(JAMAICA OBSERVER) – Regional bank CIBC FirstCaribbean yesterday pledged US$250,000 toward the purchase of much-needed COVID-19 testing kits.
The bank, through its charitable arm FirstCaribbean International ComTrust Foundation, will make the donation through its companies across the Caribbean.
“Testing is one of the main weapons in the arsenal against the spread of the disease,” a company release quotes chief executive officer of the bank Colette Delaney.
“Community spread is one of the main ways the virus is transmitted, and testing is key to identify, isolate and treat those affected and limit its spread,” added Delaney who also chairs of the foundation.
Delaney thanked the region’s “public health leadership, medical professionals, front line workers and others involved in the essential work of keeping our communities safe and functioning during this very difficult time”.
The donation follows the bank’s recent announcements of a suite of relief assistance measures to eligible clients, including:
• Six-month payment moratorium on existing loans and mortgages;
• Temporary revolving or working capital financing options for corporate banking and business banking clients;
• A special waiver of late payment fees and default interest for all eligible retail, business, banking, corporate investment banking and wealth management clients, effective for the six-month moratorium period for existing loans and mortgages; and
• Credit card holders automatically benefiting from a payment waiver for three months based on their current account standing.
“Our response has been in the spirit of partnership that has always existed between the bank and the people of the region,” Delaney said. “This two-pronged approach has allowed us to not only contribute to the national response in each of the countries in which we operate, but to directly assist our clients who are affected.”
Delaney also noted that many of the bank’s approximately 3,000 staff, across 16 Caribbean countries, are choosing to make personal donations to the various relief programmes in their islands, and thanked them for their generosity.
“Our employees are known for their calm and professional response, particularly in a crisis. We thank them for their generosity and commitment to continuing to provide service to our clients in these most unusual of circumstances,” she said.