Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation

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April 11, 2023

Entrance to CIBC First Caribbean International Bank Broad Street branch in Bridgetown, Barbados. (File photo)

The sale of the assets of FirstCaribbean International Bank (Barbados) Limited (FCIB Barbados) in St. Kitts is off.

This is despite the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) giving conditional approval on July 15 last year for the sale to the St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla National Bank Limited (SKNANB).

ECCB’s conditional approval was subject to certain conditions.

According to a recent statement from FCIB, “SKNANB recently informed FCIB Barbados that it has not secured final approval from the ECCB to conclude the acquisition. The ECCB subsequently notified FCIB Barbados of its decision to not grant final approval for the sale of its operations in St. Kitts.”

Hence, FCIB Barbados will continue to operate in St. Kitts, even as Chief Executive Officer of CIBC FirstCaribbean, Mark St. Hill, acknowledged that “the ending of the sale process is disappointing for the bank”. 

FCIB Barbados, which is a part of the CIBC First Caribbean banking chain operating in 13 Caribbean countries with US$13 billion in assets and market capitalisation of US$1 billion, now plans to overhaul its business in St. Kitts.

“We are an agile organisation and it is our duty on behalf of our employees and clients to ensure that we deliver a steady ship that provides omni-channel access to banking services in St. Kitts. We are prepared to pivot and look towards growing our business in St. Kitts into the future,” St. Hill stated.

Donna Wellington, Managing Director for the bank in Barbados, as well as in the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States regulated by the ECCB, said transformation of FCIB business in St. Kitts would include improvements to its branch and network in the capital Basseterre.

These would add smart Automated Banking Machines and other self-serve products.

“Our priority is to signal to the market that we are staying and open for business. We have been conservative in the St. Kitts market over the past year-and-a-half as we prepared the business for sale. However, we will now concentrate our effort on building the business, reconnecting with both our retail and Corporate clients in a big way and providing them with the best products and services CIBC FirstCaribbean has to offer,” Wellington said. (PR)

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