Our Story, By Us
< Current local time in Suriname – Paramaribo
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad—Three years after acquisition by Royal Bank of Canada, RBTT branches in Suriname will be rebranded in early July, under a phased regional schedule announced Monday in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad. The RBC Royal Bank name and logo will replace that of RBTT.
Royal Bank of Canada acquired the operations of RBTT Financial Group in 2008 for US$2.2 billion in one of the largest deals to be recorded in the Caribbean. The regional holdings are now managed out of Port-of-Spain under RBC’s Caribbean division headed by Suresh Sookoo, a carry-over from RBTT. The move is part of a wider plan to integrate the businesses onto a common platform to take advantage of RBC global and regional strengths, as it seeks to become the undisputed financial services leader in Caribbean markets in which it has a presence.
RBTT was incorporated in Suriname in November 2000, as a subsidiary of RBTT Financial Holdings Limited; in December 2000 the bank acquired the assets of ABN AMRO NV, headquartered in The Netherlands. Now, following the acquisition of RBTT by RBC, RBTT operations across the Caribbean — from Jamaica to the Eastern Caribbean and Barbados, to Curacao and Suriname — will all adopt the new RBC brand in the coming months. “The rebranding signals our confidence in the future and demonstrates the strength, heritage and stability of RBC to all our stakeholders,” Sookoo said.
The rebranding ceremony took place last week at St Clair Place, Port-of-Spain. Trinidad and Tobago is the home of RBC’s Caribbean head office. “Today marks a significant milestone for our company as we bring the history and heritage of RBTT and RBC in the Caribbean together for the benefit of our clients,” said Sookoo at the formal unveiling attended by Government ministers such as Minister of Finance Winston Dookeran, Governor of the Central Bank Ewart Williams as well as longstanding personal and business clients.
Sookoo said the rebranding leverages RBC and RBTT’s more-than-100-year heritage in the Caribbean as the bank puts its global and regional strength to work for clients: best-in-class global banking practices and resources with in-depth local knowledge of the region.
Royal Bank of Canada is among the 20 largest banks globally, and top in its home country, with market capitalisation of US$86 billion as at May 26, 2011. The cash and shares deal to acquire RBTT in June 2008 was, in a way, the closing of a circle. RBTT started out as a spin-off of the Trinidad and Tobago subsidiary of Royal Bank of Canada when the Canadian organization jettisoned its operations in Jamaica and a number of other Caribbean markets during the 1980s.
RBC Caribbean, with combined assets of TT$74 billion at financial year ended October 2010, now has a presence in 19 countries in the region, with 125 branches and close to 7,000 employees serving more than 1.6 million clients. As part of the launch event, RBC’s journey in the Caribbean was mirrored in ceremonial drumming, including Canadian Inuit drums, tassa, steelpan and snare, culminating in a dramatic unveiling of the RBC shield, with its signature lion and globe symbol.