The Central Bank of Seychelles is the central bank of the Indian Ocean island nation of Seychelles. The offices of the bank are located in Victoria, the nation's capital, with the Governor of the bank being Ms. Caroline Abel and Mr. Christophe Edmond being the Second Deputy Governor.
Since its creation in 1978, the Seychelles Monetary Authority and, as of 1983 its successor the Central Bank of Seychelles (CBS), have undergone various stages of adaptation with the aim of turning it into a modern and efficient institution, equipped to discharge its responsibilities with professionalism and efficiency.
The Central Bank of Seychelles Act, 2004 provides for the Bank to operate as an autonomous institution, reinforcing its status as the authority responsible for all monetary issues in the country and caters for the further development of the financial sector within the new economic environment.
The Seychelles Currency Board; 1936 - 1978
Central Banking in the Seychelles started as far back as 1936, with the establishment of the Seychelles Currency Board, similar to other British colonies of the time. The Seychelles Notes Ordinance and the Coinage Ordinance of 1936 bestowed the responsibility for the issue and redemption of Seychelles currency on the Colonial Secretary and later, with the Financial Secretary, acting as Currency Commissioner.
Almost forty years later, under the Seychelles Currency Act of 1974, the issue, re-issue and redemption of currency became the joint responsibility of the Financial Secretary and the Accountant General (the Board), appointed as Currency Commissioners with the Treasury acting as agent. One important change relative to the previous set-up was that the colonial government granted the Board the authority to hold and manage all the domestic and foreign assets of the country. The Board however did not have the power to formulate or conduct monetary policy nor to act as the lender of last resort and supervise the banking sector.
The issuance of domestic currency was constrained by the requirement that each issue be backed by foreign currency. However, a fiduciary issue of not more than 30 per cent of total issued currency against securities issued or guaranteed by the Government of Seychelles was possible. Similarly to other colonies, the domestic currency - Seychelles Rupee
- was pegged at R13.3333 to the Pound Sterling.
The Seychelles Monetary Authority; 1978 - 1982
The weaknesses of the Currency Board were uncovered by its inability to adapt and assume control over a rapid expansion of the domestic banking sector in the seventies brought about a by a boom in tourism. With the Board having no mandate to undertake monetary policy, adherence to a fixed exchange rate
regime, implied that the domestic money supply would fluctuate according to the flows of external capital. This situation was as expected not favorable to stable and sustainable economic development. As a result, in August 1976, an International Monetary Fund (IMF) Mission at the invitation of the Seychelles government undertook a study of the financial system and recommended structural and operational improvements in the Currency Board system.
Following IMF recommendations the government firmly decided to create a central banking institution to regulate money supply, to supervise the banking system and generally to foster financial conditions conducive to orderly and balanced development. However, given the rudimentary structure of the financial system and the lack of local expertise, it was decided that, as an interim step, a Monetary Authority be set up, with the establishment of a fully fledged Central Bank planned for a later date. Hence, on November 24, 1978 the Seychelles Monetary Authority Decree was enacted and the Seychelles Monetary Authority (SMA) was founded under this decree on December 1, 1978. All the responsibilities, as well as the assets and liabilities of the Currency Fund established under the Seychelles Currency Act, 1974 were transferred to the Authority.
The SMA functioned very much like a Central Bank. The 1978 Decree empowered it with the necessary tools to enable it to achieve its objectives. These included (but were not limited to) the issue of currency, the management of external reserves, banker and lender of last resort to government and commercial banks and inspection of banks and other financial institutions. The most important difference with its predecessor was that the Authority was given the responsibility for monetary policy, thus enabling it to set monetary instruments such as interest rates and credit controls to achieve certain desired objectives. However, the 1978 Decree provided for a Board of Directors comprising of three members; one of whom was the Permanent Secretary of Finance; another being the Accountant-General; and the third being any person as may be appointed by the President. This was to ensure that the Authority consult closely the government, mainly the Department of Finance, in its capacity as Financial and Economic Advisor.
On the technical front, the tasks of collecting and compiling of monetary and banking statistics was transferred from the Government Statistics Office to the Research Department of the SMA. Soon after, the Authority also commenced to compile Balance of Payments statistics and took over the handling of the IMF accounts and Reserve Tranche position from the Treasury. The Authority received the first allocation of SDR 135,200 on January 1, 1979. In February 1979, the administration of the Banking Ordinance 1975 and the Banking (Special Provisions) Act 1976 was transferred from the Registrar General to the Monetary Authority.
The Central Bank of Seychelles
Within a relatively short period of time, the SMA was able to assume most of the principal functions of a Central Bank in a small developing country. By 1982 the SMA had taken over from Barclays Bank International Ltd. now Barclays Bank (Seychelles) Ltd., full responsibility for the day to day operations of the main central government accounts. Thus, with some minor adjustments, the SMA Decree 1978 was turned into the Central Bank of Seychelles Act 1982, which was approved by the People’s Assembly on December 29, 1982. On January 1, 1983, the Central Bank of Seychelles (CBS) was officially inaugurated, with the simultaneous dissolution of its precursor, the Seychelles Monetary Authority.
