Category: News

23- Jan2024
Posted By: BASL

New President for Bankers Association of Saint Lucia

The Bankers Association of St. Lucia Inc. announces the appointment of a new President to manage its affairs for the period January 01, 2024 to December 31, 2025.

Mr. Fletcher St. Jean, Managing Director of 1st National Bank St. Lucia Limited, takes the helm as the new President of the Bankers Association of Saint Lucia. He is supported by a cadre of banking professionals who form the Executives, including Vice President, Mrs. Gezella Claxton – Senior Country Lead, Republic Bank (EC) Limited; Secretary, Ms. Joralee Preville – Corporate Secretary, Financial Investment and Consultancy Services (FICS) Limited; Public Relations Officer, Ms. Janelle Germain – Senior Manager, Marketing & Corporate Communications, Bank of Saint Lucia Limited; and Treasurer, Ms. Leona Edward – Finance Manager, Sagicor Finance Inc.

With over 25 years of experience in banking and finance, Mr. Fletcher St. Jean is poised to lead the Bankers Association of Saint Lucia into a new chapter, building upon the strong foundation laid by his predecessor. Starting his career at Citigroup Banking Division, through a management program, Mr. St. Jean quickly became one of the youngest managers in the corporate division of this global financial giant. Mr. St. Jean is academically accomplished, holding an MBA and dual Bachelor’s degrees in Finance and Accounting from Lindenwood University, USA. During his time at Lindenwood, he made history as the first black, international student to be elected President of the University’s Accounting and Business Club. He also gained valuable experience in corporate finance as the only non-ivy League student to gain acceptance into a highly competitive MasterCard International Summer Internship Program.

Prior to his current role as Managing Director of 1st National Bank, Mr. St. Jean served as a Financial Controller for Digicel, in the St. Kitts and Nevis market, providing overall financial accountability for the business. He has also been a trailblazer in regional transportation, contributing to a transformative fast ferry service between St. Kitts and Nevis. In 2019, he founded EZirates Inc., a pioneering digital Fintech platform created with a vision to enhance the credit application process in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union region.

Mr St. Jean’s extensive background in banking and finance, coupled with his entrepreneurial spirit and experience in digital innovation, will prove valuable as he assumes the reigns of leadership as the new incoming President of the Bankers Association of St. Lucia. Under his leadership, the association is set to advance its mission of enhancing financial literacy, deepening community engagement, and promoting economic growth in alignment with the vision of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union. Mr. St. Jean is confident that with the collective support of his colleagues in the Bankers Association, there will be a revolutionary enhancement of banking services throughout St. Lucia. The new president is committed to significantly improving the efficiency and effectiveness of banking services in St. Lucia, particularly in the realms of account opening and loan application processes, as well as enhancing digital banking services. His tenure is anticipated to drive substantial progress in the banking sector.

11- Oct2023
Posted By: BASL

Saint Lucia, Venezuela Strengthen Ties With The Signing Of Three Agreements

The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and Saint Lucia strengthened a common road map framed in cooperation, complementarity and solidarity, by signing three agreements on Friday 6, October, 2023, on the occasion of the official visit of the Prime Minister of the Caribbean island, Hon. Philip J. Pierre, to Venezuelan soil.

The protocol ceremony for the signing of the agreements, from the Simón Bolívar Hall of the Miraflores Palace, included the signing of the document called Roadmap for the Development of Cooperation between the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and Saint Lucia.

The instrument signed by the Minister of People’s Power for Foreign Affairs, Hon. Yván Gil Pinto and the Minister of External Affairs, International Trade, Civil Aviation and Diaspora Affairs of Saint Lucia, Hon. Alva Baptiste, is aimed at expanding bilateral cooperation through the preparation of joint proposals for the future and early signing of agreements in the areas of development, education, tourism, fishing, food sovereignty, air transportation and infrastructure.

“We have signed the roadmap and we have also established the action plan, a real concrete action plan, to produce food of Saint Lucia, in Venezuela, in a shared manner, to increase trade, to guarantee energy sovereignty, to support each other in education, tourism, culture, housing construction”, detailed the President of the Republic, H.E. Nicolas Maduro.

