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Aug 3, 2015

CIBC First Caribbean is Sold to Heritage Bank

There is big financial news tonight. CIBC First Caribbean Bank which was hit by robbers last week today informed it’s management and staff that it was selling out it assets to Heritage Bank Limited, a much smaller local bank. The reports had been circulating for some time, but it was made official until today. Staff from all five branches was informed they were losing their jobs and needed to re-apply to Heritage Bank if they wished to keep their jobs. The reason for the sell-out is not confirmed, but it is reported that bank was not growing in Belize as it is elsewhere in the region. The bank’s assets as of March 2015, is three hundred point three million dollars and its liabilities is two hundred and eighty-two point nine million dollars. Late this evening, as it met with staff, First Caribbean issued a release confirming that it was being acquired by Heritage Bank pending approval by the Central Banks of Belize and Barbados, where it is headquartered. Managing Director of Heritage Bank, Stephen Duncan, described the acquisition as an excellent opportunity which will cement Heritage in the Belize market. The C.E.O. of CIBC First Caribbean’s Regional Operations, Rik Parkhill, says “We have a strong team in Belize and these decisions are never easy, however it was necessary to sharpen our focus on the growth opportunities we have in other markets where we operate.  We conducted a strategic review of our business across the region and given the growth path we have identified we have made the difficult decision to sell our Belize operations.” Parkhill said that they have informed staff and shared information about potential opportunities for them with Heritage Bank Limited. That release was followed by another, from the Christian Workers Union. CIBC, from our understanding is the only unionized bank in Belize. The C.W.U. says that some sixty employees are left without employment and that all employees are expected to remain fully employed until the sale is final, which may take another three to four months. C.W.U. also expresses disappointment with CIBC for not being forthcoming when the question was directly put to them via a letter dated July third, 2015.  The union also says it will be working along CIBC to ensure that a proper exit package is crafted for the benefit of all employees to make their transition into the ranks of the unemployed as smooth as possible.  C.W.U.’s focus will be to ensure that employees are sufficiently compensated to have finances to hold them over while they seek other employment opportunities, or transition into other forms of income generation. Starting this Thursday, the union will enter into negotiations with CIBC to work on a long-overdue Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) to replace the one which expired December thirty-first, 2013.

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3 Responses for “CIBC First Caribbean is Sold to Heritage Bank”

  1. Sharon says:

    How bad is karma- all those bank employees – when you go there thy demand you fill out paperwork like a drug dealer- when you ask for a loan they act like they are a god- now turned beggars

  2. X-Ray says:

    CWU is only talking BIG–I know first hand how the bank terminates its employees–whether, resignation or fired, their package are always generous. So, CWU stop trying to play big.

  3. Merv says:

    Ok Sharon, is it the staff fault? Nope! I worked in one of the CIBC FirstCaribbean banks in the Caribbean for over 20 years and trust me it is the bank’s policies not the staff. So please don’t rejoice when these unfortunate events are happening!

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