First Caribbean International Bank is a consolidation between BARCLAYS and CIBC WEST INDIES, which began operations on October 16, 2002. Barclays PLC and CIBC have the distinction of being the oldest banks in the Caribbean. The firm operates in thirteen of the fifteen countries in which BARCLAYS and CIBC WEST INDIES had a presence including St. Lucia. First Caribbean was committed to building a Caribbean Bank founded on the strength, tradition and integrity of the founding institutions, but which is bigger than legacy banks on their own in the region.
Through the combined operations of CIBC WEST INDIES and BARCLAYS, First Caribbean International will have one of the largest capital bases of any Caribbean bank, giving it the resources to invest in the future of the region and better serve its customers. Based on the market capitalization, First Caribbean International is one of the largest locally listed banks in the Caribbean and is expected to have over US$10 billion in assets and over 800, 000 accounts.
Apart from being a commercial bank entity, First Caribbean International engages in other financial services. This includes engaging in the dealing in capital markets where it offers corporate and investment banking options, and also offering building society products such as; mortgages. In Capital Markets First Caribbean international bank operates a security’s division that gives customers the option to invest in stocks and bonds on the open market, corporate finance, equity and fixed income trading, securitization, foreign exchange trading, interest rate and foreign exchange swaps, institutional trust, custodial and asset administration services.
This may include the purchasing of shares in First Caribbean as well as investing in government reverse re-purchase agreements (REPOS) and bonds issued by the government through the bank of Jamaica. As institutional trustees, First Caribbean have acted as custodians, registrars, transfer and receiving agents for a number of initial public offerings (IPOs), share issues and cross listings for clients in the airline, manufacturing, and financial services sectors. First Caribbean International Bank is registered as a public limited company. The First Caribbean’s head office is located in Kingston 2 -27 Knutsford Boulevard with quite a few branch locales found across the country.
There are many other divisions and local office found through the Caribbean. The numerous Caribbean countries are listed on a diagram below: First Caribbean International Bank does not need to implement a more advanced computer system in the recording of financial accounting statements of the business. Other system choices were considered and carefully studied and the ideal solution were chosen based on availability of resource/equipment and cost.
Another consideration that should be another center of attention is the need to advertise via media in order to become more recognized within the country. Since First Caribbean International is now implementing Telephone and Internet Banking, which I believe will bring them more customers as well as more competition in the financial market and opportunity as a bank. Wireless banking is highly recommended in the banking industry, customers will have the comfort of doing business in their own environment, convenience and at their own pace.
Module Two: It was concluded that the choice of a business organization was a flourishing one; the choice made was to be listed as a joint stock company. First Caribbean is a large firm with branches spawning in quite a few locations, making this choice of a business type most excellent. I myself would advise large-scale business owners to go with this form of business organization if faced with an initial decision. Involving the public limited company and the private limited company, the private ltd is evidently a lot more easier to set up and maintain, being that can be establish with two more persons, preferably family members or close friends.
Module Three: Ethical strategies are among the elements of corporate strategy that can determine the success or failure of an organization. . The organization may have a well-targeted and effective product market strategy but fail because it runs afoul of legal or public standards of appropriate behavior. After reviewing First Caribbean International Bank it can be summed up that each social and ethical issue that was carried out affected the business in a positive way. These responsibilities benefited the firm in ways such as; Respect from customers and competitors, they have developed new and improved public relations, satisfaction of employees and customers and a surprisingly clear conscience. In concluding, businesses should promptly and severely reprimand unethical conduct irrespective of the benefits that to the company from such actions.
SOCIAL AND ETHICAL ISSUES FACED BY A BUSINESS
Every business is faced with a dilemma of which to implement a specific amount of ethics to follow. Since First Caribbean International Bank is registered as a joint stock company its social and ethical responsibilities are some what very similar to most large business organizations. The reasons and types of these issues are to be further discussed in this module. Ethics is a general term for what is often described as the “science (study) of morality”.
In philosophy, ethical behavior is that which is “good” or “right.” A recommended definition of corporate ethics is; the rules, standards, and principles that guide the decisions, procedures, and systems of a company [an organization] to contribute to the welfare of its key stakeholders and respect the rights of all constituencies affected by its operations. When confronted with the question of “what is business ethics?” most employees of First Caribbean believed it to be; the study and evaluation of decision making by businesses according to moral concepts and judgments.
Ethical questions range from practical, narrowly defined issues, such as a company’s obligation to be honest with its customers, to broader social and philosophical questions, such as a company’s responsibility to preserve the environment and protect employee rights. Many ethical conflicts develop from conflicts between the differing interests of company owners and their workers, customers, and surrounding community. Managers must balance the ideal against the practical-the need to produce a reasonable profit for the company’s shareholders with honesty in business practices, safety in the workplace, and larger environmental and social issues.
Ethical issues in business have become more complicated because of the global and diversified nature of many large corporations and because of the complexity of government regulations that define the limits of criminal behavior. Their set ethics are also based upon; values statement, and corporate goals, rights and entitlements of individuals and organizations. The types of social and ethical responsibilities addressed in First Caribbean International banks are listed as; accounting and financial standards, employee issues, such as rights, duties, illicit drug testing and environmental issues. Focusing on environmental issues questions were asked, such as “What obligations does a corporation such as First Caribbean International Bank have toward the environment?”
It was found that First Caribbean does not partake in any known activities to which can be classed as unethical and illegal such as; water and air pollution. This is known as ‘Environmental violations’. Unethical practices such as; bribery and corruption carry heavy fines and are prison offenses by law. But environmental responsibilities and ethical conduct are executed well within First Caribbean International Bank. The firm is very socially responsible and set aggressive environmental targets to measure their performance.
Business ethics can be examined from various perspectives, including the perspective of the employee, the commercial enterprise, and society as a whole. Very often, situations arise in which there is conflict between one or more of the parties, such that serving the interest of one party is a detriment to the other(s). For example, a particular outcome might be good for the employee, whereas, it would be bad for the company, society, or vice versa. Some ethicists (e.g., Henry Sidgwick) see the principal role of ethics as the harmonization and reconciliation of conflicting interests.