Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Christopher Sinckler, has described First Citizens Bank as a welcomed addition to the island’s banking community.
He made this observation today while unveiling a new sign and touring the bank’s Lower Broad Street, St. Michael, headquarters. The ceremony was witnessed by scores of First Citizens staffers and senior executives.
Noting that the country had lost Butterfield Bank which had been divested of its assets locally, regionally and around the world, the Minister of Finance said it had been replaced by “an even stronger institution”.
“First Citizens has been known in Trinidad and Tobago as one of the leading indigenous banks. It has been doing business not strictly in commercial banking but, in other areas and, therefore, it is not a stranger. To have First Citizens in Barbados, to replace Butterfield, adds value to the Barbados banking community,” Sinckler added.
He said the transition from Butterfield to First Citizens had been relatively smooth and credited the Central Bank of Barbados’ Supervisory and Regulatory Unit for working swiftly to expedite the process.
“We are happy to have them here and I think it offers Barbadians additional options in terms of product, [and] creates the environment for a more creative banking sector, and government is happy to work with First Citizens [Bank] in [their efforts] to offer such services,” Sinckler underlined.
Meanwhile, Acting First Citizens Group Chief Executive Officer, Larry Nath, thanked local contractors and entrepreneurs for partnering with the bank to ensure that the five branches were ready for business.
“We are happy to be contributing to the Barbadian economy by investing heavily in this and other expansions to come. The bank is here to grow, not to contract and we are happy to have been given this opportunity by the Central Bank of Barbados and the Ministry of Finance to come in and essentially, play a key part in the growth of the economy. In this regard, we will be launching new products soon which we think will capture the hearts, minds and imagination of the public which would set us apart from the competition,” he said. (JC/BGIS)