FirstCaribbean International Bank Limited has completed its acquisition of The Mercantile Banking and Financial Corporation of Trinidad & Tobago, establishing a presence there. The acquisition followed regulatory approval by the Central Banks of Trinidad & Tobago and Barbados.

The Mercantile Banking & Financial Corporation operates in the areas of Corporate Banking and Capital Markets, and FirstCaribbean intends to operate in these two areas initially and to expand its business in Trinidad and Tobago further over time. It is preparing to commence a re-branding and capitalization exercise early in 2005.

Executive Chairman of FirstCaribbean International Bank, Michael Mansoor, will join the Mercantile Board. Back in November when plans for the acquisition were announced, Mr. Mansoor said, *”The Mercantile is a well-run financial services company and we look forward to welcoming it to the FirstCaribbean Group. We have long wished to establish a strong, physical presence in Trinidad. Given the range of Trinidad and Tobago customers we already service, this would be like coming home. We will aim to be a new and fresh choice to the commercial banking market.”*

Trinidad & Tobago is the sixteenth country in which FirstCaribbean will have established a presence since its formation two years ago. FirstCaribbean is the product of the combination of the Caribbean operations of the former Barclays Bank and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC). The company maintains that its knowledge of banking has been gained through a combined experience of almost 250 years in the Caribbean through its heritage organizations. With over 3,000 employees, more than 80 branches and 120 automatic banking machines in now 16 countries, FirstCaribbean International Bank is one of the largest financial institutions in the region.

The merger created **FirstCaribbean International Bank (Bahamas) Limited**, headed by Sharon Brown, Managing Director.