NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The Bahamas Mortgage Corporation (BMC) has engaged in a complete restructuring of its accounting and finance department, its Chairman Patrick Ward noted yesterday, while also revealing that the BMC has engaged a local firm to perform all outstanding external audits dating back six years.
Ward, who was speaking at the official opening of the BMC’s new facilities, noted that the corporation is one of the few government enterprises that does not receive a subvention. According to Ward, over the past four decades, the BMC has helped some 5,000 Bahamians become homeowners. The BMC currently has a $175 million mortgage portfolio.
“Admittedly, applications for mortgage loans remain a challenge as most Bahamians are heavily debt-burdened or require a co-applicant. However, every effort is made to ascertain the true financial obligation of loan applicants and to offer the best available option for qualified candidates. This sometimes proves difficult given the absence of a formal credit reporting agency, although this problem will eventually fade into the past when the credit reporting agency comes fully online,” said Ward.
He added, “Notwithstanding this reality, improvements have been [made] in the application process with most applications being approved within 14 days, a timeline we will reduce to three days once the new loan origination portal is installed in the second quarter of 2021.”
Ward noted the BMC has signed a contract with BDO Bahamas to perform all outstanding external audits from 2014 to present.
“There were significant delays in having those audits carried out due to the absence of accounting information, inadequate systems and controls. The board mandated a complete restructure of the accounting and financing debt and engaged the accounting firm of Baker Tilly to assist in this process. The restructuring exercise is still ongoing but we are confident the outstanding external audits can commence and be completed by Q3 2021,” said Ward.