Nassau, The Bahamas – Chairman of the Bahamas Development Bank, Charles Barnett explained that the relocation of the Bahamas Development Bank (BDB) to Robinson Road and Key West Street is the next step to ensuring that the Bank functions as the driving engine for structural economic change for the betterment of all.
“Ownership of this facility brings BDB closer to the communities that are key to our inclusive vision of the future,” the Chairman explained during the Official Opening of the Bank on Robinson Road and Key West Street, Monday, March 8, 2021.
Also in attendance at the opening were Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dr. the Most Hon. Hubert A. Minnis; Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Works the Hon. Desmond Bannister; Minister of State for Finance Sen. the Hon. J. Kwasi Thompson and Managing Director, BDB, Dave S. Smith.
The Chairman said the Board of Directors of the Bank would like to acknowledge the diligent and tireless efforts of the management and staff over the two plus years.
“The Bank has put in place a strong governance framework, strengthened policies and control, and resolved many of the long-standing issues that impeded the effectiveness of BDB to fulfil its mandate under the BDB Act, 1974.”
Since its inception, the Bank has financed hotels, fishing vessels, manufacturing operations, water supply companies, agricultural projects and mail boats among other enterprises.
Unit Head of Strategic Development and Initiatives, Sumayyah Cargill noted that in this time when the country is reeling from twin disasters, staff at the BDB realize that it must be the bank that says yes when others say no, and must use every power available to it under its legislation such as grants, equity, guarantees, leases and lending to provide an avenue for Bahamians to productively participate in the economy by utilising the natural resources the nation has been blessed with.
“Our current pipeline of business proposals include projects that are designed to support small farmer all natural broiler production, build a commercial ruminant industry, grow honey exports, increase access to sustainable, climate resilient housing and create marketplaces for businesses of every size.”
Ms. Cargill said, “We are working with private sector advisory committees in the green, orange, and blue economies to develop projects and lending programmes with special focus on green energy, technology acquisition and creative industries.”
The Bank has invested in advanced software and hardware systems to support loan organisation, collections, decision-making and tracking development impact. In response to the COVID-19 crisis and the need to adapt to the new normal, BDB has created and implemented a fully contact-less and end-to-end digital application process. These resources have increased the Bank’s flexibility and ability to perform regardless of external disruptions.