The Barbados operations of Bermuda-based Butterfield Bank have officially been purchased by First Citizens, a financial group with operations in Trinidad & Tobago, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and Costa Rica.
As a result, Butterfield Bank (Barbados) Limited will now continue its operations as First Citizens Bank (Barbados) Ltd. The change in ownership will not result in any interruption of service to Butterfield customers.
First Citizens’ Acting Group CEO, Larry Nath, has indicated that First Citizens intends to invest heavily in the banking industry in Barbados, and that current Butterfield customers will benefit tremendously from these investments.
“First Citizens has a history of high customer service and innovation,” Nath said. “First Citizens has also been recognised as the Safest Bank in the English-speaking Caribbean for the last two years and is the highest rated indigenous bank in the English-speaking Caribbean.
“Butterfield customers can be assured that the transition to the First Citizens brand will be a smooth one, and that they can look forward to a number of beneficial developments as the First Citizens brand grows in Barbados.”
Nath emphasised that while the bank would soon be issuing rebranded ATM cards, cheque books and other materials as necessary, Butterfield customers will not experience any interruption of service. He also noted the Butterfield staff were “fully on board” and were excited about continuing the highest possible levels of service as the Bank makes a transition to the First Citizens brand.
First Citizens has an asset size of almost US$5 billion and shareholders’ equity of over US $800 million, making it one of the best capitalised banks in the region. The overall financial strength of the group is expected to be a tremendous benefit to current Butterfield customers as the First Citizens brand expands its service offerings in Barbados.
Senior Manager, Retail Banking & Central Services of Butterfield, Glyne Harrison, is expected to take up the post of Acting CEO of First Citizens (Barbados) Ltd within a matter of days. Harrison’s experience and familiarity with Butterfield customers and with the Barbados banking environment further ensures the smooth transition from Butterfield to First Citizens, the banks said in a statement.
The First Citizens brand has had a presence in Barbados for the past few years via its investment arm First Citizens Interment Services. The brand has made substantial investments in cultural events such as Crop-Over, and in other areas of Barbadian life such as education and sporting events.