After failing to get regulatory approval from Canadian authorities earlier this year to sell the FirstCaribbean International Bank to a Colombian outfit, a significant portion of the regional operations is, however, about
to go on the chopping block in a US$20.7 million(BDS$41.4 million) sell-off.
Some major shifts are about to take place in the regional banking and financial services sector with FirstCaribbean International Bank announcing a plan this week to sell off much of its banking assets in four Eastern Caribbean countries.
In a significant move, one of the banks is to be sold to a credit union, while FirstCaribbean International Bank (Barbados) indicate a finality to its Eastern Caribbean operations by indicating it was prepared to “surrender
its banking licence” in St Vincent, Grenada, Dominica, St Kitts & Nevis.
It has also informed shareholders that FirstCaribbean International Bank’s Aruba business is also to be disposed in a deal expected to generate US$ 6.8 million (BDS$ 13.6 million) for the FCIB Cayman Islands subsidiary who ultimate parent company is the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC).
In a statement published this week, the Barbados-headquartered regional bank announced that its “wholly-owned subsidiary, FirstCaribbean International Bank (Barbados) Limited (FCIB Barbados), had agreed
to sell its banking assets in St Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada, Dominica and St Kitts Nevis.”
It was disclosed that the Bank of St Vincent and Grenadines Ltd has agreed to purchase the FCIB St Vincent and the Grenadines assets; the Grenada Co-operative Bank Ltd has agreed to purchase the Grenada-based assets; the National Bank of Dominica Ltd is expected to acquire the Dominica operations of FCIB; while the St Kitts-Anguilla National Bank Ltd has agreed to purchase FCIB’s assets in St Kitts and Nevis.
The FirstCaribbean International Bank (Barbados) is expected to gain US$13.9 million (BDS $27.8 million) on Grenada, St Vincent, Dominica and St Kitts and Nevis sale. In Aruba, where the FCIB operations are wholly owned by FirstCaribbean International Bank (Cayman) Limited a deal has been inked to sell the Aruba assets to the Aruba Bank NV.
In a statement from FirstCaribbean, the bank noted: “The transactions are all subject to regulatory approval and are expected to be finalised in the coming months.
The parties are working closely to ensure a smooth transition for clients.” It added: “FCIB Cayman will surrender its banking licence in Aruba and FCIB Barbados will surrender its banking licence in St Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada, the Commonwealth of Dominica and St Kitts and Nevis when transactions are concluded.”
Shareholders of FirstCaribbean International Bank, whose shares are traded on the Barbados Stock Exchange, were told the move will not have a “material impact” on FirstCaribbean’s Tier 1 and Total Capital ratios. (IMC1)