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‘Terrified’ Of Outcome In Cibc Loan Dispute

By NEIL HARTNELL

Tribune Business Editor

nhartnell@tribunemedia.net

A Cacique award winner is “absolutely terrified” that he will face financial ruin this Thursday when a bitter loan dispute with CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank (Bahamas) is scheduled to reach its climax in the Supreme Court.

Malcolm Spicer, well-known in sporting and teaching circles, and his attorneys are set to present their last-ditch defence to the bank’s bid to foreclose on his family home and Abaco-based investment project, which was designed to provide for his family in retirement.

CIBC FirstCaribbean is arguing that the case is a simple asset/security repossession following the borrower’s default, but Mr Spicer and his advisers are instead alleging that the responsibility lies largely with the bank.

Court documents seen by Tribune Business claim that CIBC FirstCaribbean knew it was lending a sum, $855,500, that was inadequate to complete the first stage of what was to be a rental apartment and bar/restaurant complex located near the Abaco Club at Winding Bay.

Mr Spicer alleged in an affidavit filed last year that $1.2 million was required to complete the first two apartment buildings, and that he only agreed to proceed with the loan after receiving assurances from CIBC FirstCaribbean’s Abaco branch manager that further funding would be forthcoming once he and his family could demonstrate “satisfactory progress”.

Mr Spicer and his advisers, though, are alleging that CIBC FirstCaribbean withheld from him the fact that the original loan amount was based upon a fundamentally flawed calculation.

A realtor’s March 2006 appraisal report on Mr Spicer’s property, commissioned by the bank, came up with the following calculation:

“Proposed buildings:

4 at 4,014 square feet = 12,042 square feet.”

Based on the maths, the appraisal report should have produced a 16,056 square feet calculation. However, it went on to base the ‘replacement method’ for valuing Mr Spicer’s property on the 12,042 square feet.

Using a price of $125 per square foot for the buildings, and a $210,000 valuation for the existing undeveloped land and improvements, the appraisal valued the potential project at $1.715 million.

Given that the ‘first stage’ involved just two (half) of the four proposed buildings, Mr Spicer is alleging that he should have been eligible to receive $253,500 more on the original loan which, at $855,500, was based on 50 per cent of the incorrectly calculated $1.7 million.

Claiming that the mistake exacerbated the project’s under-funding, Mr Spicer alleged that a Bahamas Realty appraisal of his property in October 2007 showed that construction work had increased the property’s value by 33.5 per cent.

Arguing that this should have been sufficient to satisfy CIBC FirstCaribbean’s demand for ‘progress’, Mr Spicer alleged that his requests for further funding to complete the project were met with silence for a 10-month period.

Yet he was still having to pay $6,000-$7,000 per month to service the original loan, without any income coming in from the apartments as planned to meet the payments.

When the extra funding from the bank failed to materialise, Mr Spicer’s project ground to a standstill. He was forced to sell his Abacom Wireless Services business in 2010 “to keep his financial affairs afloat”, while also having to use the profits and cash flow from his other company, Abacom Computer Services, to service the CIBC FirstCaribbean loan.

Ultimately, he fell into default, and the bank is now moving - through the Supreme Court - to repossess not just what remains of the apartment/restaurant project, but also his family home - which was offered as additional security.

Mr Spicer and his advisers are alleging that, based on the initial under-funding, which was exacerbated by the flawed appraisal calculation and its non-disclosure, and failure to follow through on claimed verbal assurances, CIBC FirstCaribbean effectively condemned the project to falling into “bankruptcy”.

However, CIBC FirstCaribbean is vehemently denying the allegations by Mr Spicer and his attorneys that it was negligent, or guilty of misrepresentation, in its dealings with the project.

Bryan Thompson, its Abaco branch manager, alleged in a November 6, 2014, affidavit, said that “at no time did the bank agree to” or indicate that it would definitely provide further financing beyond the original loan.

