Thursday, April 18, 2024

First Citizens positive show in Barbados

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BARBADOS’ ECONOMIC AND financial troubles have not stopped First Citizens Bank Limited from having an improved performance here.

In its recently released 2016 annual report, the regional financial institution, which is based in Trinidad and Tobago, reported a TT$637.2 million post-tax profit, a TT$6.8 million increase when compared to 2015.

Group chief executive officer (CEO) Karen Darbasie attributed a significant part of the organisation’s improvements to enhanced contributions from Costa Rica, St Lucia and Barbados.

“ . . . We are seeing the positive results from our businesses in Costa Rica, St Lucia and Barbados within the context of our group diversification strategy, with reported growth in profitability of 91 per cent, 26 per cent and 25 per cent, respectively,” she said.

The report did not give a breakdown of individual markets where it operates, but Darbasie said the company’s drive to book new facilities “resulted in growth in the net interest income”.

“Along with this, we continued to focus on our non interest income product set, which has shown good growth within the last year. Our fee generating businesses, including electronic banking, which provides efficiency savings for our clients, and local capital markets businesses have grown,” she added.

Outside of improved profits, First Citizen’s total assets “amounted to TT$38.9 billion as at yearend”.

“There was growth in cash and due from other banks and the investments portfolios of 112 per cent and 10.8 per cent respectively. The group’s funding base grew by TT$3.2 billion, or 11.7 per cent, to TT$30.9 billion. We have been able to grow our investment portfolio by TT$1.5 billion or 10.8 per cent,” the CEO said.

Chairman Anthony Isidore Smart highlighted the challenges facing various Caribbean markets, including Barbados.

While pointing to the positive tourism performance, Smart observed that “economic activity generated by Barbados’ tourism sector is expected be tempered by Government austerity initiatives, as officials seek to limit expenditure”. (SC)

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