First Citizens Bank

The head office of publicly listed First Citizens Bank, at Queen’s Park East in Port of Spain.

MAJORITY State-owned First Citizens Bank Ltd (FCB) announced yesterday that it has received all the necessary regulatory approvals for its corporate legal restructure to take place.

In a notice published on the website of the T&T Stock Exchange yesterday morning, FCB said the restructuring would mean that it would no longer be the holding company for the group, but that it would instead become a subsidiary of a new holding company, called First Citizens Group Financial Holdings Ltd (FCGFH), together with other subsidiaries within the First Citizens Group.

In the notice, FCB said the shareholders of the bank will hold shares in FCGFH in the same percentage that they held in the bank. FCGFH would be listed on the T&T Stock Exchange and the shares in FCB would be delisted.

FCB said its shareholders would continue to enjoy the same ownership rights after the suspension that they did before it.

As a result of the listing of the shares in FCGFH and the delisting of FCB, the bank advised that all trades in its shares would be suspended for three business days, starting tomorrow and ending on Friday.

“The suspension has become necessary to allow for the settlement of all outstanding trades in FIRST shares, the movement of all shareholders accounts and the shareholdings from FIRST to FCGFH and the listing of the shares of FCGFH and the delisting of the shares of the bank,” said FCB.

Corporate legal restructure

The bank said trading would resume on Monday, October 18, under the new trading name of the bank.

The shareholders of the bank approved the corporate legal restructure at a meeting of shareholders on June 30, 2021. At that meeting, executives of the bank said they expected the regulatory approval to be completed by the end of September.

In a notice published on September 30, FCB advised that “all necessary regulatory approvals have not yet been received for the corporate legal restructure to effect the listing of the shares in FCGFH and the delisting of the shares in the bank by October 1, 2021.” It said that a supplemental notice would follow with the new effective date.

Questioned about the delay, a spokesperson for the Central Bank said: “While we are unable to comment on the ongoing application by any particular licensed entity, as part of our efforts towards effective consolidated supervision, the Central Bank requires certain financial institutions to establish financial holding companies.

“Before granting our regulatory approval, the Central Bank conducts due diligence on the domestic and international financial relationships of the applicant.”

FCB has made three investments in a Jamaican investment and brokerage company, called Barita Investments Ltd, since September 2020.

In March, FCB announced that it had reached an agreement to acquire the banking operations of Scotiabank in Guyana, subject to regulatory approval. The Canadian bank disclosed that its operations in Guyana comprise four branches and about 180 employees.

10,869,565 ordinary shares for sale

The Port of Spain-headquartered bank already has operations in Barbados, St Vincent and St Lucia as well as a representative office in Costa Rica.

In the 2022 budget delivered last week, Finance Minister Colm Imbert announced that the Government would be offering 10,869,565 ordinary shares in FCB for sale in a bid to raise approximately $550 million. Imbert said the Government’s current holding is 64.43 per cent or 161,946,890 shares would be reduced to 151,077,325 shares or 60.10 per cent of issued shares after the proposed sale.

RECOMMENDED FOR YOU

TRINIDAD and Tobago is participating in a US$11 million project called ISLANDS, which stands for “Implementing Sustainable Low and Non-chemical Development in Small Island Developing States,” says Planning and Development Minister Camille Robinson-Regis.

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) says that the climate crisis poses a severe threat to food security in the Caribbean, as vulnerable communities–a vast majority of whom rely on agriculture, fishing and livestock, who contribute the least to the climate crisis–bear the brunt of the impacts with limited means to cushion the blow. 

TOURISM Minister Randall Mitchell says he is eagerly looking forward to the return of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines flight to Trinidad and Tobago from Amsterdam tomorrow, as the tourism industry needs the boost in light of the ravaging effects caused by Covid-19.