The profits of CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank have risen dramatically in the last quarter of the institution’s financial year ending October 31.
Mark St Hill, the Barbadian who was recently appointed chief executive officer of the regional bank, reported a 47 per cent jump in the bank’s group profits in the fourth quarter, rising from US$35 million for the same three-month period last year, to US$53.4 million this year.
However, when the annual numbers were tallied, Hill disclosed net profit for the year hit US$176.4 million, an increase of US$50.7 million or 40 per cent more than what was attained for the corresponding period in 2021.
“This year’s improved financial results were largely due to increased revenue from higher US interest rates and increased activity-based operating income. Additionally, the provision for credit losses was lower than the prior year as we experienced inflationary pressures and higher expenses related to our strategic business and infrastructure investments,” the CEO disclosed.
Offering some insight into the environment the bank was operating in and its responses to those conditions, St Hill told stakeholders that throughout the year, CIBC FirstCaribbean “continued to build strong momentum” as it followed through on a client-focused strategy.
“We have led the digital client innovation, with the launch of expanded digital channels and leading services, in addition to making other strategic investments to support future growth,” the top executive stated.
He explained that the region’s economic conditions had slowly recovered during the year, propelled by tourism services, followed by improved output by other productive sectors.
In the CEO’s review which accompanied the summary consolidated financial statements, St Hill said: “The recovery has occurred against the backdrop of higher US interest rates aimed at reducing inflation in key trading markets, the ongoing war in Ukraine and other geopolitical challenges. While the region’s economic recovery is expected to advance in 2023 as output continues to track towards pre-pandemic levels, the current global economic environment does imply some downside risk to the region.”
FirstCaribbean International’s board of directors declared a quarterly dividend to shareholders of US $0.010 per share, bringing the total dividend for the year to US$0.04 cents per share.