Bank cuts 10 local workers

| 10/12/2010

(CNS): Ten Caymanians have lost their jobs from Butterfield Bank as a result of redundancies, the bank has confirmed. A bank spokesperson told CNS that the ten positions were out of a total of 345 employees in the Cayman Islands and Butterfield remained “committed to its bank in the Cayman Islands and to providing world-class financial services.” Although the lost jobs were local employees, the bank said less than 8% of its work force is on permits. The announcement of the job losses, which were not specified but take immediate affect, comes two weeks before Christmas and against a backdrop of a continuing economic slowdown.

Last month Butterfield announced a third quarter net loss of $18.6 million, compared to net income of $0.2 million for the second quarter of 2010. In Cayman the bank reported net income before gains and losses of $2.4 million for Q3 2010, $ 1.1 million below Q3 2009, due to lower interest income earned and increased IT outsourcing costs.

At the time, Brad Rowse, the Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer of the banking group, said that while the financial markets have stabilised in 2010, banks continued to face difficult conditions and Butterfield was reviewing all aspects of its business against a backdrop of global uncertainty to ensure the right balance between current profitability and future growth.

"The Bank is well positioned with a strong capital base and remains focused on the two pillars of our business, community banking and wealth management,” he said.

Excluding the $0.3 million gain in the prior year, in the Cayman Islands total revenues of $15.3 million were $0.7 million below Q3 2009 results, primarily due to decreased interest income and lower FX commissions,” local bank officials said.

The bank was also in the news recently when its branch at the Compass Centre on North Sound Road was the target of armed bank robbers. Police are still hunting the masked men, who charged into the bank on 24 November and fired a shot before taking an undisclosed sum of cash and fleeing in a getaway vehicle parked outside.

Crime Stoppers joined up with the bank to offer a $50,000 reward for information that leads to a conviction and is passed to police before the year end.

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Comments (27)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The title of the article is misleading and makes it seem as though only Caymanians were sent home.  How many redundancies were there? 10 or 24, 10 local and 14 non-Caymanian; permanent residents, work permit holders.  Please clarify

  2. Anonymous says:

    Word is there will be another 30-50 layoffs in the new year.

    However, under the law,  expats in same posts must be laid off first. So if there is an expat secretary and Caymanian secretary being made redundant, the expat post must be made redundant first.

    What a lot of these companies do is make post "redundant" get rid of the Caymanians then recreate the post under a different title, like corporate assistant" and rehire the expat later when its a little quieter (especually knowing Cayman press and public NEVER follow up on a story and it  will just die out when something else happens).

    Butterfield hired new "consultants" in November.  XXXXXX


    • Anon says:

      Any consultants are not hired. They are simply working on an ongoing project. When the project finishes so will they.

    • Adam Smith says:

      In terms of economics this part of the law is as inefficient as it is discriminatory. 

      Say employees A and B did the same job but employee A was more productive than employee B but employee A was an expat and employee B was Caymanian.

      Forcing struggling companies to either lose employee A or have to keep A and B is only going to make a bad situation worse.

      This law also makes hiring Caymanians less attractive in times of economic difficulty because it can limit the redundancy options if the markets worsen.  I know of a few businesses that decided not to offer new positions recently for this reason.

    • Anonymous says:

      Word is that customer service at Butterfield improved in November.

  3. Right ya so says:

    Well said – the big shots should take a pay cut – XXXX

    Show some decency and take a pay cut – you’re not doing anything anyway!

    No bonus or, if you have to have it (!), cut it by 50%

    No expensive "business" lunches/drinks/dinners

    Show a little class/brought upsie and scale back on the flash, upgrades to the house, car, vacations…

    and cancel the staff Christmas party (no, it does NOT boost staff morale having one)!

  4. Honest and Decent Caymanian says:

     In a caring company, the first thing that would happen would be that the top bosses (fat cats)  would take a10% pay cut (put on hold the building of new mansions and buying new cars.). Also  cut back on the perks such as free tickets for events at the Ritz (tennis white’s party etc)  

     Some of these top dogs have made bad decisions that have cost the company much more that was budgeted for (e.g outsourcinjg of IT). These people should fall on their sword, not lower level workers.

    • Adam Smith says:

      I am sure depositors and shareholders would rather the bank was run efficiently than being seen to be "caring".  If I thought BOB was putting "caring" before efficient I would move my money in an instant.

      The free market.  It is not cuddly.  But it works.

  5. Anonymous says:


    Debit cards make banks a lot of money.  When you use the card like a credit card, banks take a hefty fee from the merchant. In addition, Cayman Banks  charging you a transaction fee  (do not confuse it with stamp fee), while for example  Bermuda  banks refund you 1% of yearly debit card charges. So here, in Cayman, instead of rewarding me for use of debit card, and therefore bringing Banks revenue, they penalize me by charging me a transaction fee.  

