Butterfield Bank breaks ground

Butterfield Bank held a ceremony in Heroes Square Wednesday night to mark the groundbreaking of its new building on Albert Panton Street in George Town.

When completed, the seven-storey building will be the tallest in George Town.

Conor O’Dea, managing director of Butterfield Bank Cayman said he took pride in representing the bank’s 315 employees at the ceremony.

‘This project has taken 18 months of planning and still has a long way to go, but I think everyone at the bank will be pleased with the end result.’

Mr. O’Dea said the building is scheduled for completion in June, 2007.

President and CEO of Bank of N.T. Butterfield & Son Alan Thompson said the bank has progressed far in Cayman since its small-scaled beginnings.

‘This new building is a reflection of our pride in our presence here,’ he said. ‘We’re very proud of our Cayman operations.’

Dr. James King, Chairman of the Board of Bank of N.T. Butterfield & Son said he was uncertain about the need for the new building when he was first informed of the proposal.

‘Do they really need this much space,’ I asked. ‘Alan (Thompson) said, ‘just stop and think a minute about what Cayman does for us’. I did, and said ‘OK, let’s give our full support to the erection of this building’.’

Mr. King said Butterfield Bank in Cayman was more than just a large building.

‘We recognise that the size is of no great importance,’ he said. ‘What is important is what goes on inside the structure.’

Leader of Government Business and Minister of Planning Kurt Tibbetts attended the ceremony, and handed over a replica red card building permit to Mr. O’Dea.

Like Mr. King, Mr. Tibbetts was impressed by more than just the size of Butterfield Bank’s new building.

‘In my opinion, one of this bank’s most distinguishing factors is that with 312 employees, it is the biggest private sector employer in Cayman,’ he said, noting that 274 – or 88 per cent – of those employees were Caymanian.

‘I must tell you, that your investment in the people of Cayman is even more important to me than the $50 million that will be invested in constructing this office building.’

Mr. Tibbetts said the Cayman Islands Government had a high level of confidence in Butterfield Bank.

‘I know that your bank has a solid international reputation and is highly respected by regulators,’ he said. ‘I wish you continued success in providing quality service to your customers, both on and off the island.’