at Butterfield

Butterfield Bank Cayman confirmed in a statement last week that 10 of its 345 employees have been made redundant.

The affected employees were advised by the bank on 8 December about their redundancies, which take effect immediately.

Butterfield Bank Cayman’s Managing Director Conor O’Dea, confirmed in an interview for the December edition of The Journal that “we are getting to a stage in Cayman where we are ‘overbanked’.

“In absence of growth, everyone is aggressively chasing market share as the economy contracts. The bank’s focus therefore will be on generating steady and growing net income throughout 2011,” he stated.

While job losses have occurred throughout the financial services industry, Butterfield had not needed “to resort to such lengths to remain competitive”,” he added. But he conceded that “the longer the recession continues, the more challenging this becomes for all businesses.”

According to the bank “the prolonged economic situation globally and in the Cayman Islands” contributed to the layoffs, which occurred across five departments within the bank.

Generating earnings has become more challenging for any organisation in the current economic environment, Mr. O’Dea confirmed on Thursday, and businesses from law firms and accountants to banks have to look at their cost base. This includes not only staff but also business premises, technology and more, he said.

That is a fact of life that applies in Cayman, throughout the Caribbean and globally, Mr. O’Dea said. He believes the bank did well to keep the number of layoffs as low as possible since the crisis.

“We empathise with those employees in this difficult time. Unfortunately no time is a good time for such a thing,” he said.

None of the redundant positions was held by work permit holders. The bank said that all employees concerned “are being treated fairly and with respect” and that Butterfield will “offer support services and counselling, resume-writing guidance and assistance with job placement”.

Butterfield continues to be one of the largest employers in the financial services industry. Only 8 per cent of all Butterfield staff are work permit holders.

Butterfield said it remains committed to the Cayman Islands and its community and that there will be no impact to customers as a result of these changes.

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