A progressive move by National & other OECS banks

By MyVue News.com Staff Writer

Basseterre, St. Kitts, Wednesday, 13th October, 2021, (MyVue News.com)- A major shift is taking place in the banking industry of the Eastern Caribbean and this time, it is the indigenous banks that are making the move to acquire foreign assets that once dominated the financial sector.

For centuries they operated in the region, first as Barclays Bank, but in recent years they became CIBC FirstCaribbean, and now, in 2021, the operations of CIBC FirstCaribbean are themselves being taken over by four of the top local banks within the OECS.

The disclosure came late Tuesday afternoon, 12th October, 2021, confirming that “Today, a Consortium of leading Banks in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the branches and banking operations of CIBC FirstCaribbean in Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.”

The consortium is comprised of St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla National Bank Limited; The National Bank of Dominica Limited; Grenada Co-operative Bank Limited; and The Bank of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Limited, (Agent of the Consortium).

However, the agreement still has to receive regulatory approval and customary closing conditions from the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank.

Commenting on the transaction, Consortium Lead, and Managing Director of The Bank of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Limited, Derry Williams asserted, “This acquisition by the Consortium represents a significant development in the evolution of the Banking System of the ECCU.”

Meanwhile, the Chief Executive Officer CIBC FirstCaribbean’s, Colette Delaney, while giving his endorsement for the takeover, said,  “The four indigenous banks are an excellent fit for the bank’s St. Vincent, Grenada, Dominica, and St. Kitts business(es), given their knowledge of the local markets, match with our product offerings and client base and a strong market positioning.”

“They bring a depth of local knowledge to the market and the needs of our clients there…”, added the CEO.

This acquisition expands the Consortium’s loan base by more than XCD 600 million, net, the deposit portfolio by XCD1.5b; and provides the additional scale to better service the Consortium’s respective communities and contribute to the region’s economic and social advancement.

The Consortium said it is looking forward to working with CIBC FirstCaribbean to finalize the transaction over the coming months, with both working diligently to ensure the transition is seamless for all stakeholders.

However, until regulatory approvals are obtained and the transaction closes, operations at all institutions will continue as they currently do.

It was also assured that the Consortium members are committed to recruiting staff of CIBCFirstCaribbean, as required, to maintain and even improve the level and quality of service that CIBCFirstCaribbean customers are accustomed to.

The Consortium is being advised by Deloitte & Touche in Barbados (Lead Advisor) led by Mr. Raymond Haynes, Director, Financial Advisory; and Lex Caribbean (Lead Legal Advisor) led by Mrs. Mary Mahabir, Senior Partner.

ABOUT THE CONSORTIUM The Consortium members are market leaders in their respective territories, which offer the full spectrum of commercial banking services and electronic channels.

As at June 30, 2021, the Consortium members held an aggregate deposit base of $6.4b representing a 53% market share in their combined markets.

Collectively, they have been serving the peoples of the ECCU for a combined period of over 200 years. The Consortium’s customer base includes consumers, small and middle-market businesses, large corporations, statutory bodies and Central Governments; and remain committed in helping their customers succeed.

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