Newly appointed Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), Timothy Antoine has set out four ambitious plans as part of his vision for the sub-regional banking institution.
The Grenadian-born Antoine who assumed duties at the St. Kitts-based bank on February 1 used the first day on the job to demonstrate his commitment to driving the operations of the institution before the media of member-territories of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) through tele-conferencing from the ECCB Headquarters in St. Kitts.
In the hour-long press conference, Antoine who was introduced by Chairman of the Eastern Caribbean Monetary Council, Victor Banks who is the Chief Minister of Anguilla, shared with the media his initial thinking on a new vision for a new era at the ECCB.
It is Antoine’s wish to maintain a strong Eastern Caribbean Dollar, delivering comprehensive oversight of the financial system that encourages the development of strong and resilient financial institutions including indigenous or national banks, providing strong leadership and influential policy advice to member-countries and territories to elevate growth, development and employment.
The new ECCB Governor, a former Permanent Secretary in the local Ministry of Finance, also outlined four strategic priorities for the bank. They are financial stability, fiscal and debt sustainability, growth competitiveness and employment, and enhancing organisational effectiveness.
The Governor said he has high expectation of his staff in giving support to his vision, and believes that together they will get some good things done.
“I am excited about this, I am under no illusions about the challenges… while it is a very responsible position, what I see is not just the weight of the responsibility, but I see the opportunity to make a difference in our region,” he told reporters.
Antoine identified financial stability as being the “top, top priority” from among the four he outlined.
He said he does not believe that all of his vision will be accomplished during his first five-year term as Governor.
His vision for the ECCU is to ensure that there is a strong Eastern Caribbean Dollar, a strong and resilient financial system that is stable, sustainable public financing, a single economic and financial space, as well as a striving and thriving citizenry, and single-digit unemployment.
The newly installed ECCB Governor also outlined the key messages he shared with the management and staff of the bank as he took over the reigns. He spoke of reminding them that they are public servants and that they must never take their positions for granted as they are accountable to the people of the region.
Antoine said he also informed the bank’s employees that this is a time of enormous challenge and the ECCB is called upon to lead the pursuit of structural transformation across the region.
The ECCB Governor stressed that it was his expressed wish to engage the media on his very first day in office to signal to them how important he regards the relationship and that the ECCB wants to work very closely with its media partners on its agenda.
He announced that there will be periodic media engagements and briefings on various issues. Antoine said very shortly the ECCB will launch a weekly podcast which will take an indepth look at the functioning of the bank as a means of helping people to understand what the financial institution does.