“Whilst the bank received requests from the defendants [Mr Spicer, his wife and company] for further loans, at no time did I or any other officer of the bank agree to facilitate any further borrowings to the defendants,” Mr Thompson alleged.

“The state of the defendants’ loans at the bank reveal that they fell into default when Mr Spicer requested further financing, and I recall that Mr Spicer requested further financing, and I recall that Mr Spicer indicated that he could not continue to service the loans from his Abacom account at the bank.

“This led the loans at the bank to fall into serious default in light of the non-payment of the agreement to pay the interest on the larger loan of $855,500.”

He added that CIBC FirstCaribbean followed its standard practice of assessing the borrower’s payment history and collateral security to determine if Mr Spicer’s project qualified for further funding.

“In this regard, we formed a view that the value of the completed construction at the phase in 2007-2008, did not justify any further borrowings,” Mr Thompson alleged.

However, Mr Spicer’s claim that he received verbal assurances of more financing to come was backed by his project contractor, Martin McCafferty, in a March 26, 2015, affidavit.

Having pointed out to the CIBC FirstCaribbean branch manager that $855, 500 was not enough to complete a $1.2 million first stage, Mr McCafferty alleged: “I remember the conversation with Mr Thompson vividly: He not only agreed it was not enough funds for the bank’s and Mr Spicer’s objective of completing stage one of the project - two apartment buildings out of the four proposed buildings - but went further, saying provided we made ‘good progress’ the bank would ‘obviously’ lend more monies to complete our mutually agreed Stage 1. His words to me were: ‘We’ll take care of you’.”

Mr McCafferty alleged that he and Mr Spicer first made their proposal to the bank in February/March 2005, which only confirmed it was willing to lend $855,500 on July 2006.

Admitting that he was “at a loss” as to how CIBC FirstCaribbean had come up with such a sum, Mr McCafferty alleged that he tried to squeeze the construction budget to fit, while explaining to the bank that the amount as insufficient to complete stage one.

“In my over 30 years’ experience of being a contractor I could not understand why the bank was so adamant on doing this – lending us an amount that they knew would be insufficient to complete Stage 1 of the project as we had all agreed to and planned,” Mr McCafferty alleged.

“I wish to emphasise that if I had not received the above undertaking on behalf of the bank [by Mr Thompson] I would not have proceeded with the project, as it would have been akin to walking into a trap, and it is not unreasonable to suggest this would arguably be a bankruptcy trap - we will not lend you what you need, we will lend you what we say you need, which is 25 – 30 per cent less than what you do need, and we will not lend you any more funds when it falls short.”

Mr McCafferty alleged that it was only in December 2012, after CIBC FirstCaribbean had initiated legal proceedings to repossess Mr Spicer’s home and the project, that he saw the 2006 appraisal and its incorrect calculation - thanks to digging by his-then attorneys, Callenders & Co.

Describing this as a “colossal error”, Mr McCafferty alleged: “It is deeply troubling and, candidly, disturbing to me to witness what the Spicers have been through, and how Abaco has lost a good project.”

Mr Thompson, though, denied that CIBC FirstCaribbean “miscalculated the value of the appraisal” based on the March 22, 2006, realtor’s report, or that this was “a fundamental error which undermined the funding of the project”.

Sounding somewhat unsure, Mr Thompson claimed: “As far as I can recall, the bank was aware of the errors contained in the appraisal report.

“However, the errors had no material bearing on the bank’s decision relating to the amount to be loaned to the defendants.

“The bank also spoke to he appraiser about the report. However, the defendants were not privy to this conversation and the discussions with the appraiser about the report.”

Mr Spicer and his advisers have seized upon this as confirmation that CIBC FirstCaribbean made a material non-disclosure, as they knew about the appraisal mistake but never disclosed it to the borrower.

Mr Thompson’s affidavit then alleged that the bank employed a different formula to determine the sum advanced to Mr Spicer.

