CBCS apologises for confusion over Caribbean guilder start date, introduction March 31, 2025

CBCS apologises for confusion over Caribbean  guilder start date, introduction March 31, 2025

CBCS St. Maarten branch office.


PHILIPSBURG--The Central Bank of Curaçao and St. Maarten (CBCS) on Thursday apologised for any confusion regarding the introduction date of the new Caribbean guilder caused by its 2022 Annual Report and indicated that the new currency will in fact be introduced on March 31, 2025.

    In its annual report, CBCS said the Caribbean guilder will be introduced in Curaçao and St. Maarten during the second half of 2024, at which time the currency sign will change from the current NAf. (Netherlands Antilles guilder) to Cg. (Caribbean guilder).

    “The Caribbean guilder will be introduced on March 31, 2025. The Centrale Bank van Curaçao and St. Maarten (CBCS) apologises for any confusion regarding the introduction date caused by the publication of the 2022 Annual Report on December 29 of last year,” CBCS said in an email to The Daily Herald, which was subsequently issued in a press release to the media.

    CBCS said its 2022 Financial Report had already been completed and adopted by its Supervisory Board in July 2023. “At that time, the introduction date was set for the second half of 2024. However, in interim consultations with the commercial banks, the target introduction date was definitively postponed to March 31, 2025. As the Annual Report had already been adopted by the Supervisory Board of the CBCS, it was not possible to adjust this information in the Report. The Annual Report was approved by the Entitled Asset Holders on December 22, 2023, and subsequently published by the CBCS on December 29, 2023, without any changes,” CBCS said in its email to this newspaper as well as in its press release.

    In the meantime, United People’s (UP) party Member of Parliament (MP) Rolando Brison said in a press release that implementing the Caribbean guilder would necessitate substantial legislative amendments, requiring approval from the Parliament of St. Maarten. He criticised the Central Bank’s presumptive approach, especially in its annual report, and accused the institution of overstepping of its role. Brison expressed scepticism about the assumption that the Parliament would readily approve the Caribbean guilder by the second quarter of 2024, labelling such an expectation as premature. “While they [the Central Bank – Ed.] did make a presentation to Parliament regarding the Caribbean guilder, I did express various concerns in that meeting about the execution and usefulness of establishing such at this time, especially at the cost of 15 million [Netherlands Antillean] guilders that it would cost to the monetary union,” Brison said in the report.

    The MP stressed that the Parliament of St. Maarten holds a free mandate to vote based on their conscience regarding proposed legislation. He emphasised that the Central Bank should seek the support of the Parliament rather than assuming it, as the introduction of the Caribbean guilder would require changes to various national ordinances.

    While acknowledging the necessity of moving away from the original Netherlands Antillean guilder, which cannot continue for practical reasons, including from a country perspective, Brison urged a broader discussion on currency alternatives. He proposed considering options such as dollarisation and emphasised that the decision should not be automatic.

    “It is presumptuous to assume that it will be automatic for St. Maarten to follow the guidelines of the Central Bank, who, if we are to be fair, have not always been accurate or correct as to what the best direction of monetary policy for St. Maarten should be,” he said, insisting that a significant debate and stakeholder participation should precede any move forward with the Caribbean guilder.

    Brison also acknowledged the potential benefits of the Caribbean guilder, including reduced printing costs and the elimination of the non-existent Netherlands Antilles from the currency. However, he also cautioned against overlooking potential drawbacks, such as increased costs and the decline in the use of the guilder over the years. Brison highlighted the need for a balanced evaluation of the pros and cons before deciding on the country’s monetary policy direction.

    He said as the discussion unfolds, the fate of the Caribbean guilder will undoubtedly be influenced by the collaborative efforts of all relevant parties.

The Daily Herald

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