Global Finance names this year’s best private banks serving clients in the Caribbean.
The Caribbean is a diverse region with significant economic potential and growth opportunities. Gross national income per capita varies from around $800, according to the World Bank’s Caribbean overview, to more than $30,000. For the many Caribbean nations that rely primarily on tourism, recovery is expected to be slow. The reintroduction of travel restrictions due to a resurgence of Covid-19 impacted in the first half of 2021. Tourism-dependent countries suffered substantial declines in stay-over arrivals to the region. Countries that rely on commodity exports have somewhat rosier prospects.
BEST PRIVATE BANK IN THE CARIBBEAN
The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) has been a mainstay in the Caribbean for more than 110 years and serves close to a million clients in 10 Caribbean countries and territories, with 38 branches and more than 2,800 employees in the region.
The bank’s Caribbean division private banking team has grown its revenue more than $10 million in 2021, a 15.4% increase year over year (YoY). At the same time, total spot loans have grown 10% YoY across the region while growing 16.7%, 13.2% and 7.3%, respectively, YoY in the Cayman Islands, the Bahamas and Barbados.
Such growth comes as the culmination of a multiyear transformational journey that reimagined how the bank operates in the region while improving its finances and operations. RBC’s results demonstrate its resilience and success emerging from the Covid-19 pandemic.
BEST PRIVATE BANK FOR SUSTAINABLE INVESTING
Bank J. Safra Sarasin
Bank J. Safra Sarasin joined several initiatives that have become a network of investor associations and frameworks pushing for more climate action and for achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. The bank was a founding signatory of the United Nations’ Principles for Responsible Investment in 2006 as well as one of the first Swiss financial institutions to report on climate-related risks and opportunities after the launch of the Task Force for Climate-Related Financial Disclosures.
J. Safra Sarasin Sustainable Asset Management also made its 2020 climate pledge to have all of its assets under management carbon neutral by 2035. Early this year, the asset management business joined the Net-Zero Asset Managers Initiative in support of its climate pledge. Together with other investors, the firm contributes toward rallying the entire financial sector as part of the Race to Zero and the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net-Zero that look to limit global warming to 1.5° Celsius and aim for net-zero emissions by 2050 or sooner.
MOST INNOVATIVE PRIVATE BANK
National Commercial Bank Jamaica
National Commercial Bank is Jamaica’s largest foreign exchange trader and largest financial institution. It offers customers services in any of the four major hard currencies: the US dollar, Canadian dollar, euro and sterling. It also provides private banking clients with tailor-made portfolios, custodial and brokerage services, estate planning, philanthropy advice, retirement plans and daily management of regulatory and legal risks.
The bank has focused on building a world-class digital experience and has upgraded its internet banking platform, which permits client round-the-clock access from anywhere. And it has established 10 innovation labs. Other business goals include reinventing its core business and accelerating regional expansion.
Although headquartered in Kingston, Jamaica, the financial institution has a strong presence in Barbados, the Cayman Islands, and Trinidad and Tobago.