“Based on the bank’s financing ratio, that is either 65 per cent or 70 per cent of total costs, the loans were granted at the ratio of 85 per cent of the overall costs,” he argued.

Mr Spicer and his advisers, though, are alleging that the formula applied by Mr Thompson does not correspond to the $855,500 that the bank ultimately lent. They are adamant that this figure could only have been derived, and based upon, 50 per cent of the $1.7 million stated in the original 2006 appraisal.

They also claim that Mr Spicer was never asked to produce a 15 per cent downpayment, as implied by Mr Thompson.

Both sides are thus embroiled in what appears to be, according to one of the filed affidavits, “a material dispute as to the facts” of the case.

This newspaper understands that the “miscalculated appraisal” argument cuts little ice with CIBC FirstCaribbean, and that the bank is eager to get the Spicer matter before the Supreme Court and adjudicated.

Mr Spicer, when contacted by Tribune Business about his battle with the bank, relied: “I’m terrified, absolutely terrified. I could lose my life and everything.” He declined to say more because the matter is before the courts.

Mr Spicer, who won a Cacique Award in 2013 for sports tourism, is understood to have assembled a petition containing 200 signatures from fellow Abaconians, supporting his position, within five days.

However, the only opinion that is likely to count is that of the Supreme Court’s.

Comments

Economist 2 years, 5 months ago

“As far as I can recall, the bank was aware of the errors contained in the appraisal report.

“However, the errors had no material bearing on the bank’s decision relating to the amount to be loaned to the defendants.

“The bank also spoke to he appraiser about the report. However, the defendants were not privy to this conversation and the discussions with the appraiser about the report.”

Remind me to stay well away from FCIB.

What is the Central Bank doing about this? Don't they look out for the consumer?

Banks can't be allowed to behave like this. The Central Bank must investigate.

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banker 2 years, 5 months ago

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Entrepreneur 2 years, 5 months ago

As a former customer of FCIB, like so many Bahamians, I know how bad this bank has become. The errors on my account were just like this one - basic maths wrong, negligence all followed by denial. So to read this account just shows it's still ongoing.

I read Gary Brown the new CEO of FCIB wants every customer to have a great story to tell so why is it this chap Spicer has over 200 signatures saying how bad this is? Rumour in Abaco he has leading law firms all helping as the bank is so caught in the headlights on this one...

CIBC if you are reading this there is something very wrong at FCIB and how this Canadian bank is treating Bahamians.

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jpintard 2 years, 5 months ago

Its sad that everyday we as Bahamians look around everyday and there is so much negative things going on in this country. Job losses, crime and so much more. I grew up knowing that there are guidelines that we all follow. Just as these lending instiutions. Abaco, it seems as though the small busineses are struggling an everyday homes are being taken away by these banks for whatever the reason.Who, will help protect us when a gaint comes walking in? What happens when the lending instiuation makes an error? Does the burrower have and support. Please Bahamas , do the right thing.

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Concerned_Citizen 2 years, 5 months ago

FCIB needs to acknowledged the role they played in this situation going wrong. This is in an unfortunate occurrence that could of been avoided. This family stands to lose everything and its not their fault. It doesn't seem that this injustice was handed to just them so it gives something to think about.

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ohdrap4 2 years, 5 months ago

This is a poorly written article.

"Cacique award winner" is an irrelevant premise as it has no bearing on the outcome this dispute.

so is this 'petition', what is it that it is 'petitioning'?

However, the only opinion that is likely to count is that of the Supreme Court’s.

Well, all those affected need to be reminded of that.

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Economist 2 years, 5 months ago

If they win there will be many more former customers. Who would want to deal with a bank that acts like this, right or wrong.

