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FirstCaribbean Scoops More Banking Sector Awards

by Carla Johnson, Investors

26 December 2006

FirstCaribbean International Bank has received Bracken Awards from The Banker magazine for its achievements in the financial services sector, its fourth and fifth Awards for the year.

The bank has been named Best Bank in two of its major markets, Jamaica and The Bahamas.

The Bracken award is named after Brendan Bracken, the founding editor of The Banker, a Financial Times publication, and the Chairman of the modern day Financial Time from 1945 to 1958. Banks are judged on their financial performance, initiatives in the market for the year, and return to their shareholders.

In congratulating the two business units on their achievements, CEO, Charles Pink stated:

“This award is very well deserved. Sharon Brown and her team in The Bahamas have performed magnificently since FirstCaribbean was formed in 2002, and they continue to deliver results of which we are very proud. Our performance there in our last fiscal has been our strongest to date.

“I’m also delighted for Milton Brady and the whole Jamaica team. This award is fully earned! We’ve invested a lot in the Jamaica market in the past year, and they have stepped up to the plate to deliver fantastic results. I am extremely proud of them.”

Sharon Brown, Managing Director FirstCaribbean International Bank (Bahamas) Limited, noted:

“This achievement would not have been possible without our people: we have a first class team in The Bahamas. We've taken our group's vision of becoming the Bank of first choice in the region seriously, and together we have stepped up our game to deliver in both sales and customer service.

"We're also grateful to our customers, who are making us their bank of choice and allowing us to be their financial partner. We will be continuing our strategy of improving our financial performance through expansion and enhancement to our product and service offerings and customer service improvements."

Milton Brady Managing Director for the bank in Jamaica, added:

“This is extremely good news for my team here in Jamaica. While this award is for our performance in the 2005 fiscal year, we have not rested on our laurels. In 2006 fiscal year, we have grown our loan portfolio by 75% and increase our core earnings by 98%. And we’re also number one in customer service in Jamaica, a significant achievement by our team in such a short time. FirstCaribbean is making its mark on the Jamaica market and we have every intention of continuing that trend into the future."

Already for the year, FirstCaribbean has been named “Best Emerging Market Bank” by Global Finance magazine of New York, an honour which it also captured in 2004 and 2005. Also in 2006, for the first time in its 37-year history, Euromoney Magazine conferred its Best Bank Award of Excellence on a Pan-Caribbean bank, ranking FirstCaribbean among the most outstanding financial institutions in the Americas. FirstCaribbean has also been selected as the LatinFinance Bank of the Year 2006 for the region. Latin Finance is based on The United States.

“It’s one thing to be recognized by your peers as a force to be reckoned with in financial services in the region, but it’s quite another to receive independent recognition by such prestigious institutions in the world of banking and finance," added Pink.

When we created FirstCaribbean we knew we were seeing the birth of something special. Our recent achievements are only the beginning and our team across the region is proving that our vision of being the Bank of First choice for the region is spot on," he added.

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