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Despite reports of CIBC First Caribbean shedding staff regionally, the bank recently opened a USD$5 million flagship branch near its corporate headquarters at Warrens, St. Michael, Barbados.
The bank is the largest regionally-listed bank in the English and Dutch-speaking Caribbean, serving 17 markets with a staff of 3,400 staff across 100 branches and offices.
There have been reports as of January 2014, that the bank was seeking to reduce regional employee costs by 10 percent.
Director of the bank’s corporate communications, Debra King had told the Nassau Guardian that “the restructuring exercise is aimed at addressing the negative impact of the global recession on our profitability, which resulted in increased loan losses and fewer revenue generating opportunities, and an increase in our operating costs.”
The bank reported annual losses of $US27.5 million at year end October 2013.
It’s not clear though what amount of staff locally would be affected by this move. The bank has four branches on island – Bridge Street, Rodney Bay, Vieux Fort and Soufriere. It also operates eight instant tellers.
Chief Executive Officer of CIBC FirstCaribbean, Rik Parkhill told the official opening of the new branch in Barbados on February 19, that the bank was fully committed to the development of the region and that was demonstrated by its continued upgrading and expansion of its network throughout the Caribbean.
“Over the past few years our branch network has grown to include new offices here in Barbados, in St. Lucia, the Bahamas, Jamaica and Belize, bringing our network of branches in the Caribbean to 68. As part of our strategic plan, we have zeroed in on significant growth areas across the region, and have ensured that we are part of the developing landscape … CIBC shares our vision of a bright future for the Caribbean, has stood with us throughout this period of challenge, and continues to do so,” Parkhill said.
According to a press release, within the last three years, the bank has opened new branches at Sunset Crest and Wildey in Barbados, Orange Walk in Belize, Carmichael Road in the Bahamas, Old Parham Road in Antigua and Rodney Bay in St. Lucia, and refurbished most of its other branches across its footprint. It also operates a Wealth Management Centre in Port of Spain, Trinidad.
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