The Central Bank of The Bahamas (CBOB) is asking that all of its Supervised Financial Institutions (SFIs) draw up business continuity plans that would guide them in case a catastrophic storm like Hurricane Dorian ever strikes New Providence.
In its quarterly letter on regulatory and supervisory developments, the Central Bank contended SFIs need to be prepared for a disaster on the scale that Dorian impacted Grand Bahama and Abaco.
“While New Providence was spared the brunt of Hurricane Dorian, branches/agencies of Supervised Financial Institutions on the islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama were severely impacted,” the quarterly letter said.
“To this end, the Central Bank is continuing its dialogue with all affected SFIs to ascertain the extent of the damage sustained and the way forward.
“By means of lessons learnt and in order to be better prepared for any future disaster of this magnitude, we invite all SFIs to consider the effect on their business continuity plans, if a Dorian-like event strikes New Providence.”
The CBOB said in its note that it will follow up “in the not too distant future” with SFIs on their plans to carry on business should a catastrophic storm ever affect the nation’s capital.
Commonwealth Bank is expected to be the first bank to operate on Abaco since Hurricane Dorian ravaged the island. It could open in the first week of November.
However, the bank will not be reopening its offices, but simply manning a small satellite operation within Marsh Harbour’s food store for the moment.
Abaco Chamber of Commerce Director Krista Albury said recently that 90 percent of the businesses on the island have been destroyed.
Albury also explained that many Abaco business owners were still reluctant to reopen their businesses because of the state of the island, the security on the island and the inability to safely bring goods into Abaco’s port.