CIBC FirstCaribbean sees market environment improving

CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank said it is experiencing significant growth across the Caribbean and is working with several public and private sector entities to implement multi-million dollar projects across the region. 

Rik Parkhill, CEO of the bank which has operations in 17 islands, said that “with many of the island nations of the region now emerging from the recent economic recession and the work done by CIBC FirstCaribbean in staying the course and working with its customers towards recovery, the best days of the bank are ahead of us.” 

Mr. Parkhill, addressing a press conference ahead of the start of the 3rd annual CIBC FirstCaribbean Infrastructure Conference in Montego Bay, Jamaica, said the bank has seen improvements in performance region wide, including in Jamaica which is one of the bank’s stronger markets that exhibited “encouraging signs.” 

He said that the CIBC FirstCaribbean’s net income in Jamaica for the six month period ending April 30, 2015, was up US$1.18 million over the corresponding previous period, buoyed by a strong performance in the bank’s loans portfolio. 

The deposit base increased to US$404 million at the end of April from US$364 million one year earlier and “the recent ratings upgrade and IMF reports … all point to signs of stability and growth in the Jamaican economy,” Mr. Parkhill said. 

In addition the bank is experiencing growth in Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, The Bahamas, and the Dutch Caribbean Islands. While Eastern Caribbean countries are recovering from the recession at a slower pace, he said that the bank is recording more growth today than at the same time a year ago. 

The Infrastructure Conference staged in Jamaica puts the focus on the use of public private sector partnerships “to unlock the full economic potential of infrastructural development in the Caribbean, Mr. Parkhill said. 

The two-day event showcased some of the types of regional projects that continue to attract international investment; techniques to increase the credit rating of projects in the region; holistic approaches to airport and cruise port redevelopment; the roll-out of key tourism development projects via PPPs; harnessing efficiencies to upgrade water utility infrastructure and the impact of renewable energy on the Caribbean. Presenters and participants were drawn from the Caribbean, Canada and the United States of America. 

Mr. Parkhill said that he was very pleased that “in three short years the CIBC FirstCaribbean International Infrastructure Conference has grown into a major forum for international multilateral and regional investors, governments and the private sector to engage with a view to building partnerships which are ultimately aimed at driving infrastructural development in the Caribbean.” 

From left, Nigel Holness, managing director, Jamaica; Rik Parkhill, chief executive officer; Irene Markus, managing director, Wholesale Banking; Berisford Grey, executive director, Corporate Investment Banking, engage with the regional media at the start of the 2015 CIBC FirstCaribbean Infrastructure Conference.