by Linda Straker
- Bank recorded pre-tax audited profits of EC$6.2 million
- EC$151.9 million total inflow money transfer remittances into Grenada in 2019
- Western Union and Moneygram only companies licenced to conduct money transfers
Hours after the World Bank released a report disclosing that despite the Covid-19 pandemic remittances to the Latin and Caribbean region increased by 6.5%, Deon Moses Chief Operating Officer at the Grenada Cooperative Bank confirmed an increase in wire transfers from the Diaspora to the Bank from October 2020 to March 2021.
“We have seen increases from the Diaspora for the last 6 months,” he said.
The Bank’s online service experienced a significant increase after Grenada declared the State of Emergency in March 2020 and a curfew enforced caused a restriction on the movement of citizens.
Like all other financial institutions, Coop Bank charges a service fee for all incoming and outgoing wire transfers. Moses was unable to disclose the percentage increase of wire transfers to the financial institution when he spoke at the Bank’s half-year performance on Thursday, 13 May 2021.
For the 6-month period under review, the Bank recorded pre-tax audited profits of EC$6.2 million, a reduction when compared to the period October 2019 to March 2020.
According to the latest Migration and Development Brief, remittance inflows rose in Latin America and the Caribbean 6.5%, South Asia (5.2%), and the Middle East and North Africa (2.3%).
Estimations of the total remittances received by any single country generally rely on survey-based estimates or on data from the national balance of payments. The World Bank report is based on limited data collected from commercial Banks in the USA and instant money transfer services operated by companies such as Western Union and Moneygram. Making a call for improved data collection in that area, the report said better data will provide an improved picture of remittances’ impact on economies.
“The relatively strong performance of remittance flows during the Covid-19 crisis has also highlighted the importance of timely availability of data. Given its growing significance as a source of external financing for low- and middle-income countries, there is a need for better collection of data on remittances, in terms of frequency, timely reporting, and granularity by corridor and channel,” said the report published on the World Bank’s website.
Based on data reported to the Grenada Authority for the Regulation of Financial Institutions (GARFIN), “Total remittances flowing into Grenada in 2019 through the money transfer operators amounted to EC$151.9 million while total outflows amounted to EC$55.2 million.”
Money transfer services is a subtopic in the 2019 annual GARFIN report which was recently tabled in the Lower House of Parliament and has since become a public document. The Report which also includes the Authority’s financial statement states that there are only 2 companies licenced to conduct money transfer activities on the island.