(CMR) There are multiple announcements circulating in the Cayman Islands banking community this past week including voluntary redundancies, possible acquisitions, and branch closures.
FirstCaribbean International Bank (CIBC):
FirstCaribbean International Bank will be closing it’s Plaza Venezia branch permanently. The instant teller machine at that location will be closed next week Friday, September 11. Main Street and Regatta branches will remain open. One source confirmed that their contract was not renewed after an ongoing issue with the sewage remained unresolved making it unbearable for many to work there. There are discussions of possibly opening a branch at Camana Bay to replace this location.
CMR confirmed that the recently opened loan & service centre at Health City in East End remains open for non-cash transactions. The Health City location opened in June 2019. This branch has been the anchor business for Plaza Venezia since the plaza first opened in 2005. The location was robbed in March 2011.
In November 2019 the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) sold the majority stake in its CIBC FirstCaribbean Caribbean based business for some US$797 million. It sold 66.73 per cent to GNB Financial Group Ltd. after its forefathers came into the region in 1920. The transaction was said to be a CDN$135 million loss to the company.
Bank of Butterfield (BOB):
In other marl road news, the Bank of Butterfield is offering some of its employees’ voluntary separation packages that include maintaining their staff mortgage rates for several years along with 1.5 years worth of salary. Sources indicate that some employees have already taken advantage of the option to leave. It appears to be offered to everyone in the bank. It is not clear how many persons have taken advantage of these offerings yet.
Despite that, they are currently advertising for a senior compliance analyst.
There are persistent rumors afoot in the business community that the local branch of Scotiabank is in acquisition talks with Republic Financial Holding Limited (RFHL).
It was announced a year ago that they have already acquired approval in six Eastern Caribbean countries from the regional central bank to pursue the purchase. The countries included Anguilla, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. In November 2019, Scotiabank announced that it has completed the sale.
They also completed the majority acquisition of Cayman National Corporation Limited (CNC) in March 2019. This transaction comprised the purchase of 74.99% of the company’s shares.
RFHL is a leading financial institution based in Trinidad & Tobago with operations across the Caribbean.
In May the Trinidad company announced via the President, Nigel Baptiste, that based on preliminary estimates the shareholder profit was US$81.7 million down almost a third for the six-month period ended March 31, 2020, representing a decline of US$36.1 million or 30.6% below the corresponding period last year.