St. Lucia - Banking and securities

In early 1981, the government-owned St. Lucia National Bank and the St. Lucia Development Bank were opened. There were eight commercial banks as of 2000, including the St. Lucia Cooperative Bank, the Bank of Nova Scotia, Barclays, CIBC Caribbean, Caribbean Banking Corporation, the Republic Bank, and the Royal Bank of Canada. St. Lucia is a member of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, which is responsible for the administration of the country's monetary policies, the regulation of exchange control and supervision of commercial banks and other financial institutions for the islands belonging to the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States. The Central Bank has special arrangements for discounting loans made by commercial banks to productive sectors, such as tourism, agriculture, and manufacturing. The interest rates are normally below the commercial banks' lending rates. In 1999, the St. Lucia National Commercial Bank offered public shares for the first time, receiving investment of over US $11 million. The International Monetary Fund reports that in 2001, currency and demand deposits—an aggregate commonly known as M1—were equal to $115.4 million. In that same year, M2—an aggregate equal to M1 plus savings deposits, small time deposits, and money market mutual funds—was $502.9 million.

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