Categorized | Featured, National News

Mitchell Pleased With Central Bank Extension On Cheque Elimination

PLP Chairman Hon. Fred Mitchell


In recent months Progressive Liberal Party Chairman Fred Mitchell who also has the
responsibility for Foreign Affairs has been openly critical of the Central Bank of The
Bahamas (Central Bank) and its quest towards a cashless and cheque-free society. The
Minister has described the push to eliminate cash and cheques as a “fools’ errand.”
Just last week Minister Mitchell and many Bahamians who support his position got a
small victory after the Central Bank said based on wide stakeholder feedback obtained
by the Steering Committee, they have decided to adjust the deadline for the
elimination of cheques from December 2024 to sometime in 2026.
On Monday Minister Mitchell expressed his pleasure with this announcement. He
said, “I see where the Central Bank says they will put on hold the idea of abolishing
cheques until a couple years later, and they need to give us more time they say to
adjust to the abolition of cheques. The businessman Ethric Bowe said it correctly
when he said they should end this fools’ errand period and simply put in place a
digital platform to process cheques.”
“Once again it is a foolish idea to abolish cheques; the Central Bank should employ its
time properly regulating the poor services to consumers in The Bahamas by banks
rather than investing time on the so-called cashless society,” he argued.
Minister Mitchell then shared a story of how he, often times, while at local events like
fairs and festivals would gift random people a few dollars to enjoy themselves. He
lamented that left to the Central Bank moments like these would stop.
“Cashless aye, foolishness; they need to move on,” he said.
Minister Mitchell also said, “I get floods of emails and voice notes every day about
the banking sector that is demanding The Bahamas become a cashless society, despite

the Prime Minister and other ministers, including himself who have said repeatedly
and made a claim that we do not agree with a cashless society where physical money
such as cash and coins are not accepted for financial transactions.”
According to the Central Bank its goal is to make all transactions digital in an effort to
modernize payments systems to provide users with a safe and secure access to digital
payments. However, in light of constant challenges with electricity and internet
services Minister Mitchell does not believe it is a wise idea for the Bahamian society.
In August this year, Minister Mitchell pointed out that that based on the Central Bank
Act, moving to a cashless society “is almost certainly unlawful since Bahamian
currency is supposed to be good for all lawful debts.”
Minister Mitchell said the public is entitled to ask the question if the tail (Central
Bank of The Bahamas) is wagging the dog (Government).”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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