RBC Selling Operations in Eastern Caribbean to Group of Indigenous Banks

TORONTO, Canada, Thursday December 12, 2019 – The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) today announced the sale of all its Eastern Caribbean banking operations to a consortium of five indigenous banks.

The sale encompasses the branches of Royal Bank of Canada in Antigua, Dominica, Montserrat, St Lucia, and St Kitts and Nevis, as well as regional businesses operating under RBC Royal Bank Holdings (EC) Limited in Nevis, Grenada and St Vincent and the Grenadines. The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

RBC said it has entered into definitive agreements for the sale, and the transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions,  is expected to be finalized in the coming months.

“Consistent with our strategy of being a competitive leader in the markets where we operate, RBC is always evaluating opportunities for our business. Earlier this year, we were approached by a consortium of indigenous banks with their proposal to acquire all RBC Eastern Caribbean operations,” said Rob Johnston, Head, RBC Caribbean Banking. “After a review of our operations and strategy, we determined this opportunity was a good decision for the long-term future success of RBC Caribbean, and also, that it aligned with our vision to help our clients thrive and communities prosper.”

The consortium includes: 1st National Bank of St Lucia, Antigua Commercial Bank Ltd., National Bank of Dominica Ltd., the Bank of Montserrat and Bank of Nevis Ltd.

Johnathan Johannes, Managing Director at 1st National Bank of St Lucia, said the consortium was formed for the express purpose of expanding the scale of the locally owned financial entities in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union.

“This transaction gives us the size and scale to play a more active role in the development of our respective countries. We see this transaction as the first step in achieving even greater synergies, efficiencies and cross-territory marketing opportunities,” he said.

“RBC has operated in the Caribbean for more 100 years – longer than we have been in many parts of Canada. We remain committed to the future of the Caribbean and to a vision of digital innovation that transcends traditional services. This transaction will allow us to realign and focus our strategy on Caribbean markets where we can achieve that vision most successfully.”

Johnson added that the indigenous banks acquiring RBC’s business would now have an increased opportunity to influence the development of their communities – an opportunity they embrace and eagerly anticipate.

The consortium was advised by PwC (JA), led by Wilfred Baghaloo, who added that the transaction demonstrates that “Caribbean countries and businesses have the capacity and capability to  come together when the circumstances are right”.

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