RBC Caribbean fights back from the brink

Helen Avery
Published on:

The banking business of RBC Caribbean was close to dissolution less than three years ago but is now on a path towards profitability and reconnection with the communities that it serves. Kirk Dudtschak, the bank’s executive vice-president, was in the eye of the storm.

Kirk Dudtschak, RBC Caribbean’s executive vice-president

Towards the end of 2012, RBC Caribbean Banking was facing what Kirk Dudtschak, then the senior vice-president, strategy and human resources, personal and commercial banking, describes as "the perfect storm". 

He says: "Over the previous 18 months, the Caribbean countries in which we operated had seen successive post-crisis downgrades to their sovereign credit ratings – some even slipping to non-investment grade – as they were faced with profound systemic and structural economic challenges. 

"Internally, RBC Caribbean Banking was stressed, with a significant decline in loan volume, while head office, operational costs and delinquencies were growing exponentially. Concurrently, our front-line staff was beleaguered by long lines, disgruntled clients and limited support. The bank was at a pivotal crossroads and we needed to effect immediate and significant change." 

In spring 2013 that process began – to turn the pan-Caribbean franchise on the brink...