History of Republic Bank

Our story

Originally called Colonial Bank, we were born in 1837. We were the first commercial bank in Trinidad and Tobago and continuously evolved to keep up with the demands of the growing economy and rapid social change. During the 1970s, because of the demand for localisation of foreign businesses, majority shareholding soon passed into local hands. In 1981, we became Republic Bank Limited, a truly national bank.

Who we are today

Today, we are one of the largest and most profitable banks in the English-speaking Caribbean, serving the region for over 179 years. The Republic Bank Group comprises 15 subsidiaries and employs over 5,584 staff members in Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Grenada and Guyana. We have expanded our operations beyond our home base and in 2013, we became the first bank from the English-speaking Caribbean to acquire major shareholding on the African continent.

For the financial year ending September 30, 2015, the Group's total asset base stood at US$10,482 million. We also earned a net profit (after tax and non-controlling interest) of US$196 million. Since 2006, our asset base has increased from US$5,612 million to US$10,482 million and our profit after tax has increased from US$102 million to US$196 million.

We are the nation's largest credit card operator and we have the most experienced and successful Trust and Asset Management Division in the country, with assets totalling US$4900 million. We operate the largest branch network (41 branches) and the most extensive Automated Banking Machine network (125 ABMs at 83 locations) in Trinidad and Tobago. We also offer cutting-edge internet and mobile banking, allowing customers to conduct their business 24/7, from any corner of the world.

Achievement timeline
1837 Colonial Bank opened its first office on Marine Square (now Independence Square) in Port of Spain
1925 Three prominent UK Banks merged and Colonial Bank became Barclays Bank (Dominion, Colonial and Overseas)
1971 Changed name to Barclays Bank International Limited
Established Republic Finance and Merchant Bank Limited (formerly Barclays Finance Corporation)
1972 Barclays Bank of Trinidad and Tobago (BBTT) incorporated locally and operations taken over by BBTT
Offered first issue of shares to the public
1981 Changed name to Republic Bank Limited
1986 First Automated Banking Machine (ABM) installed at Park Street Branch
1990 First bank in Trinidad & Tobago to establish a local credit card, VISA Republic card
1991 First bank in Trinidad & Tobago to link an ATM network to Visa International
Established Republic Securities Limited
1992 Purchased 51% shares in National Commercial Bank of Grenada Limited (NCB)
1994 Purchased 23% shares in Bank of Commerce Trinidad and Tobago Limited
Purchased 20% shares in CIBC West Indies Holdings Limited
1996 Acquired 100% shares in Bank of Commerce

Arranged a successful rights issue valued at US$95 million

Successfully integrated Bank of Commerce with Republic Bank Limited, making it one of the largest and most successful acquisitions in the Caribbean

Gained the largest branch and ABM network in Trinidad and Tobago

1998 Set up Republic Bank Insurance (Cayman) Limited, an offshore insurance company
1999 Established Republic Bank Trinidad and Tobago (Barbados) Limited, an offshore bank
2002 Established Representative Office in Havana, Cuba
2003 Acquired a 57.23% majority shareholding in Barbados National Bank Inc. (BNB)
Later increased shareholding in BNB to 65.1%
Launched Power To Make A Difference Programme
2004 Acquired a majority shareholding in Reliance Stockbrokers Limited
2005 Rebranded Banco Mercantil S.A. as Republic Bank (DR) S.A.
Reliance Stockbrokers Ltd. brand replaced with Republic Securities Limited, a subsidiary of Republic Bank Limited
2006 National Commercial Bank of Grenada Limited rebranded Republic Bank (Grenada) Limited
Acquired Dextra Bank and Trust Company's operations through Republic Bank Trinidad and Tobago (Cayman) Limited
National Bank of Industry and Commerce Ltd. rebranded Republic Bank (Guyana) Limited
Republic Bank (DR) S.A. sold retail portfolio
2007 Republic Bank (DR) S.A. sold operations
2008 Republic Bank (Grenada) Limited became the first Grenadian corporation to list its shares on the Eastern Caribbean Securities Exchange (ECSE)
2012 Barbados National Bank Inc. rebranded Republic Bank (Barbados) Limited
Acquired 8.79% shares in HFC Bank Ghana Limited
2013 Acquired the remaining 34.86% minority shareholding in Republic Bank (Barbados) Limited, making it a wholly owned subsidiary
Increased our shareholding in HFC Bank (Ghana) Limited to 40%, making us the largest single shareholder
2015 Acquired an additional 19.25% shareholding in HFC Bank (Ghana) Limited. This increased the saherholding bto a 57.11% majority.
Acquired 100% shareholding in RBC Suriname N.V. which was re-branded Republic Suriname Holdings Limited
The Group was restructured which resulted in Republic Bank Financial Holdings Limited being established.
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