CIBC FirstCaribbean to sell its banking assets in Curaçao, St Maarten

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PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — FirstCaribbean International Bank Limited has announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, FirstCaribbean International Bank (Cayman) Limited (“FCIB Cayman”), has agreed to sell its banking assets in Curaçao and St Maarten to the Curaçao-based Orco Bank.

A statement reads that Orco Bank, established in 1986 in Curaçao, is dedicated to serving the communities of Curaçao, Bonaire, and Sint Maarten by providing a comprehensive range of personal and business banking solutions. Originally focused on offshore activities, bond trading, and investment banking, the bank has now broadened its scope to deliver banking products and services to individuals and businesses in the region.

The transactions are subject to regulatory approval, including from the Cayman Islands Monetary Agency, the Central Bank of Barbados, and the Central Bank of Curaçao and Sint Maarten, and are expected to be finalised in the coming months.

In announcing that Orco and CIBC FirstCaribbean had reached agreement on the terms of the transaction, CIBC FirstCaribbean’s Chief Executive Officer, Mark St Hill, noted that: “these transactions are the final ones in our programme of country divestitures that began in 2021 with the sale of our assets in Aruba and some of our OECS territories. This programme began as part of our strategy to enable CIBC FirstCaribbean to optimise and simplify its business, further enhance efficiency and focus on core markets to accelerate growth. When these divestitures are completed, it will allow our bank to turn its full attention to growing our business, consolidating our position in our core markets and optimising our strategy of providing a second-to-none omni-channel banking service to our clients.”

St Hill added: “A decision to leave a market is never an easy one but we are certain that we are leaving our clients with a competent team, led by Edward Pietersz and Desiree Alberto-Martina of Orco Bank, who will focus on delivering a personalised service and an enhanced customer experience to its customers, to ensure high compliance standards, and portfolio management, to conform with guidelines and regulations of the Central Bank of Curaçao and St Maarten (CBCS).”

“Acquiring CIBC FirstCaribbean’s banking assets presents an excellent opportunity for Orco Bank,” states Edward Pietersz, Managing Director, and CEO of Orco Bank. “We are thrilled to welcome new customers and remain dedicated to delivering superior service to both our existing and new clientele. With an expanded reach, we are well-positioned to fulfil our mission of being the preferred partner, offering innovative, customer-driven solutions that enable financial freedom in a responsible and sustainable manner while creating shared value for our communities. Both banks are working diligently to ensure a seamless transition for CIBC FirstCaribbean’s customers.”

These transactions are not expected to have a material impact on CIBC FirstCaribbean’s Tier I and Total Capital ratios.