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Abacodread 2 years, 5 months ago

These banks have been taking advantage of Bahamians for so long we almost think it's normal. How many have applied for mortgages, using property as collateral, only to have the banks give you $.50 on the dollar? Yes, your land evaluated by government licensed appraisers, is routinely devalued at application time to the benefit of the bank. Mr. Spicer ' s life and businesses appear in ruins because yet another bank wants to change the rules and contracts to their benefit. Errors in contracts...ignored cries for help, but prompt to collect the effects when the cries for help have subsided? Sickening. I pray the supreme court sends the right message that this wanton bullying of bahamian citizens and businesses must stop!

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respect 2 years, 5 months ago

With me being a very close acquaintance of the Spicer family, I was totally disgusted when I became aware of the dreadful actions the bank was taken out on them. From the threats of having their home taken away, random pop ups of someone coming to appraise their home and having to go to another island on several different occasions to be in court has put a tremendous toll on the entire family, financially and emotionally.
My personal opinion is that I feel as if the family has suffered far more than they should have for a mistake that CIBC First Caribbean International Bank made and tried to cover up. No one deserves to be taken advantage of and I support the family's decision to fight for their rights

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respect 2 years, 5 months ago

With me being a very close acquaintance of the Spicer family, I was totally disgusted when I became aware of the dreadful actions the bank was taken out on them. From the threats of having their home taken away, random pop ups of someone coming to appraise their home and having to go to another island on several different occasions to be in court has put a tremendous toll on the entire family, financially and emotionally.
My personal opinion is that I feel as if the family has suffered far more than they should have for a mistake that CIBC First Caribbean International Bank made and tried to cover up. No one deserves to be taken advantage of and I support the family's decision to fight for their rights!

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abazon204_youth 2 years, 5 months ago

It's very sad that we let Banks run over us without saying anything and this is a said issue here that has happen to many Bahamians which force us to lose everything we work for for our future Generation. I am in full support with the Spicer's. If this does win then maybe the banks will not be so reckless to us Bahamians.

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adrienne_spicer 2 years, 5 months ago

Yes, I live in fear of losing my home, I believed that a favorable solution could have been made to save and complete the project. Thus getting on with the business of paying off the loan. It's almost as though CIBC wanted this project to fail. Mr Spicer may have 200 supporters who are backing him in his effort to save his home and business, but there are many more in Abaco who fear speaking out against this bank or any other bank.

the other interested party.

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tjps 2 years, 5 months ago

This case is just another case the demonstrates why there needs to be more stringent oversight like those that exist in the home countries of these banls. Not only are banks engaged in usury, some operate outside of the of Central Bank guidelines.

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Concerned_Citizen 2 years, 5 months ago

It is astonishing that the bank had all the documents laid out as to the objective of the loan but still can say that "they don't recall" and “at no time did the bank agree to” or indicate that it would definitely provide further financing beyond the original loan.

If the "first stage" which is two apartment buildings was a cost of 1.2 million, help me understand what did the bank think the $855, 000 that was loaned to the Spicers was for.

It is hard to believe that an intelligent man as Mr Spicer appears to be would take on a loan that would cost him interest knowing that it would end up incomplete. This is an insult to his intelligence. I would like to think that when Mr Spicer took this loan on he did so with the impression he would see it to fruition. I can only imagine had he known the project would be unsuccessful he would invest "said money" into his two businesses already established.

Insulting and astonishing!

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Shirley 2 years, 5 months ago

The bank clearly made some mistakes and bears some responsibility for this unfortunate situation. If the appraisal contained errors and the bank was well aware of same, but still accepted the report and advanced funds on that basis, they should be prepared to write-off a portion of the debt. I believe some assurances were given by the bank which the individual was probably not authorized to give. Certainly this matter can be resolved without the clients losing every thing they have worked for. Praying for the Spicer family. May you prevail in the courts.

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vikkilawlor 2 years, 5 months ago

I think the question for the court should be who is going to benefit here? If the money goes back to the bank and the Spicers loose their home and business development then some fat cat behind the bank will benefit and two half finished dwellings sit derelict. If it's found that the bank has been a bit naughty (bearing in mind you go to these people for their expertly expertness) then I think someone who has worked all their lives for their family and community will benefit and the community as a whole will benefit as there will be a new business venture. They are good solid Bahamians so the money, profits etc. will pour back into Abaco. I hope sense and sensibility prevails. (watched from the UK with interest). Good luck Malcom, I hope they do the right thing and what's best for Abaco.

