Categorized | National News


Prime Minister Doctor Hubert Minnis suggests that  dormant accounts  in the banking  system should go to disaster relief in the country.  Dr. Minnis  made the statement yesterday as he opened debate  on an amendment to the Central Bank Act  in the House of Assembly. 

Dr. Minnis  told  the House  that  at the end of June 2018, the number   these accounts  was  42,452 with a corresponding value of approximately $88.7 million. 

Of  that total, 34,528 were Bahamian dollar accounts,  translating into $18.9 million. The average  amount on   such accounts was  $548 compared to $7,837 for a U.S dollar equivalent balance.

The Prime Minister said, “there were 32,542 accounts or 77 per cent of the aggregate number of accounts having a value of $500 or less,  for a total of  $3.875 million in dormant accounts.”

Of  this total, he said, Bahamian dollar accounts represent 88 per cent or $3.11 million .

  Dormant accounts with values exceeding 500 and meeting the proposed 17 years dormancy  threshold for extinguishment of claims total 5,724, bearing a value of $36.4 million.

Based on these legislative proposals, the Central Bank’s Treasurer would receive an initial flow of at least 41.3 million dollars assessed at the end of June 2018 and a further stream of transfers as the funds meets the 17-year threshold for extinguishment of claims “should they not the be claims.”

As for the use of the funds, Dr. Minnis said the money can be spent in several ways. 

However, he added that mature governments must make responsible decisions, therefore, he suggested the money go toward a proper disaster relief fund.

He said, “If our infrastructure – our  roads, our telephones, our lights and our airports—are destroyed by a hurricane; and we cannot immediately embark on and prepare, our economy will subsequently demise and we will have no funds or activities to repair the health system, the educational system, the social services,  or encourage sporting.”

The Prime Minister is headed to Washington D.C. this coming Sunday for a meeting with the world bank, the IMF, and IDB to discuss dealing with disaster management.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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