Frequently asked questions
ECCB
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What is the difference between a Treasury Bill and a Government Bond?

Treasury bills commonly referred to as T-bills, are debt instruments issued by governments. They can basically be described as short-term loans to the issuer, issued for a term of one year or less.

Bonds
Like treasury bills, bonds are debt instruments; however they are long-term instruments, issued for a period of five to thirty years, by both companies and governments. Bonds issued by governments are called treasury bonds, while those issued by companies are called corporate bonds.

Are the ECHMB, ECIB, ECSE, RGSM and ECUT part of the Central Bank?

No. They are the markets and initiatives created by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank under its programmes of Money and Capital Markets Development.

What publications are produced by the Central Bank and where are they made available to the public?

The ECCB produces annual and quarterly publications, namely:

  • The Annual Report
  • The Balance of Payments (annual)
  • The Annual Financial Statistics Yearbook
  • National Accounts (annual)
  • The Economic and Financial Review (quarterly)
  • Commercial Bank Statictics (quarterly)

They are available by subscription from our website, or by writing directly to:

Director
Research Department
Eastern Caribbean Central Bank
P O Box 89
Bird Rock
Basseterre
St Kitts
West Indies

The Annual Report and Commercial Bank Statistics are free of charge.

Does the ECCB have offices in each member territory?

The ECCB is headquartered in St Kitts and has Agency Offices in each member territory, staffed by a Resident Representative and an Administrative Professional. The Agency Offices are responsible for performing the following operations:

  • Foreign Exchange
  • Issue and redemption of currency
  • Monitoring developments in the member territories
  • Transmitting information to the Bank on developments in the territory
  • Monitoring the implementation of the policy directives from the Bank
  • Coordination of Public Education and Community Outreach Programmes
What is the difference between Monetary and Fiscal Policy?

Monetary policy refers to the actions undertaken by a central bank to influence the availability of money and credit to help promote national economic objectives of growth, employment and stable prices. Under the terms of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank Agreement Act 1983, the Monetary Council has responsibility to provide directives and guidelines on matters of monetary and credit policy to the Bank (Article 7.2).

Fiscal Policy is the term used to characterise measures taken by a government to influence an economy. These decisions involve mainly government's use of expenditure and taxation policies to bring about desired macroeconomic objectives

Who designed the ECCB logo and what is the significance of the colours used in the design?

The logo of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank was designed by Mr Dennis Richards of St. Kitts/Nevis on June 27, 1984. In June 1992, Miss Marijka Grey of St Kitts/Nevis reproduced a coloured version of the logo with the colours blue, green and yellow.

The logo consists of a blue circle bordered with a narrow yellow strip both on the inner and outer rims of the circle. The words Eastern Caribbean Central Bank are inscribed in yellow lettering on the blue circle. This circle frames two green laurels interspersed with splashes of yellow encasing the letters ECCB, also written in yellow and resting on a white background.

White - The purity of aspiration of the peoples of the sub-region and the sand which frames the lovely waters of the Region.

Blue - The azure colour epitomizes the comely and breath taking beaches/waters and clear skies of which this Region boasts.

Yellow - The goldish yellow embodies the warmth of the people and the radiant sunshine.

Green - The green symbolises the lush vegetation and verdant fields and forests of the islands.

The combination of colours clearly illustrates the two major economic activities for which the islands are known, to wit, Agriculture and Tourism.

Laurels - These evergreen shrubs are symbolic of the honour which the Central Bank seeks to bring to the sub-region as it grapples with the challenges encountered along the path to the achievements of balanced growth and developments.

What is the governance structure of the Central Bank?

The Monetary Council is the highest decision-making body in the institution to which the management of the Bank is ultimately responsible.

Article 7(2) establishes that the Council shall meet not less than twice each year to receive from the Governor the Bank’s report on monetary and credit conditions and to provide directives and guidelines on matters of monetary and credit policy.

The Council has agreed to meet three times for the year in January or February, July and October.

The Council’s specific decision-making functions are outlined as follows:

Article 17 (2) - declaration of the external value of the currency,
Article 24 (3) - the external reserve backing of the currency,
Article (33) - the maintenance of required reserves, and
Article (34) - interest rate and credit ceilings.

The Board of Directors is responsible for policy and general administration of the Bank. All major decisions must first be approved by the Board before they are presented to the Council.

The Board comprises the Governor, Deputy Governor and one Director appointed by each of the participating governments. The Governor functions as Chairman of the Board.

How long has the ECCB existed?

The Agreement to establish the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) was signed on July 5 1983 by the governments of Antigua and Barbuda, The Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, and St Vincent and the Grenadines. Anguilla acceded to the Act on 1 April 1987.

At the time of writing, the ECCB is one of only four multi-state central banks in the world.

Who are the Bank’s former Governors and Deputy Governors?

The first Governor of the ECCB was Sir Cecil Jacobs (July 1983 to December 1989). He was succeeded by the current Governor, Sir K Dwight Venner. Mr Errol Allen was appointed Deputy Governor in 1983, when the Institution was upgraded from the East Caribbean Currency Authority (ECCA) to a Central Bank (the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank), and served until his retirement on 31 March 2005. He was succeeded by Mr Trevor Brathwaite, of Saint Lucia, who officially took office as the Bank’s second Deputy Governor on 3 April 2006.

How does the Central Bank act as a Clearing House?

The Bank jointly with the licensed commercial banks in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) established the Eastern Caribbean Automated Clearing House (ECACH). In order to transform the traditional paper based payment system into an electronic payment system based on international standards, the ECCB initiated the ECACH Project, which was divided into two phases. Phase one, the implementation of Cheque Imaging, was completed in March 2015 across eight territories. The objective of phase two is to implement the use of Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) in XCD throughout the participating Banks of the ECCU based on the NACHA standard by, 2017.

Can I save money with or obtain a loan from the Central Bank?

No.Individuals wishing to save or borrow money should contact any of the licensed financial institutions.

The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank does not accept deposits or make loans to private individuals. As banker to governments, the Central Bank provides deposit and borrowing facilities to participating governments. The governments maintain accounts with the Central Bank, which undertakes transactions on their behalf with other governments and with regional and international organisations. The Bank also gives technical advice to the governments on monetary and financial policy matters.

The Central Bank also functions as banker to commercial banks, and holds minimum cash balances and excess reserves of the commercial banks. The ECCB also provides a clearinghouse facility.

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