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people242 2 years, 5 months ago

I know Mr. Spicer and he has a keen apt for numbers and also has common sense that so many lack these days. There is no way he would have moved forward with this project without what he knew was needed to complete it without some sort of assurance that he would get the balance needed. The banks claim they want to help people but it never quite works the way they portray it.

I've seen banks take peoples' houses from them when they were trying to make payments. Due to difficult times the payments were not the full amount they should have been but in any event they were trying. The way I see it the bank would have been better off to re-negioiate and lower the payment amount to something more reasonable at the time rather than re-posses the house which they then tried for years to sell with no success, to cover the amount owed. All the while getting no payments on it at all because they re-possesed it.

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Wanderer 2 years, 5 months ago

What a horrible state of affairs. How can these Canadian banks treat the Bahamians in a way they could never do so in Canada to their own people. By the looks of this case the bank should have sat down with the Spicers, explained the error, had another appraisal done and come to a mutual agreement. Instead it looks like they just buried their heads in the sand and went after the Spicers attempting to recoup from them assets valued at $1.7M to cover an $855K loan. Nice profit for the bank and ruination for the Spicers. I'm pleased to see that the Spicers seem to have an excellent case against the bank and I look forward, with many others to the outcome of this case. Bahamians have no defense against these banks. They are a law to themselves and you'd better have bags of $ somewhere if you wish to fight them. I fear for our Bahamian family

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Entrepreneur 2 years, 5 months ago

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sunshine9 2 years, 5 months ago

Disgraceful actions by this bank. An immoral inhuman way to treat people. Banks may appear to be faceless institutions but theyre not - people make these decisions and these people must be brought to justice, admit their mistakes, and allow the Spicers to move on with their lives.

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SusiB 2 years, 5 months ago

Unfortunately, big banks forget that their customers are real people with real lives. They're all about numbers and profit. If you look after your customers properly the profits will come from that. If all you concentrate on is profit, you become immoral and unethical. They are also so complacent that their size will stop the 'man in the street' from fighting them. I really hope that you win this Mr Spicer, if only to show them that ordinary people still have a voice!

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jolg 2 years, 5 months ago

Another case of Big Banks not treating small entrepreneurs fairly and having the money to defend its bad decisions

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bogart 2 years, 5 months ago

There is no recourse for the small man. Only the rich usually afford lawyers and most lawyers will say its a conflict for them to go up against the banks as they will be cut out from business as an Approved Lawyer., stands to reason. When there is is problem it is never that the bank has overpaid a customer but shorted a customer. Usually the customer will try to get a senior bank person to to rectify the problem buy remember the person is usually busy as all time is accounted for by money conscious profit making banks. People tend to believe these Bank persons in fancy clothes in fancy offices and despite customers paying a bank fee for services bottom line its the bank who pays the employees cheque. Many of the 4,500 mortgage default customers did not all get that way by themselves but rather with bankers trying to meet their loan targets set by headoffices in outside countries who seem to think how loans must be given out by their bankers as though they know your markets better than locals. Targets must be reached for positive staff assessment reports and promotion. Banks also used to offer bonuses for exceeding loans given out. Local volumes of loans are monitored by inputs of how many loans are in the computer pipeline from overseas daily. Central Bank does not deal with the individuals. There is little or no help and many problems go unresolved. Absolutely amazing that in a nation with almost 300 banks and global player there is no agency to look out for the small man who banks. An ombudsman or agency is desperately needed for the small man as Banks have the deepest pockets to fight, best lawyers and money to appeal. Why not lets investigate why all these 4,500 got to be in default and tie up some 1 billion, created a glut of real estate for sale. As values drop in Freeport homes which are the ideal collateral put up by business people drop in value and overdraft lines dry up and businesses challenged, people laid off and move to Nassau straining services. Are customers paying mortgages on homes which are less than market value? It is easier for banks to spend money to market in one location. Are the family islands being depopulated because there are fewer opportunities? Were these loan applications slanted in favour to qualify? Have there been any change by these banks with their loan applications? (which may indicate some past problem?) Sadly, we give away our birthright to encourage foreign capital jobs are created and Bahamians go to the banks and profits are sent abroad to be taxed. Where is the agency for Consumer Protection to protect Bahamians? Of course there are good Bahamian bankers who do follow Anti money laundering rules meet Central Bank requirements etc. and give excellent service and do business with some 300,000 account holders. Expanding economy creating jobs is not all about giving away birthright and bringing in capital but negotiating with these banks on what is done with the money in bettering the Bahamas.

