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UPDATE: Layoffs looming at FirstBank Tortola branch!

- Virgin Gorda employees surprised as they were allegedly asked if they were willing to take up positions on Tortola when VG branch closes
Virgin Islands News Online has been reliably informed by sources close to FirstBank (BVI) that the institution on Tortola has circulated a memo to its employees informing them of a pending cut in the workforce. Photo: VINO
FirstBank employees at Virgin Gorda are surprised at the news of what’s taking place at Tortola since they were allegedly asked if they were willing to take up positions there when the VG branch closes in January 2014. Photo: VINO
FirstBank employees at Virgin Gorda are surprised at the news of what’s taking place at Tortola since they were allegedly asked if they were willing to take up positions there when the VG branch closes in January 2014. Photo: VINO
Only on October 2, 2013 this news site broke the news that CIBC First Caribbean International Bank is planning to downsize its operations and will be offering a voluntary early retirement programme for eligible employees and a voluntary separation programme for those employees who may wish to leave the company but are not eligible for early retirement. Photo: File
Only on October 2, 2013 this news site broke the news that CIBC First Caribbean International Bank is planning to downsize its operations and will be offering a voluntary early retirement programme for eligible employees and a voluntary separation programme for those employees who may wish to leave the company but are not eligible for early retirement. Photo: File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Virgin Islands News Online has been reliably informed by sources close to FirstBank (BVI) that the institution on Tortola has circulated a memo to its employees informing them of a pending cut in the workforce.

When the news of a consolidation plan for FirstBank first surfaced it was said that the Virgin Gorda branch would be closing its doors. This position still stands, this news site understands, but the branch at Tortola has been completely drawn into the frame.

According to the source, the employees at the Tortola branch of FirstBank have been informed that there will be a cut in the workforce. Employees are said to not be resting comfortably with the terms and conditions in the memo allegedly circulated.

Employees at Virgin Gorda, on the other hand, said they were surprised at the news of what’s taking place at Tortola as they were asked if they were willing to take up positions there when the VG branch closes.

Virgin Islands News Online is working on more details to this story.

See previous article posted October 15, 2013

FirstBank VG Branch closing in January 2014

- Sister bank in Puerto Rico outsources sections of its operations

Word is out that the handful of staff employed at FirstBank, Virgin Gorda Branch, is likely to be out of a job after the upcoming Christmas season as reliable sources close to the bank have informed Virgin Islands News Online that the Branch will be closed January 2014.

While it is not clear if the employees have been officially notified it was reported that most, if not all the employees, are aware of the hammer hovering over their heads. “You can compare their situation to that of LIME, they have a consolidation plan that will be taking effect at all the banks including Tortola, USVI and Puerto Rico,” alleged the source.

As word hit the streets, this news site made valiant efforts to reach the managers of both the Virgin Gorda and Tortola locations without success yesterday October 14, 2013.

It is not yet known what package is likely to be offered to the employees at Virgin Gorda or the facts about how the consolidation plan will affect employees at FirstBank, Tortola. “What I can tell you for sure is that FirstBank, Virgin Gorda will be closing for sure. There is no doubt or questions about that one, they are closing that branch,” alleged one of the sources.

Outsourcing

This news site understands that FirstBank VI has some linkage and rooting with FirstBank Puerto Rico and, based on findings of a research done by this news site, Fidelity National Insurance Services (FIS) has signed a 7-year outsourcing agreement with FirstBank in Puerto Rico.

According to the FIS release dated March 20, 2013, the agreement will see FIS assuming full on-site operational responsibility for the bank’s IT operations and staff. “A leading global provider of outsourcing solutions, this new deal is the first of its kind for FIS in the Caribbean,” stated the release.

The FIS release further stated, “Under the terms of this multi-year agreement, FIS will assume operational control of FirstBank Puerto Rico’s IT operations including hardware and software upgrades, application management, skilled operations personnel, help desk and desktop services. The resulting environment will enable the bank to realize lower operating costs, greater operational efficiencies and full regulatory compliance...”

It is believed that FirstBank in the VI and USVI are more than likely to fall under a similar initiative as part of the consolidation package.

Less than a month after furor arose among staff members of LIME BVI who were informed that they would be laid off, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) First Caribbean had announced its intention to chop the workforce in the VI. This was conveyed via a letter dated September 30, 2013.

This news site will keep you informed as the development unfolds.

