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Message from the Executive Chairman
COMMITTED TO SERVICE

While market leadership and financial performance are important elements of success, equally important are the products and services provided to all of the Bank’s stakeholders, customers and Bahamians at large.

Recently, the Bank was awarded the “Best Retail Banking Team - Bahamas 2015 Award” following the nomination and voting by the CFI (Capital Finance International). The achievement of this award was gratifying to the Board of Directors, our executive and our staff. This award was particularly encouraging as an important objective and vision of the Bank is not only to ensure the sustainability of the Bank in a safe and sound manner but also to be fully "Committed to Service".
Chairman
William B. Sands, Jr.
Executive Chairman, Commonwealth Bank



Over the past year, the continued dedication to our well entrenched business model has allowed the Bank to weather the extended and challenging economic environment while sustaining strong levels of profitability. The ongoing confidence in the Bank by Bahamians has also allowed the Bank to continue to share our success with our shareholders, other stakeholders and various important social causes.

As Executive Chairman of the Board, my primary objective continues to be to focus on the leadership of the Bank, through the Board of Directors. The Board’s independent oversight process supported by the diverse backgrounds and market awareness of each Board member has and continues to add to the ongoing safety and soundness of Commonwealth Bank. Their breadth of awareness of market variables and their encouragement to be flexible and willing to reinvent as situations require, has been a critical element in achieving the Bank’s desire to remain strong and prosperous.

GOING FORWARD

In a recent report, The Central Bank of the Bahamas has stated: “Expectations are that the economy will continue to grow at a very mild pace in 2016, with the key driver being tourism, supported by a number of varied-scale foreign investments related-scale projects.” The Bank supports this opinion and remains cautiously optimistic in their expectations of the degree of growth in the economy in 2016.

The industry is likely to see further changes in the regulatory oversight and tax environment affecting licensed financial institutions in 2016. The additional regulatory oversight is becoming more burdensome for licensed institutions. The Bank is hopeful that any proposals to add more restrictions or guidelines on the industry will be balanced and transparent and allow the industry to reinforce its message about how the industry helps to build economic capacity throughout The Bahamas.

Achieving and sustaining strong levels of profitability through continued emphasis on its entrenched business model is not just a theory, it’s a strategy that has helped the Bank grow in a safe and sound manner despite an extended period of a challenging economic environment.

The continuing weak economic conditions will require the Bank to monitor closely any material changes in market conditions and to be able to adjust to new market variables in a timely and effective manner. Innovation and change are concepts that invite both excitement and apprehension. However, to move forward, both innovation and change are required to meet the challenges facing the domestic Financial Services Industry that are much greater now than ever before.

The Bank looks forward to another challenging and successful year ahead.