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thephoenix562 2 years, 5 months ago

Why did he accept the loan if it wasn't enough to finish Stage 1 of the project.If it wasn't in writing that he would be loaned additional funds then it was not binding.there are no implications in business.Not written not said .I too am sorry for his situation but it does not look good.Best wishes.

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Wanderer 2 years, 5 months ago

The bank multiplying 4 x 4 and getting 12, allegedly lying in affidavit and allegedly concocting a cover up story in sworn affidavit does not look good either.

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bogart 2 years, 5 months ago

Bank officers naturally have certain limits of how much they can authorize as basic accounting procedures. Perhaps these decisions might even be made by the Headoffice in another country which would certainly know the situation. I maintain that no overseas staff know the Bahamian market, people,economic trends etc better than Bahamians. Such decisions could divert govt policies who for instance may want to budget to create better municipal transit system while foreign instructions could be to have officers having high loan targets to give out 2000 second hand used car loans.creating traffic jams and need for more roads. Guess who may get to lend for the new roads? Nassau has the highest cars to population per a Rotary speaker some years ago at Dicky Mo's.

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Max 2 years, 5 months ago

This situation with the Spicers is touching my wife and I personally.This coming March 9th will bbe our first year since Scotia Bank kicked us out of our home;after fighting for six years from August 2008 to December 2014 over what we though was a bad loan.We borrowed money in sstages to build our own home, until one day a manager decided that we were taking too long aand sent in his Contractor friend to complete our home.The contractor came and used all of oour material on site including 84 bundles of our shingles / all our material for Septic Tank / Electrical and plumbing. After 311/2 day the contractor left complaining that he was out of money. We had to pay $1530.14 Mortgage and still work on our home until july 10th 2010 before we could barely move in. NO ONE CARED we wrote to two Bank Presidents and two Prime Ministers but no one cares. We know your pain; and pray that you win. Maybe through your case some one will see and care about the pain of the hundreds of us that these banks are abusing while our governments sleep. MAX.

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butlers 2 years, 5 months ago

