28th December 2016
Purported receipt from Saw Grass Mill for Bahamian currency exchange
It has been brought to the attention of the Foreign Ministry that a receipt purporting to be an exchange of Bahamian dollars at the Sawgrass Mall in Florida for US currency has been posted on social media sites. This has been passed around to demonstrate that the Bahamian dollar does not trade one-for-one with the United States dollar and has been devalued.
Such a conclusion would be false is discouraged. This is what is now being described as “fake news” and Bahamians travelling overseas should be warned. Sharing of this “fake news” on social media or on any other media platform is strongly discouraged.
The public is advised that in Bahamian law, the Bahamian dollar is one-for-one to the US dollar when traded across the counter in Nassau and throughout The Bahamas, whether in a bank or in a store. This has been the position since the change from the Bahamian pound to the Bahamian dollar in 1966. That position remains unchanged today.
The public is also advised that the Bahamian dollar is not and has never been a convertible currency like the US dollar. There are very few currencies in the world that are freely convertible outside of their home countries. Convertible currencies include the British pound, the Euro and the US Dollar. The Bahamas does not have a freely convertible currency outside of its borders and this has been the position since the change from the Bahamian pound to the Bahamian dollar in 1966.
This means that the Central Bank of The Bahamas does not have to honour the exchange of any Bahamian dollar or dollars spent or exchanged outside The Bahamas.
Further, a private trader such as the one purportedly accepting Bahamian dollars for exchange at the Saw Grass Mill in Florida does so at his or her own risk and can charge whatever they believe the market can bear. Whatever price the trader in the US charges is entirely a matter for that trader and his or her customer but does not impact or reflect the trading value or official one-for-one exchange rate of the Bahamian currency in The Bahamas.
The value of the Bahamian currency in The Bahamas remains one Bahamian dollar for one US dollar.