FirstCaribbean International’s CEO Charles Pink has announced that one of two telephone banking centres to be introduced by the institution will be located in The Bahamas. This, he said, would create employment opportunities and firmly establish The Bahamas as the bank’s information technology centre. Already established in The Bahamas is FirstCaribbean’s technology support for the entire Caribbean – as well as its major data centre. This represents over 172 operators and IT employees.

As part of the IT expansion, The Bahamas will also be home to the northern Caribbean centre for international payment operations.

Early next year the bank expects to complete a $50 million technology upgrade that will combine all former Barclays and CIBC branches onto a single world-class platform. According to Mr. Pink, this will allow customers full and free use of FirstCaribbean’s network of Automated Banking Machines (ABM) and branches. FirstCaribbean expects to introduce Internet banking in 2004, for retail, corporate and international customers, with the bank also to widen its range of asset management products for high net worth clients.

Officials from FirstCaribbean were in Nassau recently for a quarterly Group Board meeting, and also met with government officials. At that time, it was announced that the bank’s Credit Card Centre is being restructured, with key front office operations to remain in The Bahamas.

The Caribbean operations of Barclays and CIBC merged to form FirstCaribbean International Bank – an associated company of Barclays Bank PLC and CIBC.