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1st National Makes Local Banking History, Again

1st National Bank, the 104-year-old mother of all local banks, on July 28, 2022, hosted its biggest-ever gathering of shareholders in its entire life making local banking history, yet again.

It was like ‘Standing Room Only’ at the 2022 Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Saint Lucia’s oldest indigenous bank, held at the usual venue (the Finance Administration Complex, Pointe Seraphine) in Castries.

The 2022 AGM was held just as the bank completed the acquisition of the local holdings of Trinidad & Tobago’s RBTT Bank, which follows its earlier acquisition of the local holdings of Royal Bank of Canada (RBC).

Last week Thursday’s AGM was also 1st National’s first since the completion of the acquisitions.

Now also with a 1st National branch in St. Vincent & The Grenadines and as the second-biggest shareholder in the Bank of Montserrat, 1st National Bank in Saint Lucia is seen as ‘Value for Money’ for shareholders old and new. The bank also has a long history of payment of dividends to shareholders.

Not only was last Thursday’s attendance the largest by far, it also featured the highest-ever number of shareholders voting by proxy.

There was much discussion on the reports submitted — and the outgoing directors (except those retiring) were mostly re-elected, with one new member joining the new Board of Directors, while all those up for re-election were re-elected.

There were three retiring directors – President Nigel Fulgence, 1st Vice President Geraldine Lendor and Tedburt Theobalds, all of whom were also available for re-election.

All three retiring directors up for re-election were re-elected and the only retiring board member who didn’t seek re-election was veteran shareholder Jennifer Remy, who was replaced by banker Carol Jn Marie.

Contending for positions on the Board were Ian Peters, CFO of LUCELEC, Deborah Edwards Managing Director of Sol St Lucia Limited and Urban Dolor, retired educator.

1st National Bank, established with $50,000, was known after 1938 as “the Penny Bank’ because it allowed Saint Lucians back then to open an account with two cents.

However, its original name was The Saint Lucia Cooperative Bank for several decades, until the recent adoption of the current name.

The Penny Bank has survived over eight decades and true to its mission, it remains Saint Lucia’s biggest locally-owned bank with regional interests after taking over local assets of regional and international banks.

At its last valuation in 2020, 1st National Bank was worth an estimated $900 Million, however its asset base is expected to grow significantly with its current acquisitions.

President Nigel Fulgence, in his acceptance speech on his re-election last week Thursday, promised shareholders new and exciting initiatives the bank is expected to roll out following the acquisitions.

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