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Government Issues Citizen’s Guide to Understanding the Budget, here’s some of what each island gets



By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer



#TurksandCaicos, June 12, 2023 – The Turk and Caicos just passed its largest ever budget at $424 Million, and residents can see the details of where the money is being spent in a newly published Citizen’s Guide to the Budget. The document was created by the team at the Ministry of Finance headed by E. Jay Saunders, Minister and Deputy Premier and Athnee Harvey-Basden, Permanent Secretary.

The 20 page booklet details the major achievements of the Government in the past year, and lays out the breakdown of how the money will be spent and how much will go to each island. In order of amount the allocations were:

Providenciales – $10.4M

  • $900K Special Needs School
  • $800K Sapodilla Bay Development
  • $750K Furniture and Equipment for Primary Schools
  • $650K to upgrade Bight Park
  • $650K to renovate Fuller and Clementina Walkin Park

Grand Turk – $6.8M

  • $2M for bridges, ponds and roads
  • $1.5M for construction of Hangar
  • $1.5M for drainage and site works at HJRHS
  • $500k to renovate local GTT Village
  • $250K to refurbish the Sylvia Melhado Aged Care Centre • $200K for the Veterinary Clinic

South Caicos – $2.8M

  • $1.5M for enhancement and restoration of Conch Grounds airport (XSC)
  • $500K for refurbishment of Sports Field
  • $500K for redevelopment of Regatta Beach
  • $300K for furniture, equipment and wheelchair accessible vans for the Eliza Basden Aged Care and Special Needs Centre

North Caicos – $2.4M

  • $1M for the construction of the Bottle Neck Creek Community Centre
  • $850K to repair the RGHS High School Block
  • $500K for the refurbishment of the Horse Stable Complex
  • $117K to purchase DDME equipment

Middle Caicos – $750K

$750 for the renovation of Bambarra Beach

Also listed in the guide were the Government’s priority areas for the financial year which included providing a living wage and privatization of janitorial services.

In the document, residents can see the breakdown of the areas where the most cash will be allocated (economic affairs), as well as the least (culture and religion).

While not as detailed as the budget book, it gives residents the opportunity to have physical copies of the upgrades that Ministers and MPs promised to achieve in 2023/24, and can balance their performance against that at the end of the fiscal year.


Canadian analysts watching for recession 



Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer


#Canada, September 9, 2023 – Financial analysts are watching the Canadian economy for the possibility of recession following a contraction in its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the second quarter of 2023, and a decision to keep interest rates at 5 percent.

The Bank of Canada decided to ‘hold steady’ on interest rates this Wednesday, a week after Information shared by Statistics Canada revealed the country’s GDP declined last quarter, failing to reach the over 1 percent growth that was predicted by economists.

“The slowdown was attributable to continued declines in housing investment, smaller inventory accumulation, as well as slower international exports and household spending,” Statistics Canada explained.

Central Banks in North American countries like Canada and the US have been hiking interest rates over the past year to balance out inflation. Both countries want inflation levels to remain at 2 percent.

A recession occurs when a market records negative GDP growth for two consecutive quarters. If Canada records another contraction in its GDP for the third quarter of the year, it will officially be considered to be in a recession.

In late 2022, the Royal Bank of Canada had predicted the country would fall into recession early this year because of cooling housing markets and high interest rates.

The country has not recorded a recession since the beginning of the pandemic.

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TCI Commercial Banks CAUTIOUS about LENDING, Report reveals



By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer


#TurksandCaicos, August 14, 2023 – Credit risk in the Turks and Caicos is decreasing; however, local banks are still very cautious with their lending practices, according to the latest annual report from the Turks and Caicos Financial Services Commission (2021-22).

The FSC Bank and Trust Department oversees the six banking institutions operating locally, their report indicated that the bank’s liquid assets grew massively because residents began to save more money.

“The increase in the sector’s assets was funded by customers’ deposits, which grew by 26.5 percent,” it said. That pushed assets between the six banks to $2.7 billion. Banks are turning a profit, just not as much as before COVID-19. Still, the cash was good enough that they could shutter loan loss provisions they had made.

Not only were customers depositing more money, but with the improved state of the local economy, residents wishing to borrow were resilient to the impact of COVID-19.

Also, fewer residents were defaulting on their loans, the FSC found, with a 29 percent drop in non-performing loans (loans in default), and because of that banks spent 40 percent less on provisioning (money used to cover loans in default). Only four percent of all the loans in the country were listed as non-performing, a decline from five point four (5.4) percent the period prior.

