Bermuda bank deposits, assets fall

By added on 02/07/2013

Bermuda's bank deposits fell by US$1.5 billion last year, the Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA) has announced, reports the Jamaica Gleaner.

Consolidated assets of the island's banking sector fell by more than five per cent to US$24.2 billion, after growing 9.3 per cent in 2011.

But overall, the BMA said the Bermuda banking sector maintained high levels of capital during the year relative to international minimum standards.

As you would expect, because of the prolonged economic downturn, there has been some negative impact to Bermuda's banking sector.

"In common with other markets, we have seen some asset impairments and lending conditions have become a lot more stringent across the Bermuda market," a BMA spokesman said.

In its newly released annual report, the BMA said the recessionary economic climate has continued to have a depressed impact on the financial position of the banking sector.

Credit portfolios have seen a significant slowdown in growth and increasing non-performing loans have resulted in higher loan provisioning and write-offs.

Overall, however, banking sector capital remains above international regulatory requirements.

Local unemployment in Bermuda, which has been in recession for four years, is running at around 10 per cent.

Expatriate workers now make up just under 20 per cent of the workforce in a shrinking jobs market compared with 25 per cent five years ago.