53 Responses to “UPDATE: Layoffs looming at FirstBank Tortola branch!”

  • BVIslander (15/10/2013, 09:43) Like (48) Dislike (1) Reply
    Now is a good time for our local bank National Bank to branch off and open through our territory starting in VG. Give these people back jobs.
    • vg people (15/10/2013, 21:31) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      true
    • ABC (16/10/2013, 16:54) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      How do you know that the staff will not be absorbed and transferred to the Road Town Branch. The $21,000 dollar a mth. salary which the National Bank is paying may soon cause them to down size. Just wait and see.
  • Bam Bam (15/10/2013, 09:46) Like (15) Dislike (0) Reply
    This appears to be only the beginning. Workers at trust companies start googling whether there are mergers / consolidations taking place where you are working. Find out what is happening in Hong Kong. Start getting your heads out of the sand.........What effect(s) FATCA has? Banks......Trust Companies.......Who next?
    • Yo smart (15/10/2013, 10:01) Like (28) Dislike (2) Reply
      I like your comment but this could be a bit late for some of them. BVI get the after effect from these mergers so decisions have been made 1-2 years in advance. The last to receive the message are always the employees because they don't give a F^@& about the people and the elected representatives we have in there are a set of old school that don't even study these things, only in the HOA talking piss.

      I am not going to elect any old school politician any more. We need advance educated thinking individuals to run this country and not those waste of time playing the blame game and pocketing themselves and their crony friends all the money.
    • Enough already (15/10/2013, 11:36) Like (14) Dislike (19) Reply

      Just stop it with the scare tactics. Enough already. Do you have any idea how long the sky was suppose to fall? It is true things are shifting. Things are always going to shift. We use to have telephone operators, now we have cellular phones. We use to have 8-tracks and now we have MP3s. The little girl that you are raising now will grow up and get married. Things shift. Things change. Now what we should be doing is encouraging, where to scoop up on the opportunities instead of driving people with fear and uncertainty. May be it may mean Tortola is not working out for you at this stage of your life, so you move. May be it means that you may have to move in with a family member or merge families, but please do propagate this is the beginning, to be a bad thing.
      Now having said that where are these HR Groups who are supposed to be counseling folks on this type thing? Seems like it would be the church but I just read where that preacher Cl**** is taking away people lil bit of livelihood with his e-nee-mi-ne-mi-ne-moo hand picking.
      To the staff and anyone who has ever been through this, if no one ain't ever tell you, don't let this experience determine your worth. Your self confidence may take a hit, but find comfort in Jeremiah 29:11.

      • @ Enough Already (15/10/2013, 18:22) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
        No scare tactics and it is not about self confidence. Companies are making business decisions and whether we like to hear it or not, our industries...tourism, finncial services and all that supports these 2 sectors....are dependent upon what is happening outside the Territory. Don't you think people need to be alerted to ths fact...that our livelihood is dependent upon what is happening in the world? People, start thinking about the what ifs from your own perpective and what measures you think you can put in place to mitigate any negative effects that may come your way. Start doing some personal financial planning, like downsizing yourself, renting an extra room or 2 in your house to generate income, cutting back on unnecessary spending, what anout car pooling with families and friends...cut back on gas costs. You car pooled in your car half of the week and then car pooled in someone else. There are many ways of saving. Just think hard and you will come up with a few.
  • Local (15/10/2013, 10:20) Like (21) Dislike (3) Reply
    thanks to the robust economy dr. smith sir
  • ABC (15/10/2013, 10:30) Like (5) Dislike (3) Reply
    By time they done no local will be standing jah!!!!
    • Native Boy (15/10/2013, 11:23) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
      This government need to spend more time in parliament, at home and on the ground and those who do not attend should be replaced by others who are serious about uplifting the BVI.

