(CMR) The Caymanian community has largely spoken out against any form of acquisition of Cayman National Bank by any foreign entity after it was recently revealed that the Republic Bank Trinidad and Tobago (Barbados) Limited (RBTTBL) is making a bid to acquire majority ownership of the only locally owned bank.
Cayman Marl Road did an online social media poll after someone started a petition against the possible acquisition and found no one in favor of it. The outcry has been resoundingly loud that should the bank sell it's majority shares to this entity many customers will move their accounts and loans to another institution.
Additionally, some persons have questioned the viability of the Republic Bank and their questionable history as reported in other Caribbean media outlets over the years. A 2014 article states that the government at some stage had to enter into an MoU with the Trinidad government for a bailout of several entities in 2009. The parent company CL Financial had to sell its shares in Republic bank in order to satisfy the conditions set by the government to
“to satisfy the statutory fund requirements of Clico and BA under the Insurance Act 1980 and the balancing of the third-party assets and liabilities portfolio of CIB.”
The aim was to recover up to $20 billion that the government had pumped into the Lawrence Duprey-founded empire over a five year period. Apparently CL Financial got into some difficulty and as a result, several entities had to be controlled by the Central Bank. There were some additional articles questioning the true ownership of the entity to satisfy the eventual government payment.
However, their website boasts a successful bank that recorded TT$340 million in profits as of January 2018. Immediate past Chairman Ronald Harford, who retired effective December 31, 2017, said the improvement in profitability of the company was driven “mainly by better performance in our overseas territories.”
Despite this seemingly rosy picture, many locals feel that the acquisition would be the final straw for the survivability of Caymanians – who have no other local bank to service their needs. One business persons stated it this way:
“CNB is able to look my history and they know me on a more personal level. When you deal with these foreign banks they have NO idea who you are and it's strictly a numbers game for them. They make decisions that would be detrimental to the growth of Caymanian owned businesses and homes. Their methods are very different than the excellent personalized standard that CNB has already set for this community. It would be disastrous.”
Here are some additional social media quotes on the matter:
“another sign of the beginning of the end…for Cayman…just being honest and frank…if this happens… “
“Hello FB friends and family and CNB family. Please sign to show your support of CNB remaining 100% Caymanian”
“True and proud Caymanians don't support that.”
“What …?! What the hell… I join that bank cause it was a true Caymanian legacy …its a shame.”
“Cayman is our heritage. Not Trinidad nor Barbados. They can go back home. “
“Hope not. I going have to see what credit union going to do as I believe they bank with CNB. If so may have to move my little savings.”
“Don’t do it CNB you are The best commercial bank in Cayman. You are in a class by yourself no other banks on the island can compare don’t sell out, please. I would hate to see you end up like the others. You got to maintain your number 1 status.”
“It will be a nightmare come true.”
“Ready to close my accounts there for sure, have a cheque for weeks that I won’t deposit since I will be moving banks once this takes place and all indications are that it will take place”
Sign petition here