Despite this, fearing rising inflation, and health crises globally, banks responded with ‘conservative lending practices and risk appetites.’

This was at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Residents locally have complained bitterly about the difficulty they face in securing loans and Washington Misick, TCI Premier, has repeatedly put local banks on blast for de-risking and vowed to have the UK step in, to date there has been no change.

Meanwhile, five of the six banks recorded increases in assets and loan portfolios were smaller for four of them.

The FSC also revealed that with banks holding tight to the purse strings, an unregulated credit market had been allowed to flourish locally, which they said was a cause for concern.

“A growing non-bank lending market has emerged in the TCI, which creates competition for the banking sector. This increases the risk to the financial sector if left unregulated and should credit conditions deteriorate,” they explained.

Another concerning revelation is that Money Sending Businesses (MSBs), which are heavily patronized in the country because of the high level of expatriate workers, are taking a hit as well. This time because of high banking costs, de-risking and the emergence of alternate ways to send cash.

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Caribbean News

JAMAICA: Gradual Reduction Anticipated for Paper-Based Banknotes in Circulation



#Kingston, June 18, 2023 – The quantity of paper-based banknotes now in circulation is expected to be gradually reduced over at least the next 12 to 24 months.

This, as the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) undertakes phased disbursement of the new Polymer replacement versions.

BOJ Governor, Richard Byles, told JIS News that persons will be able to conduct transactions using the existing banknotes alongside the Polymer versions during the period.

“You will see both in circulation, and both will be legal tender. Nobody needs to worry that they will be caught with old notes. You can always bring those notes here [at the BOJ to be exchanged],” he informed.

Mr. Byles said while the BOJ only accommodates private persons in relation to exchanges, “because of the special nature of the notes [being introduced], we said [that] the public can come here too [to bring in the old notes] and get the new notes”.

He added, however, that “you can also take them to the [commercial] banks and get them exchanged.”

Meanwhile, Mr. Byles, advised that full withdrawal of the existing banknotes from circulation is “going to take a while.”

He said while the Bank has not set a specific date, “we’re going to let the [new] notes gradually go out into the system.”

“The old notes, when they come in… depending on what the quality of them is like… we’ll take them out of the system. However, there’s going to be a point in time when [after] the BOJ assesses that enough of the old notes have come in and enough of the new notes have gone out, that we can say ‘alright, everybody [who has] old notes, bring them in [within a specific period, and then] try and have a cut-off at that point,” the Governor indicated.

Meanwhile, the BOJ has issued over $11 billion worth of new banknotes, since the exercise commenced on June 6 with disbursements to deposit-taking institutions (DTIs).

The new Jamaican banknotes was officially released to the public on June 15.

Mr. Byles advised that up to mid-afternoon on Friday (June 16), the total stock of notes issued totalled $11.5 billion.  He said a breakdown for each denomination showed the $5000 note accounting for the highest disbursement of $4.7 billion, with the sum for the $1000 bill totalling $3.2 billion.

The equivalent value of the other disbursements were: $2000 – $1.7 billion; $500 – $1.5 billion; $100 – $250 million; and $50 – $75 million.

The new series of polymer Jamaican banknotes comprises upgraded $50, $100, $500, $1,000 and $5,000 notes, and the newly introduced $2,000 bill.

The $50 note features National Heroes, the Right Excellent Paul Bogle, and the Right Excellent George William Gordon, while Jamaica’s first National Hero, the Right Excellent Marcus Mosiah Garvey, appears on the $100 bill.

National Heroes, the Right Excellent Samuel Sharpe and Nanny of the Maroons, grace the $500 note, while National Heroes the Right Excellent Sir Alexander Bustamante, post-Independent Jamaica’s first Prime Minister, and the Right Excellent Norman Washington Manley, are featured on the $1,000 denomination.

Two former Prime Ministers, the Most Hon. Edward Seaga, and the Most Hon. Michael Manley, are highlighted on the $2,000 bill.

Another two former Prime Ministers, the Most Hon. Sir Donald Sangster and the Most Hon. Hugh Shearer, appear on the $5,000 note.  This marks the second time in Jamaica’s history that a new series of banknotes is being introduced and comes 54 years after the country got its own currency in 1969.

The Polymer substrate is being used to print Jamaican banknotes because of the material’s durability, compared to the paper format, which is expected substantially lower associated costs.


Contact: Douglas McIntosh

Release: JIS

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