Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
December 20, 2007 (CUOPM)
St. Kitts and Nevis‘ Commercial Banking Sector has grown into one of the major pillars that support the economic thrust of the twin-island Federation with total assets of EC$3.6 billion by August this year.
Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas said the tremendous growth witnessed over the years under his tenure is a true reflection of the success of the programmes of his governing St. Kitts – Nevis Labour Party Administration for poverty reduction and wealth creation as well as the efforts of the citizens in achieving financial security.
Dr. Douglas disclosed that at the end of December 2006, assets held by the Commercial Banking Sector have grown to EC$3.2 billion, which represents a 10 percent increase over the amount of EC$2.9 billion at the end of last year.
“For the year under review deposits as well as loans and advances have also grown. Deposits grew by EC$0.2 billion to reach EC$2.1 billion at year end while loans and advances grew by EC$0.3 billion to reach EC$1.8 billion. The increase in loans and advances has been attributed to increase lending to the distributive trade, construction and personal sectors. The faster pace of growth of loans and advances relative to deposits allowed the Banks to dispense of much of their excess liquidity during the period under review. In particular, the loans and advances to deposit ratio rose from 80.4 percent at the end of 2005 to 85.1 percent at the end of 2006,” Prime Minister Douglas said in his 2008 Budget Address.
Dr. Douglas disclosed that the first eight (8) months of 2007 point to further strengthening of the banking sector with assets increasing by a further EC$222.9 million bringing the total assets to EC$3.6 billion. Deposits grew over the same period to reach EC$2.4 billion, while loans and advances increased to EC$2.0 billion and the loans and advances to deposit ratio fell to 83.3 percent.
“Thus, over the period liquidity in the banking system increased slightly,” said Prime Minister Douglas.