World’s Best Private Banks 2023: Caribbean

Global Finance presents the best private banks in the Caribbean.

Even though most markets in the region regained some of the output lost to the pandemic, 2021 recoveries were generally mild due to prolonged pandemic restrictions, limited tourism rebound and operational challenges to commodity production. Against this background, several markets posted a strengthening recovery in the first quarter of 2022, largely bolstered by an upsurge in tourist arrivals.

The Caribbean and Central America have been at the forward edge of cryptocurrency testing as well, with the Bahamian “sand dollar” and El Salvador’s experiment testing these waters. The region, long a finance hub, should be able to find a strong footing in the world of digital finance and serve the most forward-thinking of wealthy investors. 


RBC Caribbean

RBC Caribbean’s team conducts extensive research and offers insights to identify opportunities to build clients’ wealth, provide tax efficiencies or generate additional income, making it our top choice again this year. The bank also offers guidance on use of proceeds from a life event—such as inheritance or sale of a business—to help accelerate wealth for business owners or corporate executives who may have professional responsibilities to a business or firm in addition to their personal financial interests. Both are subject to regulatory complexities that may be challenging to fulfill. In April 2021, the company closed on a deal selling off its Eastern Caribbean operations to a consortium of local banks. In 2021, clients and employees settled into the new normal as the demand for digital banking offerings continued to grow. Employees proved their resilience even in a hybrid work-from-home-and/or-at-the-office environment.


CIBC FirstCaribbean

CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank is a relationship bank offering a range of market-leading financial services through its corporate investment banking and wealth management divisions. CIBC FirstCaribbean operates within a well-regulated environment, under the supervision of 10 banking regulators across 16 markets.

The bank has built a strong reputation, over more than a decade, as the region’s go-to lender for electric utility providers and independent power producers seeking to bring the benefits of sustainable, renewable energy to the Caribbean, which makes it a natural home for wealthy investors seeking the same. Many Caribbean governments have announced commitments to grow renewable energy use and decrease dependence of their economies on fossil fuels.


Citi Private Bank

Citi Private Bank’s flagship global wealth management portal for clients and bankers provides highly sophisticated institutional-level tools along with traditional private banking functions. In 2021, the bank generated $3 billion in revenues while onboarding 456 new private bank clients, who brought average net worth up by 12%, to $450 million, for the bank’s private client base. With key Caribbean outposts in The Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Trinidad & Tobago, Jamaica and Puerto Rico. The bank created an Office of Innovation, headed by Philip Watson, chief innovation officer and head of the global Investment Lab. The OI guides private banking clients through the newest technologies and keeps them up to date with trends. In 2021, the bank hosted several client calls demonstrating its digital capabilities to ensure that clients will remain engaged and fully supported remotely. Additionally, the CitiDirect Digital Onboarding platform was enhanced to make Citi Private Banking more accessible, with a more intuitive navigational display, increased transactional capabilities, integration with other banks, comprehensive performance reporting and more.