The Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) has reiterated the strength of the EC dollar at the launch of the bank’s 40th Anniversary Celebrations.
“This evening, I confirm that our EC dollar remains strong with a foreign reserves backing of 91 percent,” Timothy Antoine declared on January 19 to an audience at the Sir Cecil Jacobs Auditorium at the ECCB Headquarters.
On July 7, 1976, the EC Dollar became pegged to the US Dollar at a fixed rate of EC$2.70 to US$1.00 during the existence of the ECCB’s predecessor, the East Caribbean Currency Authority (ECCA), which was headquartered in St. Kitts from May 20, 1975, after Barbados withdrew from the ECCA to establish its own central bank.
On July 5, 1983, seven Eastern Caribbean Governments signed the Agreement establishing the ECCB, which was put into force on October 1, 1983, operating out of the former ECCA Headquarters before opening in its present location on October 29, 1994.
Governor Antoine disclosed that 40 years on: “Our foreign reserves have grown from under EC$150 million to over EC$5 billion; bank deposits have risen from EC$1 billion to over EC$24 billion, and our staff complement has increased from 55 to 272 with representation from every member country.”
And he described the ECCB’s 40th-anniversary milestone as ‘especially gratifying’.
“The past 40 years have been anything but smooth sailing,” Antoine observed.
“We have endured external economic shocks, hurricanes, volcanoes, recessions and, mostly recently, a pandemic. But here we are, still standing,” the ECCB Governor asserted.