Development Bank commits to Sisters

The Cayman Islands Development Bank Board of Directors has made a commitment to include the Sister Islands in its efforts to mobilize and provide financing for the social and economic development of the Cayman Islands.

Ralph Lewis

CIDB General Manager Ralph Lewis at the Banks temporary Brac location at Kirkconnells Commercial Centre.
Photo: Submitted

According to General Manager Ralph Lewis, a CIDB representative now visits the Sister Islands on the first Monday and Tuesday of each month to see clients on both Cayman Brac and Little Cayman.

‘Initially, we made several exploratory visits in order to gather information on the particular needs of the Sister Islands. Because of the economic situation here, such as a lower average salary and limited access to banking services, we determined that the conditions and terms of funding had to be structured differently to those on Grand Cayman,’ said Mr. Lewis.

The CIDB Board of Directors approved concessions to customers to improve their chances of qualifying for a loan. These include the lowering of the initial contribution from 10 per cent required in Grand Cayman to five per cent, and also restructuring the level of debt repayment so that clients can make payments of 50 per cent of their salary, instead of 45 per cent.

‘We are committed towards helping the people on Cayman Brac and Little Cayman in order to assist with their personal growth and enhancement of living standards,’ said Mr. Lewis.

CIDB is a small bank with limited resources, and it has a mandate from the government to provide financing to people in the lower to middle-income brackets. It therefore places financial and related resources at the disposal of the people of the Cayman Islands who most need it, so that their social and economic well-being is enhanced on a sustained basis. This translates into a better standard of living for the people of the Islands.

People requiring the services of CIDB are those who have difficulty in securing a mortgage for a first home and, for qualifying applicants, CIDB offers an effective interest rate of 9.05 per cent. In some cases, people can no longer service their financial obligations (for example, after a divorce) and the management of the Bank is strongly considering the introduction of a debt consolidation program to assist them with payment relief, which in turns increases their level of disposable income.

CIDB also invests in the young people of the islands by providing student loans, for which there is no repayment until the end of the course of study. The Bank intends to work with the Cayman Brac High School and its Parent Teachers Association to explain these programmes in full.

Small business enterprises are another focus of CIDB, and the bank will be working closely with the Cayman Islands Investment Bureau, so that funding is provided in tandem with financial and business advice for entrepreneurs.

‘Business loans are more complex and can be considered to be of higher risk in comparison to mortgages. The bank also wants to ensure that the clients who take out these loans maximize their potential returns,’ Mr. Lewis explained.

‘I am extremely pleased that the CIDB is taking such an active interest in the economic development of Cayman Brac and Little Cayman,’ said Sister Islands MLA Moses Kirkconnell.

‘I strongly believe that the best way to help people is to help them help themselves, and this is also the philosophy of the Bank. There are many hard working, responsible people in these islands who just need a little assistance to get ahead, and the combined resources of the CIDB and the CIIB will help them do that,’ he added.

The main office of CIDB on Grand Cayman is located at 36B Dr Roy’s Drive, George Town. On the Sister Islands, the CIDB is temporarily located in Kirkconnells’ Commercial Centre in Stake Bay, and arrangements can also be made to see a representative on Little Cayman.

For appointments, phone 949-7511, or fax 949-6168, or email [email protected].

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