The intention is to design and implement programs and projects that will allow the implementation of cooperation activities in all sectors of common interest for the benefit of both peoples.

The second document is the Air Services Agreement between the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and Saint Lucia, to promote an international air transportation system that offers fair and equitable opportunities to the respective airlines.

This agreement was signed by the Minister of People’s Power for Transportation, Hon. Ramón Celestino Velásquez Araguayán, and the Minister of Saint Lucia, Hon. Alva Baptiste.

This air services agreement will be active as of November. “Opening air operations and connecting Saint Lucia with Venezuela, Venezuela with Saint Lucia. We are joining the Caribbean, great news (…) and I am sure that these flights will be very successful and will increase the exchange of our peoples for tourism and to strengthen relations,” he said.

The third important aspect of this meeting in Caracas was the signing of the Joint Declaration between Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and the Prime Minister of the Caribbean nation.

“With this declaration we ratify the principles of self-determination of the peoples, of Latin America and the Caribbean as a territory of the principles of cooperation, solidarity, brotherhood, mutual benefit, progressive and upward development of relations, the founding principles of our peoples,” ratified the Head of State.

With the signing of the three documents, bilateral cooperation is expanded under the premises of respect, defense of sovereignty, complementarity and cooperation.

“We have set out to turn the cooperative relationship of joint work and brotherhood between Saint Lucia and Venezuela into a model to be followed for relations with the entire Caribbean and other peoples, a relationship that is brilliant, that yields concrete results, that raises the quality of life of our people,” he said.

SOURCE: Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela

04- Oct2023
Posted By: BASL

Financial Information Month 2023 Underway

Financial Information Month (FIM) is a regional financial, economic, business and entrepreneurial education campaign executed in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) every October since 2002, through the collaborative efforts of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), ECCU member governments, financial and academic institutions, the media, other private and public sector institutions and community-based groups. The Month forms part of an ECCU financial and economic education programme coordinated by the ECCB. The programme incorporates a series of initiatives designed to support the attainment of the goal of “a financially developed and vibrant ECCU region that fosters strong and sustainable economic growth and the improved well-being of the citizenry.”

27- Sep2023
Posted By: BASL

ECCB Governor calls for collective action to scale up financial literacy and financial inclusion in the ECCU

Speaking at the launch event held to release the results of the inaugural Financial Literacy and Financial Inclusion Survey, the Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, Timothy N.J. Antoine, said the ECCB commissioned the survey because financial inclusion is a strategic priority for the Central Bank.

Financial inclusion refers to access to a range of financial services including banking, credit and insurance whereas financial literacy refers to the ability to understand certain financial issues and use financial skills for personal financial management such as budgeting and investing.

“In a region which boasts high levels of adult literacy (high 90 per cent), financial literacy is lamentably low and lugubrious,” the Governor said.

Governor Antoine added: “Armed with the results of this Survey and seized with a sense of urgency, I issue a clarion call for a coalition of partners and champions (institutionally and individually) to join the ECCB as we craft and implement a strategy to scale up financial literacy and inclusion in the ECCU.” 

ECCB Governor Timothy N.J. Antoine noted that such a scaling up can be achieved through strong collective commitment.  For instance, he said that in order for every high school graduate in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) to be financially literate, it would necessitate a collaboration between the ECCU’s Ministries of Education and the Caribbean Examinations Council to make this outcome a high priority.

Governor Antoine also said that if every workplace—starting with governments, which are the largest employers—offered financial wellness programmes, that would be a new day and a giant stride in our big push for financial resilience and wealth creation.  “This is a cause worth pursuing,” the ECCB Governor said, noting it would mean “huge potential dividends.”

He continued: “As a region, we cannot change our history nor can we change our geography, but collectively we can elevate our development trajectory through innovation and collective action.”

Governor Antoine said the ECCB’s Financial Literacy and Financial Inclusion Survey itself was made possible through partnerships, namely with the OECS Commission (through its Project Management Unit) and the World Bank funded Caribbean Digital Transformation Project.

