Friday, May 16, 2008

FirstCaribbean revenues up 22 % in 2007

Published: Friday May 16, 2008

FirstCaribbean International Bank Jamaica has reported another year of solid performance with growth in total revenues of 22 per cent or J$3.28 billion.

Reporting to the Bank's Annual General Meeting (AGM) at the Jamaica Pegasus on Wednesday, Managing Director, Milton Brady said that the Bank's performance was all the more significant given the "increasingly competitive environment characterised by tight liquidity and shrinking interest spreads."

Mr Brady said that in response to deteriorating market conditions the Bank focussed on the high growth sectors of the economy and on containing costs.

Consequently, he noted, "our efficiency level as measured by the cost/income ratio has improved to 61.2% from 64.1% in 2006."

These and other measures, Mr. Brady said produced a 32 per cent growth in net income before tax which exceeded the J$1 billion mark for the first time. Net income after tax (NIAT) rose to J$771 million, an increase of 31 per cent over the prior year.

Total assets of FirstCaribbean International Bank Jamaica Limited increased in 2007 by 27 per cent to J$41.671 billion, mainly driven by the growth in loan portfolio which climbed by 31 per cent to J$31.410 billion.

Mr Brady told the annual general meeting that last year the Jamaica capital market gave the Bank "a vote of confidence" when its J$1.5 billion bond offer was oversubscribed and the proceeds were used to grow the Corporate and Retail banking business.

He also reported that expansion of the Bank's branch network is progressing with new Liguanea and Portmore branches scheduled to be opened this year and that the ABM network has increased from 11 to 17.Brady reported that in 2007 FirstCaribbean Jamaica was again rated number one in both "customer satisfaction" and giving customers "value for money" based on an independently conducted benchmarking of the Bank's customer service standards against its main competitors in Jamaica.

Of note too, he said, was the Bank's "consolidated gains in its Employee Satisfaction Index" which continues to exceed by far, the average for both regional and international "best practice" companies.

Through its Comtrust Foundation, Mr. Brady said, FirstCaribbean has been delivering on its pre-tax profits to community causes, exceeding this target in 2007 with donations totaling J$28.4 million or 3 per cent of 2006 pre-tax profits.

Source: Jamaica Observer

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