For the fourth consecutive year, FirstCaribbean International Bank (Bahamas) Limited has won the Bank of the Year award from The Banker, an acclaimed magazine published by the Financial Times of London.
The Bank was singled out for maintaining strong and prudent balance sheet management within the current turbulent global financial markets. According to The Banker 2009 will be remembered in years to come as one of the most difficult periods faced by the banking community in decades. The awards come at a time when customers and strategic partners around the world will be looking for a positive demonstration of continuing strength. "The recognition of being named 'Bank of the Year 2009' by the world's longest running international banking title is testament to the strong management and prudent risk approach that FirstCaribbean International Bank has made this year," says The Banker.
Sharon Brown, who serves as Deputy Chairman and Managing Director for The Bahamas, observes "Our success continues to be due to our adherence to the strategic goals and vision this bank has set. With our customers and employees firmly backing us, we intend to deliver on our long term vision."
Despite the global turmoil, FirstCaribbean managed to deliver a healthy profit to its shareholders and a double-digit return on equity. The bank reduced its exposure to international securities markets and implemented firmer risk management and compliance policies. Among the notable deals of last year, First Caribbean co-led a $100m, 30-year government financing and concluded a landmark financing agreement for the Turks and Caicos Islands hospital private finance initiative. The transaction banking team migrated significant numbers of corporate businesses clients to electronic and technology-based banking solutions, which improved access to further products and services. The restructuring of various divisions into a corporate investment banking unit and a personal banking unit have enhanced the ability of the bank to cater for those client groups, and the launch of a co-branded credit card with Visa and British Airways widened First Caribbean's retail banking offering.
"Our suite of products, excellent customer service, risk-management capabilities and our strong capital base have kept us well positioned to manage our business well amid the challenges that have faced world economies, and the financial services sector worldwide," says Chief Executive Officer John D Orr. "We see this award as an endorsement of our excellent team in The Bahamas who have steered the business admirably in the face of extremely trying economic conditions."
The Banker has built its reputation of being one of the world's leading financial journals, providing a global perspective through its coverage of over 120 countries.