  • Right!! (15/10/2013, 10:43) Like (31) Dislike (4) Reply
    This is sad however, all is not lost. I read the Beacon last week and saw over 100 jobs posted, from entry level up to Director. Let's stop the nonsense, get qualified, change our attitudes and ready up for the storm ahead. The easy life is DONE but all is not lost. Only the strong will survive, REAL!!
    • True (15/10/2013, 11:39) Like (31) Dislike (1) Reply
      problem is that most of the upper level jobs in the beacon and even some of the entry ones are already gone before they get to the paper.FACT
      • VIlander (17/10/2013, 15:57) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
        FACT!!! Many are advertised overseas & they just fulfill the useless labour dept code by placing the ad in the paper 2 weeks prior to closing the post
  • small head (15/10/2013, 11:27) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    THE BVI IS IN TURMOIL? After Reading thE HEAD LINE, I need not go any further.
  • ooooo (15/10/2013, 11:36) Like (0) Dislike (3) Reply
    another one bites the dust under ndp
  • big bird (15/10/2013, 12:27) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    How come only the NDP and Smith think the economy is robust?
  • bizgirl (15/10/2013, 14:14) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Would have been better to hear this from them directly (assuming its even true) rather than like this.
  • OK... (15/10/2013, 14:19) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
    NHI will put more people out of jobs too!!! while we trying to push a runway project and paying Tortola business Partners millions
  • ----------------- (15/10/2013, 14:25) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
    the mistake of voting for the NDP is now clear as night and day?
  • ecile (15/10/2013, 14:46) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
    is it just me or we can conclude the economy has collapse under this weak and incompetent government?
    • Peaches (16/10/2013, 16:00) Like (10) Dislike (2) Reply
      @ecile look around you. It is not just the economy here in the BVI. It is the whole world economy. Are you watching the news? do you see what is going on in America? These economic crisises are a "coming together" of events to usher in the NEW WORLD ORDER and then finally THE MARK OF THE BEAST which will cause each and every man, woman, boy and girl to decide on whose side he or she will stand on. Christ or Satan. It is time for us to stop focusing on these politicians, they are not God, they can't give you life, they don't make the sun to shine or the rain to fall. Keep your focus on Christ and Christ alone for only He can save us from what is about to happen in the years ahead. Surrender to Christ. The bible has already predicted that these things will happen so I am not focusing on them, I am focusing on He who can destroy my body and soul in hell. Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in his wonderful face and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of his glory and grace. God help us all!
    • Stupes (17/10/2013, 11:05) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      only now i wish vip had really get it. let it shut all of you nonsensical people who went to school at night on a sunday up. Its not possible that these things just happen now. because is ndp in everything is their fault. like ndp making the companies decision for them. they should storm in and tell the companies listen yall cant do this keep these people in their jobs, i dont care if you have place for them or not. just wow.
  • lay off (15/10/2013, 15:56) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    the big bomb shell will be when the NDP has to lay off civil servants
    • Voters (16/10/2013, 02:27) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      Jeez um bread tis more evidence of just how robust the ecomony so Dr No Clue must go!!!!
  • lay off (15/10/2013, 15:56) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    the big bomb shell will be when the NDP has to lay off civil servants
  • Kingfish (15/10/2013, 17:09) Like (14) Dislike (0) Reply
    Reading these blogs tells me one thing: There are quite a lot of DUMB people in the BVI. Take your heads out of the sand and try to understand the world of Finance.
  • Robust (15/10/2013, 21:14) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    Eveb the Calypso Restaurant closing which own by the minister of education. How robust can the econony get? Strupes
  • Observer (16/10/2013, 02:28) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
    The people of this country are suffering under the NDP
  • banco (16/10/2013, 09:29) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Banco Popular this is your opportunity to open your VG branch. The building will be available and it comes with a drive thru
  • pp (16/10/2013, 09:43) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    LETS SEE HOW THE NDP SPINS THIS
  • bay side (16/10/2013, 22:10) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    And their own recalcitrance and treasonous behavior will simply give the repugnant VIP more ammunition to say "see, NDP has been in office 4 years and still can't fix the economy."
  • ooooo (17/10/2013, 09:35) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    this is what marlon them should be talking about instead of the many condolences and the media
  • lost (17/10/2013, 11:14) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    oh no where is the NDP and their robust economy?
  • Blak Voorhees (17/10/2013, 11:49) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Saw that coming from a mile away so I prepared myself early and bailed. Blak doesn't do sucker chit it doesn't fit me well.
  • Sue (17/10/2013, 12:27) Like (6) Dislike (3) Reply
    @ Peaches you are right! Its not only the BVI, its all over. It's just a set up for the New World Order, False prophet, Anti-christ then mark of the beast. Do you guys read the bible and understand what's to come? It has nothing to do with NDP, VIP or PPP. Its in the bible, a financial collapse. The US dollar is going to worth NOTHING in the very near future. You guys, I beg you to PLEASE ask your pastors to do bible studies on the end of times (signs). It's going to get nasty. Much more horror to come! It's only the beginning!!! It's time to choose whom which you serve!!!
    • Real!! (17/10/2013, 14:08) Like (8) Dislike (2) Reply

      Sue shut the ... UP with your stupid ranting about New World Order etc. The world has been moving in cycles ever since the beginning of time. You all only glue your eyes to USA news. If you know about global happenings you would know that there are countries that are still asking what recession you talking about. Not everybody is going down and starving. Canada, South America, Asia and many others are experiencing growth, that's how it goes, in cycles and bubbles. Save all the other bulls..t for who cares to listen. SMH

  • SUSS (17/10/2013, 14:05) Like (2) Dislike (3) Reply
    sue you are right .tell them read the good book of revelation .is man who make the book but is god who give them knowledge let us watch and pray.it is a little peace of the ice burg more to come .lord have mercy
  • JANA (17/10/2013, 14:45) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    KINGFISH YOU ARE A SMART PERSON. PLEASE REPEAT YOUR STATEMENT EVERY DAY. I DO BELIEVE THAT WHO EVER READ OUR BLOGS LOOK AT US AS DUMMIES ALL THE WAY. IT'S A SHAME.


  • fix it (17/10/2013, 15:40) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    look how my bvi is going down hill
  • gtrand pa (17/10/2013, 17:59) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    first bank don't go we need u in V G
  • fake (17/10/2013, 18:00) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Our Premier says the economy is robust!

  • Real (17/10/2013, 18:02) Like (0) Dislike (4) Reply
    I see famine on the horizon in the BVI under the NDP
  • GOD HELP US ALL! (17/10/2013, 20:50) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Our land is in TROUBLE!!! God help us all!!
  • ForReal (19/10/2013, 19:10) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    There is worse to come because bvislanders are in denial.


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