By Travis Cartwright-Carroll
Nassau Guardian Staff Reporter
NASSAU, Bahamas -- Prime Minister Perry Christie on Monday reaffirmed the government’s support for Bank of The Bahamas, after the bank reported its first loss.
“As the 65 percent majority shareholder of Bank of The Bahamas, the government of The Bahamas reaffirms its robust support for the bank,” Christie said in a statement.
“There need be no fear or concern on that score. The bank's capital position and other fundamentals remain strong.
“Moreover, the government is satisfied that all necessary steps have already been taken, and will continue to be taken, to ensure that the bank remains in full compliance with all regulatory requirements and prudential banking standards.”
In a statement issued last week, the bank noted that it recorded its first loss last year, a loss of $3.5 million, after 20 consecutive years of profitability.
The bank said it has achieved tremendous success over the years and is well poised for a return to profitability.
The statement said, “The bank is robustly capitalized, exceeding Central Bank requirements and international banking norms. Through a combination of profit retention and preference share issuances, the bank grew its total equity from $17 million to its present level of $140 million.”
Shadow Minister for Finance Peter Turnquest last week expressed concerns over the financial condition of the bank.
BOB also asserted that media reports suggesting political favouritism or political involvement in the granting of loans at the bank are “simply untrue”.
BOB was responding to The Punch, which claimed to list several political figures’ loan information at the bank.
The bank said the loans made were not personal but commercial loans “in which certain political figures may have been interested as investors or shareholders”.
BOB said an investigation is ongoing into the source of the leaked confidential information. It said that internal steps have been taken to prevent future breaches.
Republished with permission of the Nassau Guardian