    Well, they are not going to make any money of me because I do not use my debit card anymore, consequently they are losing money they could have made otherwise from a merchant. They cut a branch they are sitting on.

    Now they have to lay employees off, and guess, who will suffer?

    • Anon says:

      So you’re upset because a merchant chooses to pay a fee??? Usually about 1 – 2 % for debit. Have you asked yourself why they would choose do that? Hints – numerous bounced cheques, guaranteed payment, funds in account quicker, etc.

      Will you now pay the merchant with a cheque? A lot of them will not take these anymore. Wonder why? Hints – see above.

      The transaction fee includes the 25 cents stamp duty to Goverment. Your cheque payment will cost you over twice as much. With cash you run the risk of losing it or robbery.

      Maybe the banks that offer refunds take more from the merchants so they can give some back to the purchaser. Not that fair on the merchant I would think.

      It seems that your logic does not make full sense. For me I will stick with the cheaper, more convenient, option.

  6. Anonymous says:

    The fact that the title of this article so clearly highlights the fact that Caymanians were laid off, rather than expatriates, simply serves to shock and conjure up feelings of discrimination throughout the island.

    The real story here is that the economy is still in such a tentative and fragile position that people had to be laid off. Whether they were Caymanian or Australian/Indian/Jamaican/Canadian/etc should not matter. This article is playing off of the fact that certain individuals on island continue to propagate this discrimination and unnecessary hatred towards expatriates, when the truth of the matter is that Cayman could not successfully survive without outside immigration and influence.

    Before anyone accuses me of being an expatriate – let me assure you, I am Caymanian, and come from a Caymanian family. Unfortunately for our island, there seems to be a lack of motivation and ambition among our youth, this is why expatriates need to be brought in to fill higher-education positions in our economy. Perhaps education is what needs to be amended first.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Who’s the CEO?  "Scrooge"?   You could have picked a better time – like after the Holidays?  Now people have to worry about how they are going to be able to feed their families and pay their bills this Christmas!  That Sucks!

    • Anonymous says:

      Better than piling up all those Christmas bills and then finding out you are losing the ability to pay them. There is never a good time to lose your job.

  8. Anonymous says:


    I have been contemplating closing my accounts with BOB for some time now due to policy changes that changed my status form a customer to a number.
    This news has now solidified my decision to move banks as my actions will be in solidarity of those dismissed. I don’t care if I have to give my DNA to another bank to open a newaccount!
    • Anon says:

      While you are in that process please ensure that you ask each of the other Bank’s if they have made any positions redundant. I think that you will find that pretty much all of them have. Now what?

      • Anonymous says:

        Not sure I follow this ‘logic’. If you mean whether any of the other local banks have EVER had redundancies, then answer is probably yes. However, if you mean whether any other local banks have had redundancies in this financial quarter, answer is – obviously – NO.

        Butterfield had a terrible financial results this year, have had 2 bailouts in past year, made around 30 staff redundant in closing their Fulcrum funds operations and will be laying off a further 50 or so staff in 2011 in an effort to try to stay afloat.


        • Anonymous says:

          Oh that’s right the other banks have ‘obviously’ not made any redundancies, do you want to qualify that statement?

          I should state for the record I have at least 5 friends I will not be seeing in 2011 all in the banking industry, and not laid off by Butterfield, who I shan’t be sharing a beer with on Friday nights.

          Please remove the blinkers, the economy is in the crapper, if you aren’t consolidating your debts and living each day at work as possibly your last you may be in for a shock, I hope not, but no one is indespensible.


  9. Sooncome says:

     Caymanians are finally getting it that having a job is a privilege not a right in your own island. Yes Cayman this is where we are at when we constantly tinker and cater our Immigration policy to certain interest. To all those who sat back and did nothing because you very living good you will be next. Looking out for Number 1 makes it even easier. To all those hypocrites/sellouts who sit on boards who talk the "Cayman talk" but constantly push your own agenda  because it is to your economic advantage. You shall see the error of your ways.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Im disappointed that Butterfield hired new consultants in November, knowing they were going to let go local staff imminently.  How is that fair?

  11. Anonymous says:

    Why did the 10 persons have to be Caymanians what happen to all the foreiners they have working there they too good to be laid off.

    • Soon to be rolled says:

      The also released 14 or so expat temps, and the term for Caymanian is being used as all encompassing  for anyone not on a WP

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe you have answered your own question? It is not about nationalities, but making the Bank leaner and more efficient. If the bank wanted to just save on salary expenses, then those on Work Permits would be the first to go, so there must be a bigger picture.

  12. Soon to be rolled says:

    10 Caymanians? or were they PR’s?

  13. Anonymous says:

    Christmas party cancelled and no bonuses paid – the remaining staff are just barely better off by being employed…for now. More layoffs on the way. Reread the Company’s statement carefully.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Wow, how much did the robbers get away with?