From The Report: Trinidad & Tobago 2016
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Despite economic growth slowing in 2015 and 2016, Trinidad and Tobago’s banks remain profitable and may even see benefits from the end of a long period of very low interest rates. According to the Central Bank of T&T (CBTT), for the past five years growth in the financial sector (including finance, insurance and real estate) has outpaced economic expansion. In 2015 the nation’s GDP contracted by 2.1%, while the finance sector grew by 1.9%. Meanwhile, the share of GDP accounted for by finance, insurance and real estate has held largely steady at around 11% since the start of the decade. Total assets of the country’s commercial banks inched up by 0.82% in 2015, reach¬ing TT$134.8bn ($20.8bn) at the end of the year, up from TT$133.7bn ($20.6bn) in December 2014. T&T banks had TT$18bn ($2.8bn) worth of cash reserves at the end of 2015, which exceeded the statutory minimum reserve level of TT$13.3bn ($2bn) by a total of TT$4.6bn ($708.4m). This chapter features an interview with Nigel Baptiste, President, Republic Financial Holdings.