The ECCB Governor also said that, over the past 21 years, the Central Bank has sought to raise the level of financial literacy through its savings and investment courses, its annual Financial Information Month, and in the past seven years through its weekly podcast ECCB Connects.

For these efforts, I wish to acknowledge the work of past and present ECCB staff and partners.  You have helped many, but many more still need to be helped.  In short, we need to scale up,” said Governor Antoine.

Please click here for the results of the Financial Literacy and Financial Inclusion Survey.

26- Sep2023
Posted By: BASL

ECCB’s Inaugural Financial Literacy and Financial Inclusion Survey finds that only half of respondents are financially resilient

26 September 2023, Basseterre, Saint Christopher (St Kitts) and Nevis – The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) on Monday, 18 September released the results of its inaugural Financial Literacy and Financial Inclusion Survey, which revealed the sobering statistic that only 50 per cent of the persons who responded to the survey are financially resilient.

Speaking at the launch event held at the ECCB, the Bank’s Governor Timothy N.J. Antoine said, “I think of financial resilience as the capacity to absorb and bounce forward from a shock, such as a health event, a job loss, an economic downturn, a natural disaster or even a pandemic.  Let’s face it; there are persons in the ECCU who have experienced all these shocks during the past five years.”

The ECCB Governor noted that, “We live in a shock-prone world. As a region vulnerable to external shocks, we must be engaged in a lifelong pursuit of building resilience including financial resilience. This is imperative for member countries, companies and individuals.”

Governor Antoine added: “When it comes to our personal finances, we must hope for the best but plan for the worst. Never forget, hope is not a strategy. Every citizen should aspire to be financial literate and resilient.”

The Governor took the opportunity to commend all those who played a role in ensuring the successful planning and execution of the Survey, especially C. Teresa Smith, Director of ECCB’s Research, Statistics and Data Analytics Department and Dr Leah Sahely, Data Specialist at ECCB, as well as the entire Project Management Unit at the OECS Commission led by Imran Williams, now the Director of Finance in the Government of Saint Lucia.

Governor Antoine also acknowledged the technical and financial support of the World Bank under the Caribbean Digital Transformation Project; Mr. Edwin St. Catherine whose company, Data Point Solutions Inc., executed the Survey; and all the persons who participated in the Survey.

Please click here for the results of the Financial Literacy and Financial Inclusion Survey.

01- Sep2023
Posted By: BASL

2022 Annual Economic & Financial Review (EFR) Reports Available

The reports highlight some of the key economic developments in each member state in 2022. The reports are available for the ECCU and the eight ECCU member countries, at the link below.

View Reports

25- Jun2022
Posted By: BASL

Saint Lucian Banks Celebrate Reading Month

Members of the Bankers’ Association celebrated reading month in May by visiting schools around the island, reading with students, and distributing gift bags.

Republic Bank visited the Babonneau Primary School, while Bank of Saint Lucia visited schools in the Vieux Fort district.

03- Jun2022
Posted By: BASL

Supply Chain Resilience – An Imperative for the ECCU

Global Supply Chain Shocks and Disruptions

On 23 March 2021, traffic through the Suez Canal ground to a halt causing a backlog of container ships from Asia to Europe and giving way to another round of uncertainty in the global supply chain. This followed on the disruptions and pressures arising from the fallout caused by the worldwide spread of the coronavirus. Global supply chain crisis is not new. The global supply chain has been impacted over the years by various factors such as a shortage of inputs and fuel, wars and geopolitical tensions, and climatic conditions. However, never has the supply chain been more tested than now, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The global pandemic has revealed the fragility of the supply chain and the resulting impact on our lives and livelihoods.

Read the full article on the ECCB website here.

21- Feb2022
Posted By: BASL

Essay Writing Competition Winners

The Bankers’ Association of Saint Lucia recently held a prize-giving ceremony for its Essay Competition, with the theme of “The impact of COVID-19 on my family finances and how I have adapted to the new normal”.