Commercial Banks – Quarterly Reports to June 30, 2013

PLAINLY BUSINESS today looks at the recent reports published by the commercial banks under Supervision Guideline No. 10 – Public Disclosure of Information issued by the Bank of Guyana. Readers of the financial columns of the local media will recall that a predecessor Guideline which took effect on June 18, 2010 was revoked and replaced by a revised Guideline taking effect from the beginning of the second quarter of 2013. The new Guideline requires that quarterly calendar statements should be released within thirty days from the end of the quarter and forwarded to the Bank of Guyana. The Bank of Guyana resisted the protestations of the commercial banks that thirty days is too short a period to complete and publish reasonably accurate financial statements. Indeed, the fact that both Citizens’ Bank and Demerara Bank appear to have been unable to meet the deadline suggests that the concerns by the commercial banks may have had some merit. A consequence of this for purposes of this column is that a comparative analysis of all the commercial banks will have to wait on a later column.

Another issue on which the regulator and the regulated differed is the insistence by the Bank of Guyana that for each calendar quarter (March/June/September/December) the income statement should reflect the performance both for the quarter and cumulatively. This means that for the last quarter of any financial institution that entity will have to publish the Guideline 10 report within 30 days and then 110 days later it has to publish audited financial statements. For any institution whose year-end is not a calendar quarter – perhaps an October year-end – it will have to publish both September (calendar quarter) and October (year-end) financials. Since the average user of financial information may not be a seasoned specialist, such surfeit might cause confusion rather than provide meaningful information which is the objective of Guideline No 10.
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