Roseau, Dominica (TDN)
First Caribbean International Bank Limited (FCIB) in Dominica has announced that its sale to the National Bank of Dominica (NBD) will no longer go forward.
It is widely believed that the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), which regulates the banking sector in the Eastern Caribbean, has refused to grant approval of the sale of FCIB to the NBD.
In October 2021, the FCIB announced that it would sell its operations in Aruba, St. Vincent, Grenada, Dominica and St. Kitts to the countries’ indigenous banks. Since that announcement the sale has been completed in Aruba and just this week, the ECCB announced its approval for the sale in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and St. Kitts and Nevis. Negotiations are ongoing with the Grenada Co-operative Bank Limited.
Late last year, the National Bank of Dominica acquired the Royal Bank of Canada to add to its earlier addition of Banque Francaise Commercial several years ago.
Dominica’s other internationally owned bank, Scotia Bank limited, was acquired last year by the Republic Bank, which is headquartered in Trinidad and Tobago.
However, the NBD appears to have run into problems with its high level of non-performing loans, even as the Dominican economy continues to worsen. The failing health of the bank appears to be at the heart of the rejection by the banking regulator, the ECCB, to scuttle the purchase of FCIB by the NBD.
With the NBD rejected as a buyer for the FCIB, it is not clear which direction the sale will take going forward.
FCIB is headquartered in Barbados but it’s a subsidiary of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. The FCIB came about with the merger of CIBC with Barclays Bank in 2002. In 2006, Barclays exited its operations in the Caribbean including its branch in Dominica.