fees collected by the government, amounting to $165.6 million in 2022.

This reduction was mainly attributed to a 12.3 percent decline in transactional taxes on domestic intermediation activities, which amounted to $97.2 million. The decrease in levies on non-mortgage-related banking transactions accounted for a significant portion of this decline, amounting to $25.5 million (31.1 percent).

In 2022, the total number of licensed banks and trust companies in The Bahamas decreased by 12, reaching a total of 202, following a decrease of 3 in 2021. Among them, public banks and trust companies experienced a decline of 5, totaling 75, while restricted, non-active, and nominees decreased by 7, totaling 127.

The survey also revealed that employment in banks and trust companies decreased by 45 (1.2 percent) to approximately 3,664 individuals in 2022, indicating a moderation from the 3.5 percent decline observed in 2021.

Breaking down the numbers by nationality, the survey showed a decrease of 46 Bahamian employees, resulting in a total of 3,449, while non-Bahamian positions saw a marginal increase of 1, reaching 215.

Furthermore, total employment in the domestic banking sector decreased by 26 to 3,008 during the year, which was lower than the 2.9 percent decline observed in 2021.