Last July, Barclays and CIBC announced that discussions were underway to combine their Caribbean retail, corporate and offshore banking operations. This intention has been confirmed now with the signing of a formal agreement to combine Caribbean operations and create FirstCaribbean International Bank, a new financial entity, *”subject to regulatory and all other approvals”.*

The financial institutions have advised that preliminary discussions had been held with the regulatory and government authorities of the jurisdictions in which they operate, and that the agreement signing allowed the presentation of the formal application to regulatory authorities.

Should the required approvals be obtained, the combination of Barclays and CIBC is expected to bring a series of benefits to customers:

– the stability of a financial institution with a combined history of over 225 years of regional experience and knowledge;

– as one of the best capitalised banks in the region, FirstCaribbean will ensure that customers will feel confident and secure in all their dealings;

– customers will have access to one of the largest branch and ATM networks of any bank in the region, with a broader range of products and services available through an increased range of delivery channels;

FirstCaribbean will be present in 15 countries across the Caribbean, with a goal to provide customers with superior care and excellent personalised service.

During the transitional period, i.e. until the necessary approvals are obtained and legal completion takes place, the Barclays and CIBC Caribbean businesses will continue to operate as independent entities.