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SVG PM welcomes acquisition of CIBC First Caribbean


SVG PM welcomes acquisition of CIBC First Caribbean
Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr Ralph Gonsalves. (GP)

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Kingstown – St Vincent & the Grenadines prime minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves said the Bank of St Vincent & the Grenadines Ltd will benefit significantly from the proposed acquisition of branches and banking operations of the CIBC First Caribbean in the island.

A consortium of banks in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU), including the Bank of SVG, entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the local branches and banking operations of the CIBC First Caribbean in four Caribbean islands.

The four members of the consortium – Bank of SVG, National Bank of Dominica Ltd, Grenada Co-operative Bank Ltd, and St Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla National Bank Ltd – said the agreement was subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions.

“The current market share in terms of loans and advances for Bank of St Vincent is 52 per cent, but when we add, after the acquisition of CIBC, we will be almost about 67 per cent, moving from EC $670 million to over EC $832 million and so they will add about EC $160 million in loans and advances,” Gonsalves said on the radio programme of his ruling Unity Labour Party (ULP) on Tuesday.

“In deposits, our current share is about 49 per cent, when you add the CIBC, it will be nearly 72 per cent to approximately EC $1.6 billion, so you are going to have total assets there of what is now 51 per cent market share for Bank of SVG that would rise to 67 per cent or EC$1.8 billion.”

Gonsalves said he was pleased with the restricting exercise undertaken at the local bank prior to the acquisition adding “we would not have been able to grab some of CIBC”.

He said the deposit customers at the Bank of SVG is a little over 40 000 and the estimated amount for CIBC is between 15 000 and 20 000.

“That means combined the estimates would be between 55 000 and 60 000 deposit customers which basically by this acquisition will be touching the lives of practically every Vincentian in the country,” he said.

“This is a huge issue, and you notice we kept it quite confidential and quiet,” he said, praising the teams involved in the negotiations.

The acquisition expands the consortium’s loan base by more than EC $600 million net, the deposit portfolio by EC $1.5 billion, and provides the additional scale to better service the consortium’s respective communities and contribute to the region’s economic and social advancement, according to a statement issued here.

It said that the consortium looks forward to working with CIBC First Caribbean to finalise the transaction over the coming months with both working diligently to ensure the transition is seamless for all stakeholders.

Until regulatory approvals are obtained and the transaction closes, operations at all institutions will continue as they currently do.

“The consortium members are committed to recruiting staff of CIBC FirstCaribbean, as required, to maintain and even improve the level and quality of service that CIBC FirstCaribbean customers are accustomed to,” the statement added.

At June 30, 2021, the consortium members held an aggregate deposit base of EC $6.4 billion representing a 53 per cent market share in their combined markets.