During the twenty odd years of its existence, with growing experience and an increased number of qualified manpower, the Bank has greatly evolved whilst maintaining its critical role in the economy. In 2002, conscious of the need to restore confidence in the institution, the Bank, in consultation with the IMF, commenced work on updating the Central Bank Act and in December 2004, the National Assembly enacted the Central Bank of Seychelles Act 2004 thereby repealing the previous legislation. The Act formally provides the Bank with institutional and operational autonomy.
Under the previous legislation, the Governor of the Bank also held the position of Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Finance. This occasionally led to a certain degree of ambiguity in economic policy decision-making as the Bank and government have different agendas. Under the new Act, the Governor of the Bank is no longer allowed to hold the post of Principal Secretary of Finance, giving the Bank more autonomy. Furthermore, a new board of directors of the Bank was appointed, constituting of directors from both the private and public sector. The new Act also explicitly set out the objectives of the Bank, which were revised in 2009, as part of the IMF-supported economic reform programme so as to be in conformity with current developments.
The primary objective of the Bank is now price stability, following further amendments to the Act in 2011. Additionally, the post of Deputy Governor was replaced with the positions of First Deputy Governor and Second Deputy Governor.
The mission of the Central Bank of Seychelles is to contribute toward the sustainable economic growth of Seychelles through prudent monetary policy and maintenance of a sound financial system.
The primary objective of the Bank is to promote domestic price stability. The other objectives of the Bank are:
- To advise the Government on banking, monetary and financial matters, including the monetary implications of proposed fiscal, credit policies or operations of the Government;
- To promote a sound financial system.
The aim of this site is to share information about the Central Bank’s role in the domestic economy, the instruments used to achieve its objectives as well as the results of its operations on the domestic market. This site provides access to the Bank’s publications, monetary policy, banking sector regulations, insurance business regulations and so on. Furthermore, it contains a library of legal documents governing the financial sector and the establishment and operation of the banking industry in Seychelles.
Monetary management is based on a monetary targeting framework with reserve money as the operating target of monetary policy. Reserve money consists of currency in circulation and commercial bank's deposits held at the Central Bank. Quarterly targets of reserve money are set so as to achieve a desired path for monetary growth.
Since November 2008, the Monetary Policy Framework is based on monetary targeting rather than the traditional exchange rate targeting. This transition was to support a liberalized foreign exchange
market and floating exchange rate regime as part of IMF-supported economic reform program adopted by the authorities in November 2008. In this framework, the final target - price stability - is to be achieved by influencing changes in the total amount of liquidity in the economy, with reserve money being the intermediate operating target of monetary policy.
As a consequence of this new monetary targeting system, financial prices, such as interest rates and exchange rates are free to fluctuate and be determined by market forces. In that respect the Bank had to eliminate all its administrative controls and focus on monitoring developments in the monetary and financial markets so as to intervene when necessary to avoid disruptive fluctuations.
Under the reform program, quarterly monetary targets are set and to achieve them the Bank primarily relies on its market operations. Interventions for managing bank's liquidity are guided by a Liquidity Monitoring Framework maintained by the Bank. This framework identifies the factors which influence bank liquidity and is used to make forecasts on future liquidity flows. A long-term objective for monetary policy implementation is to strengthen the influence of interest rates on economic developments. As interbank and money markets develops, the Bank will place more emphasis on steering short-term interest rates
The responsibility for formulating and implementing monetary policy rests with the CBS Board. The Monetary Operations Committee (MOC) has the responsibility to oversee the operational implementation of monetary policy within the general guidelines determined by the CBS Board and directions given by the Governor.
The Administration Division serves the Bank by providing general administrative support services. The main functions of the Division are to administer and maintain the Bank's premises including office buildings, yards, as well as the assets therein.
More specifically, the Division:
- Provides dispatching activities;
- Manages and supervises contracts for maintenance and upkeep of premises, lease agreements and insurance covers;
- Maintains inventory registers and controls movement of assets;
- Administers the access control system;
- Facilitates communication through the management of telephones and faxes;
- Manages the ordering and purchasing of office supplies and other goods;
- Manages the Bank's transport fleet;
- Undertakes logistical arrangements for official visitors.
The Administration Division strives to maintain a safe and secured environment by having effective security arrangements in place to protect stakeholders as well as the Bank's assets.
Banking Services Division
The Banking Services Division is made up of the Banking and Financial Reporting Section, the Currency and Numismatic Section and the National Payment Systems Unit.
The Banking & Financial Reporting Section
exists in an operational capacity as banker to; and manager of accounts held with the Bank on behalf of Government, commercial banks, other local financial institutions, foreign Governmental agencies and international agencies. This section also bears the responsibility of managing the Bank's accounts (see Balance Sheet - pdf format) and the financial statements under the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).
The Currency & Numismatic Section
is responsible for the issue of currency and manages the sale, both locally and abroad of numismatic items and commemorative gold and silver coins.
The National Payment Systems Unit's
role is to manage the development of different payment system projects of the country. The Unit maintains the responsibility to guide the reform and modernization project on a day to day basis and also act as the secretariat. Particular focus is placed on existing clearing and settlement arrangements coupled with the requirements to introduce the electronic payment systems and services to provide a platform to migrate from the predominant manual arrangements existing today.
- Currency of Seychelles:
- Seychelles rupee
- List of Central Banks:
- Central Banks
- Official website of Central Bank of Seychelles:
- Seychelles Investment Bureau: