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CIBC Jamaica profits plummet

Published:Monday | February 25, 2013 | 12:00 AM

CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank Jamaica has reported lower net profits for its financial year ended October 2012, declining by 46 per cent to J$83.9 million compared to J$156.8 million the previous year.

The profits represent credible performance by the Bank's subsidiary, FirstCaribbean Building Society as the bank itself posted year on year net losses.

The J$83.9 million in net profits actually reflects net earnings of J$322 million contributed by the building society with the commercial bank recording net losses of J$238 million.

Overall the entities reported a marginal decrease in total operating income, moving from J$4.3 billion to J$4 billion for the financial year.

However, the bank lowered its loan loss impairment significantly to J$187 million from J$598 million during the corresponding period the previous year.

In notes appended to its financial statements, CIBC FirstCaribbean reports non-performing loans of approximately J$1.9 billion compared to J$5.2 billion at the end of its 2011 financial year.

Of the nearly J$1.9 billion, businesses and government accounted for J$964 million, followed by mortgages at J$500 million and personal loans at J$415.7 million.

CIBC FirstCaribbean is Jamaica's fourth largest commercial bank with an asset base of J$48.4 billion at the end of October 2012. However, that represents a decrease over the last two year when its assets totalled just over J$50 billion.

CIBC is part of a regional banking network with parent company CIBC FirstCaribbean International headquartered in Barbados.

For its last financial year the Jamaican operation saw increased operating expenses, moving up by approximately 9 per cent from $3.5 million to $3.8 million.

Cash and cash equivalents at the end of the year was also lower at J$6 billion, down from J$8.5 billion the previous year.