April 22, 2005

High ratings for First Caribbean

First Caribbean International is claiming a credit rating of “A stable” given to it by rating agency Standard & Poor’s.

The bank says the credit rating is one of the strongest in the region and the strongest of any financial institution with the exception of the Caribbean Development Bank. {{more}}

Areas that came in for mention in the Standard & Poor’s rating was Frist Caribbean’s diversification;its strong market share in 16 countries; its good financial condition; prudent management of credit risk and the success of its now concluded integration programme.

The FirstCaribbean release said Standard & Poor’s report spoke well of the bank’s financial performance in the last financial year. “FirstCaribbean posted good financial results at fiscal year-end October 2004, reporting ROE of 7.3% (11.3% on tangible equity) and ROA of 1%. Despite stiff competition, the bank was able to achieve double-digit growth on its loan book, with important increments in the retail segment. The bank’s balance sheet continues to be highly liquid, with liquid assets representing around 40% of total assets. This balance sheet structure allows flexibility to manage growth and country concentrations. Taking into account the bank’s strong market position, the track record if its predecessors, and management’s plans, FirstCaribbean is expected to build further a good capacity to generate earnings from both traditional domestic banking activities and offshore operations, in addition to an efficient cost structure.”