REPUBLIC Bank (EC), on Thursday 13th Feb 2019, signaled to the corporate community of Saint Lucia its’ readiness to do business. This, at the Saint Lucia Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture’s first Executive Luncheon for 2020.
To a packed room of over 70 business executives from various sectors including shipping, legal, commerce, banking, insurance, manufacturing and other business support services, guest speaker Michelle Palmer-Keizer, Managing Director of Republic Bank (EC), engaged the audience in a targeted but light-hearted demonstration of Republic Bank’s commitment and ability to serve Saint Lucia with first class service and financial products.
Palmer-Keizer began by introducing the Bank’s management team, singling out Gordon Julien, Saint Lucia’s Country Manager and stating that ‘local input and locally driven decision making is one of the biggest and most immediate changes” that will be felt from Republic Bank (EC).
Providing a short introduction to Republic Financial Holdings, Palmer-Keizer walked the audience through its 182-year history which began in Trinidad and now spans, Ghana, Cayman, Guyana, Grenada, Suriname, Barbados and now the Eastern Caribbean islands of Saint Lucia (its headquarters), St. Vincent, Dominica, St. Kitts/Nevis, Anguilla and Sint Maarten. She noted that the Bank had built “a solid reputation as a bank with high standards for integrity and for delivering results with excellent service. A bank that also contributes to building not only strong balance sheets but strong societies as well.”
Republic opened its doors to the Eastern Caribbean on November 1st 2019 and although still in transition phase, early feedback has been positive, in particular, on turnaround times on applications. Palmer-Keizer expects that once the full transition to the Republic Bank platform is made, the Bank will be putting its experience in managing big projects and its sophisticated credit and financing facilities to work for the business community, stating that “In addition to a banking mainstay of retail products and services like mortgages and personal loans, we do plan to place a good deal of focus on progressive areas like real estate development, property acquisition, working capital, bonds and trade finance facilities”.
Palmer-Keizer acknowledged that an integral part of Republic Bank’s ethos is its people centredness, planted in the recognition that the Bank’s success is driven by its customers, its employees and its communities. It therefore invests heavily in all. For example, through the “Power to Make A Difference” social investment programme, over the last 16 years, Republic Bank has invested in excess of 43 million US dollars, engaged over 1,000 charities and impacted over one million lives in the national communities within which the Bank operates.
Closing off her remarks to the business community, Palmer-Keizer thanked everyone for the warm welcome extended to Republic Bank (EC) and committed to supporting Saint Lucia and the other Eastern Caribbean islands’ development through new financing structures and building resilience in its main economic sectors.