Established in 1965, just months before Guyana became an independent nation, the Bank of Guyana was established as the sole issuer and redeemer of the new country’s notes and coins. The bank also serves as banker to commercial banks and acts as the fiscal agent and trustee of Guyana’s government. In its early days, the Bank of Guyana was led by Governor Horst Bockelman, a prominent and experienced banker known for his work helping to establish the central bank in nearby Trinidad and Tobago.
The Bank of Guyana began issuing national currency notes in late 1965 and national coins two years later, and it continues to oversee Guyana’s currency. Revisions to its ordinance in the 1990s and early 2000s have broadened the bank’s role in Guyana’s financial system, while giving it greater control over its operations.
As a public institution, the bank does not directly serve consumers. Instead, it focuses on serving the public by building expertise in financial and economic management and by developing data collection and analysis systems to support the economy. It also monitors and develops Guyana’s financial system, operates government accounts, oversees public debt, and works with other government agencies to manage international payments and trade.