World’s Best Private Banks 2024—Caribbean

Global Finance presents the best private banks in the Caribbean. 

The Caribbean and Central America have faced a mixed year, with economic growth backed by tourism figures returning to pre-pandemic levels. This increase in economic activity is reflected by rises in tax revenues, driven by income taxes and VAT.

Greater integration through partnerships between regional and multinational banks and the expansion of regional stock markets. Enhancing the products and services available having laid the foundations for sustainable development through a focus on ethical investment and developing investment vehicles to provide for this.

With transitions expected in the ownership of a number of Caribbean banks, 2024 promises to be a year of change.

Best Private Bank In The Caribbean: Scotia Wealth Management

Whether it was mobilizing $100b for sustainable investment or its trend-setting app that has received recognition on various Caribbean islands, Scotia Wealth Management has consistently proven itself as the top Private Bank in the region.

Even competitors to Scotia recognized the bank’s superior year. NCB Capital, part of a group that includes NCB Financial Group, assessed Scotia Wealth Management as having a highly positive efficiency ratio of 50.2% in July of this year. 

Worldwide, Scotia Wealth Management has also been recognized as the Best Private Bank for Business Owners. Scotia Group has made a profit of $12.8b in nine months ending in July, up from $7.3b in 2022. Its capital stands at $113.89b on total assets of $646.4b. Over the past year, Scotia’s loan portfolio has grown 18% to $259.6b.

Best Private Bank For Sustainable Investing: CIBC First Caribbean International

The Category Five hurricane that leveled Acapulco was a powerful reminder of the need for sustainable investment across Central America and the Caribbean.

In fact, a recent ECLAC (United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean) report stated that Barbados, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Saint Lucia would need to invest 5.3-10.9% of their GDP from 2025-2050 to offset economic losses from climate change. 

But as financial vehicles grow to target the global demand from ethical investors for sustainable transactions, the thematic bond market remains highly concentrated.

CIBC’s FirstCaribbean International was the joint lead arranger for the Government of Barbados’s $146.5m Blue Bond, destined for marine conservation and other sustainable development projects over the next 15 years. CIBC FirstCaribbean directly financed the domestic transaction for $73.5m.

 Combined with its $216m+ financing of clean energy assets, their projects represent over 195 megawatts of installed capacity powering over 125,000 households.

Banco Popular Dominicano’s mobile app is the most downloaded app in the Dominican financial sector, as well as the most visited website in the industry. A clear UI, easy-to-follow instructions, and an array of options impressed judges.

Customers can rely on the latest generation of smart ATMs as well as digital channels to offer opinions or request additional information. Various internal client surveys state that Banco Popular’s digital capabilities are the most valued by its patrons. 

With nearly 1.4 million digital clients, 86.9% of transactions are carried out digitally. This compares with an average of 45.6% in an October report by the Superintendency of Banks (SB).

Moreover, in May of this year, Banco Popular launched Qik Banco Digital Dominicano—the first neobank in the country with all services available digitally.