Bermuda Commercial Bank Limited (“BCB” or “the Bank”) began by an Act of Parliament in February 1969. The Bank operated under the management of Barclays from its inception until May 10, 1993. A decision was made by Barclays to sell its minority shareholdings world-wide in the early 1990s and this set the stage for the Bank to acquire a new substantial shareholder and manager who would bring a new focus and direction. In the early 1990’s, the Bank made a strategic decision to withdraw from the provision of local retail banking services.
The Bank changed its focus to serve international and corporate business, and, as part of this realignment, the majority of the Bank’s loan portfolio was sold and the Bank exited from the credit market. This had the beneﬁt of transferring almost all of the Bank’s risk assets from the balance sheet and setting the stage for future unencumbered growth. As part of the re-focus, the Bank became smaller and more efﬁcient, developed new products and was a pioneer in providing electronic banking to its clients.
In April 2010, the majority shareholding in the Bank was purchased by an investor group through Permanent Investments Limited (“Permanent”). Management welcomed the new investors and the renewed spark at the Bank helped revitalise the business and position the Bank well for future growth. The BCB focus on private wealth management and corporate business was reafﬁrmed, management began the work of updating technical infrastructure, and the Bank re-engaged in the marketplace with new, competitive products.
These changes have been successful, and BCB is continuing to grow. Service and quality are our most important assets and BCB requires a high level of excellence from all of our employees, with some members of staff receiving long service awards for over thirty years of service to the Bank. BCB understands that it needs to remain pragmatic and versatile in this currently unstable economic environment and has positioned itself to remain a strong competitor in Bermuda’s relatively saturated ﬁnancial marketplace. In February 2011, the Bank was awarded the 2011 Kinetic Process Innovation Award for excellence in the Banking Technology category. BCB’s unprecedented application of banking technology, the application of best practices in compliance excellence and mitigating transactional risks helped to secure this achievement. This award was a major accomplishment for the Bank and secured its status as a highly competitive, technically savvy ﬁnancial institution.
In October of 2011, Bermuda Commercial Bank expanded its trust and corporate administration services business through the acquisition of two well-established Bermuda companies: Paragon Trust Ltd and Charter Corporate Services Ltd. This acquisition was consistent with Bermuda Commercial Bank’s strategic objectives and overall business goals of creating a full-service, premier wealth management ﬁnancial institution. Under their new names, BCB Paragon Trust Limited offers a complete range of trust services, as well as estate planning, estate administration and executorships. BCB Charter Corporate Services Limited offers a full range of corporate administrative and secretarial services to both local and exempted companies, which operate in a wide range of sectors. These exciting acquisitions solidified Bermuda Commercial Bank’s position in the market as a ﬁnancial institution on the rise.
In October 2012, as part of a strategic restructuring, BCB merged with BNL I Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Somers Limited (“Somers”, formally known as “Bermuda National Limited” or “BNL”), resulting in BCB becoming a wholly owned subsidiary of Somers. BCB delisted from the Bermuda Stock Exchange and its shareholders received one share of Somers for each share of BCB held. Somers shares are now listed on the Bermuda Stock Exchange. This merger further allowed for an enlarged platform for corporate investments and acquisitions within the ﬁnancial services sector, and offers a greater opportunity to outside investors who may wish to invest in a diversiﬁed ﬁnancial services company. The formation of Somers as the holding company of the BCB Group has increased the Group’s ability to access additional equity capital.
During 2014 and 2015, BCB worked tirelessly with its strategic IT partners to implement the Temenos T24 Core Banking System, along with a suite of products, including Business Intelligence, Insight Risk, Anti-Money Laundering (“AML”) and Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”). The suite of products will allow BCB to grow its channel offerings and business lines, as well as providing better reporting and analysis through the Insight modules, thus improving upon the Bank’s exceptional customer service. The launch of the Core Banking and Internet Banking System took place on November 1, 2015.
In September 2015, BCB announced the acquisition of Private and Commercial Finance Group Plc (“PCFG”), a UK-based finance house quoted on the AIM stock exchange with a focus on vehicle financing in the business and consumer sectors. The rationale behind the acquisition is the attractive income stream which will diversify the Bank’s revenues along with the ability to more efficiently deploy BCB’s assets in the wake of the BASEL III regulatory framework.
In June 2016, the BCB Group of Companies moved into new premises at 34 Bermudiana Road.
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