No cuts in staff, says CIBC official

400px-CIBC_FirstCaribbean_International_Bank_in_Bridgetown,_St._Michael,_Barbados_(2011)In the face of rising concerns over expected mass public sector layoffs, which some analysts see the private sector following suit with, one financial institution has given the assurance that it will not be sending home workers in the near future.

Mark St Hill, managing director of retail and business banking at CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank, told Barbados TODAY that apart from the restructuring exercise that was announced a couple months ago involving voluntary separation packages, there was no immediate plan to layoff workers.

He suggested, however, that the bank would be keeping a tight rein on employment, even as it officially opens a new branch next week Friday. St Hill was speaking after a tour of the new CIBC FirstCaribbean Warrens banking centre which was built at a cost of US$5 million.

“The staff complement here will be 39. It will represent our second biggest branch. We are going to staff this from internal because we are migrating some of the traffic here,” said St Hill, who also divulged that the bank remained confident in the local economy. St Hill said CIBC FirstCaribbean was here to stay.

“The best time to invest is at this time. This is not an investment for only now; it is an investment for the future; and this represents our commitment [to Barbados]. We have no plans of leaving here; so it is best to do this investment now,” St Hill said.

Meanwhile, chief executive officer Douglas Parkhill, acknowledging that the bank was operating in challenging economic times, said: “The best way to prosper in times like this is to deliver what the customers want to enhance their experience; and this is a part of the effort that is going on not only in Barbados but the rest of the region.”

St Hill also gave the assurance that with the opening of the Warrens banking centre there would be no closure of other branches, “not at this time”. (MM)

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