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Bardados Best Bank: FirstCaribbean International

Bahamas I Bardados I Bermuda I Dominician Republic I Jamaica I Trinidad & Tobago I Costa Rica I El Salvador I Guatemala I Honduras I Nicaragua I Panama I Argentina I Bolivia I Brazil I Chile I Colombia I Ecuador I Mexico I Paraguay I Peru I Uruguay I Venezuela

With a branch network ranging from Belize to Trinidad & Tobago, Barbados-based FirstCaribbean got off to an impressive start this year with its acquisition of ABN Amro’s offshore and wealth management business in Curaçao and showed strong first-quarter results, which jumped 35% to $43 million, building on record 2005 earnings that increased almost 300% year on year. Its total assets stand at $9.6 billion and the bank has grown its loans by a quarter over the past year to $5 billion. Customer deposits have grown steadily to around $8 billion and the bank has also launched innovative products to grow its business, such as the International Hard Currency Mortgage to provide customers with financing to buy properties across the Caribbean, including Jamaica, the Bahamas and Belize.

FirstCaribbean last year issued $200 million in subordinated floating rate notes in the Eurobond market, the first public sale of its kind in the Caribbean.

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