With the establishment of The Bahamas’ first credit bureau on the horizon, President of the Clearing Banks Association of The Bahamas LaSonya Missick said it is important for each Bahamian to develop a close relationship with a bank to ensure their finances are in proper health.
The new credit bureau is expected to be operational in 2020.
“In terms of personal savings, each customer is unique. Any financial advisor will tell you that it’s important to regularly set aside money in a savings account, however, financial circumstances vary from person to person. That is why it’s so important to have a relationship with a bank and with a financial advisor,” Missick said.
“Speaking on behalf of RBC Royal Bank, our advisors work with each client to make sure they have the right balance of savings and loans while still being able to manage their ongoing commitments. We look at each client’s ‘whole financial picture’ so we can provide the best advice on which products and services might work better for them,” said Missick, who is also managing director and head of personal banking at RBC.
Bahamian dollar deposits grew by $128.9 million in November, according to the Central Bank of The Bahamas’ Monthly Economic Financial Developments (MEFD) report for November, released earlier this week.
The report notes that growth in savings balances expanded threefold to $62.7 million from $19.5 million last year. In addition, fixed balances rose by $19.9 million, compared to the $17.3 million decline experienced during the same period last year.
Nevertheless, data from the central bank shows that nearly 90 percent of Bahamian residents have less than $5,000 in their personal savings accounts.
“Financial advisors at all banks are trained professionals who work with individual customers to look at which financial solutions might be best suited for individual circumstances. If anyone is concerned about their savings, their funds for retirement, or anything else pertaining to their financial situation, they should absolutely reach out to their bank to speak with a representative,” Missick said.
“Commercial clearing banks, like RBC, have been working closely with the Central Bank of The Bahamas and the government as the nation prepares to open the credit bureau in 2020,” noted Missick.
“Without commenting on the specifics of each individual bank, I can say that all banks are committed to having any required internal procedures in place to efficiently report into the credit bureau once it becomes operational. We are engaged in ongoing dialogue with the central bank and we look forward to supporting it throughout this process.”