Regional bank CIBC FirstCaribbean is moving to assist countries across the region to purchase much-needed COVID – 19 testing kits.
The bank, through its charitable arm the FirstCaribbean International ComTrust Foundation, will donate a total of USD$250,000 toward the purchase of the kits in the countries across its regional footprint. The bank will make the donation through its various operating companies across the Caribbean.
Chief Executive Officer of the bank and Chair of the foundation Colette Delaney made the announcement noting: “testing was one of the main weapons in the arsenal against the spread of the disease”.
She added: “community spread is one of the main ways the virus is transmitted and testing is key to identify, isolate and treat those affected and limit its spread”.
Delaney thanked the region’s “public health leadership, medical professionals and frontline workers and others involved in the essential work of keeping our communities safe and functioning during this very difficult time”.
The donation follows the bank’s recent announcements of a suite of relief assistance to eligible clients including; six months payment moratoria on existing loans and mortgages. Temporary revolving or working capital financing options for its Corporate Banking and Business Banking clients. A special waiver of late payment fees and default interest to all eligible Retail, Business, Banking, Corporate Investment Banking and Wealth Management Clients effective for the six month moratorium period for existing loans and mortgages. And Credit cardholders automatically benefitting from a payment waiver for three months based on their current account standing.
Delaney noted: “Our response has been in the spirit of partnership that has always existed between the bank and the people of the region. This two-pronged approach has allowed us to not only contribute to the national response in each of the countries in which we operate but to directly assist our clients who are affected”.
She said many of the bank’s staff are choosing to make personal donations to the various relief programmes in their islands across the Caribbean and thanked them for their generosity.
“Our employees are known for their calm and professional response, particularly in a crisis. We thank them for their generosity and commitment to continuing to provide service to our clients in these most unusual of circumstances,” she said.
CIBC FirstCaribbean has a staff of approximately 3,000 across 16 Caribbean countries.