FirstCaribbean completes acquisition

FirstCaribbean International Bank Limited has announced that it has completed the acquisition the Mercantile Banking and Financial Corporation of Trinidad and Tobago, establishing a presence in Trinidad and Tobago.

FirstCaribbean acquired all of the shareholding of the Mercantile following approval by the Central Banks of Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados, states a press release.

The Mercantile Banking & Financial Corporation operates in the areas of Corporate Banking and Capital Markets. FirstCaribbean intends to operate in these two areas initially and expand its business in Trinidad and Tobago further over time. The Mercantile, with assets of over TT $ 400 million, has been in operation since 1998.

The Mercantile Banking & Financial Corporation Ltd. is licensed by the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago as a Merchant Bank, Finance House, Mortgage Institution and Trust Company, and as an authorized foreign exchange dealer.

The Mercantile will continue with its full complement of staff and will be managed by its existing management team. Mr. Dunbar McIntyre will continue to act as Chairman of the entity, and Messrs. Lloyd Samaroo and Victor Moutett will continue in their role as Executive Directors.

Chairman of FirstCaribbean International Bank, Michael Mansoor, will join the Mercantile Board and FirstCaribbean will commence a re-branding and capitalization exercise early in 2005.

FirstCaribbean is the result of the combination of two complementary and leading financial services businesses in the Caribbean – CIBC West Indies Holdings Limited and Barclays Bank PLC. FirstCaribbean aims to offer its customers enhanced products and improved and extended access to banking services. FirstCaribbean focuses on the needs of the businesses and people of the Caribbean while delivering the global reach of its founding institutions. FirstCaribbean is the largest locally listed bank in the Caribbean based on a market capitalization of US$ 2.4 billion. FirstCaribbean currently serves 15 countries, from Belize, to The Bahamas to Barbados. It has 100 retail branches, corporate and international banking centres; some US $9 billion in assets; 3,100 staff; and over 700,000 active accounts. From inception, the Bank has been rate as ‘A- Stable’ by Standard & Poor’s – the highest rating of any commercial bank in the English-speaking Caribbean. In 2004, FirstCaribbean was named as ‘Bank of the Year’ by The Banker magazine and ‘Best Emerging Market Bank’ by Global Finance magazine.

More information about FirstCaribbean can be found at: