by Eulana Weekes
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): The ECCB Bank of the year Awards was held on Thursday night December 15 to recognise the banks in the Eastern Caribbean Central Union that have made outstanding contributions to the wholesome development of the people through daily business practices.
Awards were presented to the banks that exemplified excellence at the highest level in 2022 under five categories; Corporate Social Responsibility, Customer Service, Financial Education and Empowerment, Support to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME’s) and Technological Innovation.
Kechewia Charles- Head judge of the ECCU Bank of the Year Awards said the competition was tightly contested as the banks for the past year demonstrated exactly what the ECCU banking sector should be.
“The competition was of very high standard and was tightly contested, which supports the high quality of the ECCU commercial banking sector. Last year, we thought the competition was scarce and hard to judge, but this year was harder. Eight commercial banks made submissions in the five categories and five banks made it to the final stage of the competition.”
The eight participating banks were the National Bank of Dominica Ltd, CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank Barbados Ltd and the Caribbean Union Bank both from Antigua and Barbuda, the Grenada Cooperative Bank Ltd, The Bank of Nevis Ltd, Bank of St.Lucia Ltd and the Republic Bank EC Ltd also from St.Lucia.
The 1st place recipient of the 2022 ECCU Bank of the Year award for Corporate Social Responsibility is the National Bank of Dominica Ltd, 2nd place was awarded to the bank of St.Lucia Ltd, whilst the Bank of Nevis received the 3rd place award.
The 1st place recipient of the 2022 ECCU Bank of the Year Awards for Customer Service was the National Bank of Dominica Ltd; in 2nd place was the CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank Barbados Ltd- Antigua and Barbuda and 3rd place was awarded to the Grenada Cooperative Bank Ltd.
The 1st place recipient of the 2022 ECCU Bank of the Year Awards for Financial Education and Empowerment was the National Bank of Dominica Ltd. Bank of St. Lucia Ltd received the 2nd place award and the 3rd place award was presented to the Grenada Cooperative Bank Ltd.
The 1st place recipient of the 2022 ECCU Bank of the Year Awards for Technological Innovation was awarded to the National Bank of Dominica Ltd. Bank of St. Lucia Ltd received the 2nd place award, whilst 3rd place was awarded to CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank Barbados Ltd -Antigua and Barbuda.
The only submission in the category of Support to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) was made by the National Bank of Dominica Ltd. The Bank therefore received the award for its contribution to (MSME’s) through its funding efforts and other other initiatives.
The head judge said the commercial banks play a vital role in the ECCU, as they are much more than just service providers.
“The ECCB continues to look forward to this award exercise as we very much value the many contributions by the commercial banks within the ECCU. It is truly heartwarming to witness that banks do not just see their role as financial services providers but as providers of a better way of living for the communities they serve; whether it be through the creation of employment, enablers of sports of culture, offering assistance to the needy or just the maintenance of a safe and healthy environment. You are important to us here at the ECCB.”
In the absence of ECCB’s Governor Mr Timothy N.J Antoine and Deputy Governor Dr. Valda Henry, Officer-in-Charge of the ECCB Tracy Polius revealed that the entries submitted for the 2022 ECCU Bank of the Year Awards were limited, notwithstanding that the submissions were of good quality. However, she added that the ECCB in the next hosting of the awards would like to see a continuation in the quality of submissions but improvement in the quantity of entries submitted. Polius encouraged the commercial banks to participate in the ECCU Bank Awards by showcasing their achievements in the various entry categories.