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Recognizing the dynamic global landscape and the evolving role of Development Finance Institutions (DFIs), The Bank refocused to international frameworks for development. The Sustainable Development Goals, Samoa Pathway and Paris Accords are integrated into to the Banks Strategic Plan. The institution expands into targeted sectoral development and new products to better support Bahamian development. In keeping with the updated outlook, the Bank rebrands.
Over the years, the Bank has endured challenges that resulted in extraordinary financial hemorrhage and loan portfolio decline culminating in high proportion of non-performing loans. To correct these issues the Bank implemented a strategic plan that significantly boosted performing loans and improved the balance sheet.
As the bank celebrated its 40th anniversary, the Ministry of Finance appointed Dave Smith as Managing Director. Mr. Smith was tasked with addressing the outstanding legacy issues at the bank and reforming the institution to ensure its vitality going forward.
Mrs. Arinthia S. Komolafe was appointed as the first female Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer. The appointment marked an effort by the government to refocus and reposition the bank by broadening its range of activities from largely debt financing to small business owners to include the provision of equity, credit guarantees and marketing and accounting support.
Mr. Antony F. Woodside served as Acting Managing Director of The Bahamas Development Bank. Prior to his appointment, he served as the Deputy Managing Director. Before commencing his service at BDB, Mr. Woodside served in various managerial positions in the public and private sectors such as Financial Controller of The Bahamas Agricultural & Industrial Corporation (BAIC) and Senior Financial Analyst at IBM Bahamas Limited.
Fund levels were inadequate and by the year 1999, the Bank was experiencing serious liquidity difficulties due to the overwhelming demand for its funds. However, in May 2000, the Bank was able to secure an additional $10 million loan from the Caribbean Development Bank. This amount coupled with a $25 million Government backed bond received from the National Insurance Board in November 2000 substantially improved the Bank’s liquidity position.
In January 2000, Mr. Rodgers was appointed Managing Director of The Bahamas Development Bank, having served for the previous six months as a Deputy Managing Director. Prior to joining The Bahamas Development Bank, Mr. Rodgers served for some thirty-three years with Barclays Bank PLC where he moved up the ranks to become the Personal Sector Director for the Bank in The Bahamas.
It became apparent to management that an additional office was needed in another northern island. On July 17, 1999, the Bank once again expanded its operation. This time a new branch was opened in Marsh Harbour Abaco. The office was located on Queen Elizabeth Drive and there were two persons employed on the staff at the time. Today, the branch operations in Abaco has been transferred to the Freeport Office of which both together constitute the Northern Bahamas.
Paul Douglas Major was appointed as the fourth Managing Director of The Bahamas Development Bank on January 1st, 1998. He served in this capacity until January 2000 when he was appointed as the Managing Director of Bahamasair. Prior to his appointment at BDB, Mr. Major served as a General Manager of The Bahamas Agricultural and Industrial Corporation (BAIC) and as Vice President and General Manager of Citibank, N.A.
Sterling R. L. quant is on record as being the third Managing Director in the history of the Bank serving from the period 1993 to 1997.
The second Managing Director of the Bank Benjamin H. Rahming, moved up through the internal ranks and is the only Managing Director to achieve this post by succession. His career began as Manager for the North Andros Agriculture Cooperative Society Limited where he was employed from November 1976 to March 1979. He joined The Bank in May 1979 as a Project Officer. However, after showing much promise, he moved up the ranks to the post of Deputy Managing Director in January 1988 – a position he held for one year before being appointed as the Acting Managing Director in January 1989. He performed in this capacity until June 1990, when he was confirmed. He left the bank after completing 14 years of service in June of 1993.
Recognizing a need to provide development financing in the second city – Freeport, Grand Bahama, management opened a branch in Freeport on July 15, 1986. The Branch is presently located in the Jasmine Corporate Centre in Freeport, Grand Bahama. The branch Officers not only prepare loan applications, but are actively engaged in following up on the large number of delinquent customers.
Warren Logan Rolle was appointed as the first Managing Director of The Bahamas Development Bank. Mr. Rolle entered the Bank with an enormous amount of experience and professional skills bringing skills from his work as Bank Secretary and Chief Accountant for The Bahamas Monetary Authority now known as The Central Bank of The Bahamas.
The Bank became operational on July 21, 1978 with a staff of 5 in its first office located in Rawson Square on Bay Street, across from the historic House of Parliament. The Bank started with a government equity infusion of $2 million. There was so much demand in its early days of operation that the Bank had to secure additional funding from other sources like the Caribbean Development Bank ($6million), the Inter-American Bank ($3 million), the European Economic Community (EEC) ($1 million), the Central Bank of The Bahamas ($2.5 million) and the National Insurance Board ($3.5 million). Government equity in the Bank also gradually increased during its more than 35 years of operation.
The Bahamas Development Bank was established in 1974 by an Act of Parliament as wholly owned government institution. This new entity offered concessionary financing to Bahamians by lengthening and relaxing the terms and conditions by which loans were offered. The objectives of the Bank fell outside the depth and scope of commercial banking operations and the nation’s first development finance institution was born.
The history of The Bahamas Development Bank has its roots in the independence of The Commonwealth of The Bahamas. Independence required nationwide economic transformation to support the overall development of the country. It was apparent that a financial institution was needed to act as a catalyst to expand infrastructural development increase employment opportunities, improve the balance of trade and ultimately empower greater economic ownership for Bahamian entrepreneurs.