The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank Agreement, 1983 is a treaty among the Participating Governments of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) committed to collaboration in the area of central banking. The Participating Governments are Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, Saint Christopher (St Kitts) and Nevis, Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. The Preamble to the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank Agreement Act (“the Agreement”) establishes the main objectives of the collective agreement. It reads:
“Whereas it is desired to maintain a common currency and to establish a Common Central Bank with powers to issue and manage that currency, to safeguard its international value, to promote monetary stability and a sound financial structure and to further the economic development of the territories of the Participating Governments.”
A clear organisational structure is established in the Agreement with a three tiered approach to decision making: (1) at the lower level, the Governor appointed pursuant to Article 9 (3) is charged with responsibility for the day to day management of the Bank and to be responsible to the Board for the implementation of the policy; (2) The Board established by Article 8 (1) is responsible for the policy and general administration of the Bank subject to the exercise of functions by the Monetary Council; (3) The highest authority under the Agreement, the Monetary Council is established by Article 7 (1).
The Banking Act 2015 was drafted within the context of developing of a single banking space in the ECCU. The ECCB is the licensing authority for the banking sector and a single licence authorises a financial institution to operate in the space on a branch basis subject to approval of location of new business premises. In addition, the Banking Act:
The table below illustrates the number, year and commencement date of the Banking Act in each member territory.
|Anguilla||No 6 of 2015||18 April, 2016|
|Antigua and Barbuda||No 10 of 2015||01 October, 2015|
|Commonwealth of Dominica||No 4 of 2015||12 November, 2015|
|Grenada||No 20 of 2015||10 November, 2015|
|Montserrat||No 15 of 2015||01 March, 2016|
|Saint Christopher (St Kitts) and Nevis||No 1 of 2015||20 May, 2016|
|Saint Lucia||No 3 of 2015||12 November, 2015|
|Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||No 4 of 2015||12 November, 2015|