BY JULIAN RICHARDSON Assistant Business Co-ordinator firstname.lastname@example.org
FIRSTCARIBBEAN International Bank (FCIB) yesterday posted a marginal increase in third-quarter profits, breaking a two-year string of consecutive quarterly declines on a year-over-year basis.
The bank's net income for the period ending July 31, 2012 was US$18.1 million, up from US$17.7 million over the same three months last year.
Total revenues were up by four per cent at US$132.3 million over the review period compared to US$127.7 million in the 2011 third quarter. This was boosted by a five per cent increase in net interest income to US$97.9 million. Operating income was flat at US$34.4 million while operating expenses jumped by four per cent to US$89.4 million.
The July 2012 bottom line for the review period was the first quarterly year-over-year improvement since April 2010. The bank has said that its results have been impacted in very difficult conditions faced by regional economies with primary business in tourism and international wealth management activities, which have suffered in the harsh global economic climate.
Loan loss impairment, 17 per cent higher at US$25.5 million over the period under review, has played a major role in the decline in profitability at FCIB.
Indeed, loan loss expenses have risen by US$44.5 million to US$96.5 million for the nine-months ending July 31, 2012, helping to drag down FCIB's net income by 33 per cent to US$47.6 million year-to-date.
"(Loan losses) are continuing to have a significant adverse effect on our results reflecting the stressed economic environment in our region. The bank continues to work closely with clients to seek solutions in the best interest of all parties involved," said FCIB chairman Michael Mansoor.
FCIB has over 100 branches, banking centres and offices in 17 regional markets across the Caribbean and the world. Its Jamaican subsidiary last year requested to be delisted from the Jamaica Stock Exchange after years of not complying with the listing agreement that requires at least 20 per cent of the company not be owned by one person.
In its final report to the market, FCIBJ posted net income of US$157 million for the year ended October 31, 2011, a massive decline from the US$359 million over the year prior.