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FCIB sees opportunity in Barbados economic slowdown

Thursday, March 13, 2014
FirstCaribbean International Bank, Long Circular Road, Maraval. Photo: Abraham Diaz

In a January 21 address in Trinidad, Barbados Minister of Industry Donville Inniss had expressed strong optimism that Barbados’ economy was on an upward climb. 


He told business people, including local investors, at the first quarterly business luncheon hosted by T&T Chamber of Industry and Commerce that Barbados had enjoyed a good 2013 winter tourism season. 


One banker has hailed the slowdown in the Barbados economy as an opportunity and not a loss to his business. 


Last Friday, Mark St Hill, FirstCaribbean International’s (FCIB) managing director of retail, business and international banking, said the declining economy in Barbados was an opportunity to improve its operations. Overall, the bank is undergoing restructuring as a result of the tough economic conditions in Caribbean economies.


FirstCaribbean is majority-owned by Canada’s CIBC, with operations in 18 territories, including Belize and Curacao. 


According to its Web site, the bank has a presence in: Anguilla, Antigua, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Curacao, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, St Eustatius, St Kitts & Nevis, St Lucia, St Maarten, St Vincent, Turks and Caicos and T&T.


“If you look at other large companies that are operating here (in Barbados), you will see they have also been renewing their plant and machinery. You need to invest. Once you have a long-term view, you don’t go and spend money badly, but you need to position yourself for the future. That really speaks to our confidence that there would be an economic recovery (in the Barbados economy) and we will continue to grow our market efficiently.


“Our clients are coming to us with proposals, which suggest the private sector is looking to continue to position themselves for an economic turnaround,” St Hill said.



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