Canadian Banks in the Caribbean Atrocious Behaviour At the expense of we the Caribbean people, their clients, and small businesses throughout the region, CIBC, Canada’s fifth largest banking institution, is using deplorable tactics to reduce losses and/or build profits. With regional losses of some US$21.8 million for fiscal year 2013, and US$199 million for the six months ending April 30, 2014, in the Caribbean, one would presume that the bank would want to work closer with their long time good clients here. Instead, CIBC is kicking us when we are down by making unreasonable demands during this economical slow period. We intend to bring this atrocious behaviour to light, and we implore media to get involved. In 2006, CIBC bought the 44 percent Barclays Bank share of their combined First Caribbean International Bank (FCIB) venture. The capital cost was US$988.7 million. Management must have thought this was an earnings accretive acquisition. Now, however, CIBC is apparently trying to get a return of capital, not simply a return on capital, from their recently impoverished clients in the seventeen countries they serve in the Caribbean. With poor service that many of us believe to be abusive, and the ridiculous demands for insurance, appraisals and securities, the bank is making it virtually impossible for many business clients here to stay in business during tough times. CIBC inflates the interest rate based on what they perceive to be their risk factor. In one documented instance, the CIBC/FCIB is holding a debenture over assets and a personal guarantee that is in excess of US$5.0 million, on a loan note balance of just US$875,000. Where is the risk involved? Moreover, North American and European clients throughout the Caribbean seem to get a much better interest rate than those of us, black or white, who have been born and raised here by families that have settled here for generations. When the US housing market collapsed in 2007 creating the beginning of the US recession, Canadian Banks immediately reduced the prime lending rate in Canada to 1.5%, being at that time 1.0% over the Canadian Central Bank rate of 0.5%. Here in the Caribbean, however, nothing changed. CIBC continued to charge its best clients a usurious rate of between 7.5% and 13.0%. Why? The Government of Canada has given all Canadian Banks operating in the Caribbean a basically tax-free status on income from this region, so their shareholders love the huge profits from their Caribbean operations over these past many years.

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Wanderer 2 years, 5 months ago

I was sent this from a reporter in Barbados who had seen the Tribune article and thought that we should know the history, current status and future of Canadian banks in the Caribbean. It is an eye opener and a very well researched article covering all our islands with emphasis on the Canadian banks.

http://timescaribbeanonline.com/trouble-in-paradise-inside-canadian-banks-billion-dollar-caribbean-struggle/

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RayChris 2 years, 5 months ago

I have known Mr. Spicer and his family for over 20 years and to see the struggle up close is hard and even harder to imagine. I have had two incidents involving banks that I found "deceiving". One involved my wife's car loan, where she was given the wrong montly payment amount. It should have been noticed immediately, but it continued for more than two years. Eventually, she was approached and told that she was in danger of defaulting on her loan. It was suggested that we convert the "delinquent' amount to a short term loan to avoid repossession. It.just felt like a scam..We learned a lot from that incident. The other involved First Caribbean Bank 15+ years ago regarding our mortgage. About 6 years into the 15 year mortgage, I was doing an excercise with an insurance agent, using our mortgage information. We discovered that our payment table was incorrect and that at the end of the "bank payment period" the mortgage would not be "satisfied" and that it would still require an additional 10 payments. I was hoping that they would have waived this amount, as we were the ones that brought it to their attention. Especially, as they would have already received more than twice the amount of the principle. They did not do that. Instead, their suggestion was to adjust the monthly payments in an effort to "catch up" on the payment table schedule, so that the loan would be satisfied "on schedule". We moved the mortgage to a competing bank.
I truly hope that The Spicers win this case and receive the compensation that they are seeking. It has been miserable for them for many years and the sad part is that this took place in Abaco, a family island, where everyone knows everyone... it really seems as though this colossal mess could have been avoided...It was not as if the bank was going to lose, in fact they stood to make out quite well, It just seems devious...Good Luck Malcolm!

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bogart 2 years, 5 months ago

Any financial bank permitted to do business should have met govt requirements. In giving out a loan the learned bank should have due care and diligence in serving customers. Application and repayment qualified. TDSR - total debt service ratio calculated. Gearing ratios to show that loan is feasible and equity risks would be on customer. Local knowledge etc. The bank would have collected a fee etc and then proceeded. If he paid a fee it would be ironic that the bank expertise got him here. It is somewhat similar like an Airline customer paying for a ticket and halfway through flight in midair gets shoved out the plane. The bank should have done better through mediation but now has obviously lost what may be a pyrric victory as customers sympathise with neighbour and friend. Many other cases are around and customers need to go to the new Commission on Fairplay and Competition. Some douzies are out there like the urban myth of a institution selling the house with the people still in it and then evicting them.

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Patch 2 years, 5 months ago

The Spicers have an online petition now asking for support and for support for an Ombudsman

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/bahamasbanks

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Entrepreneur 2 years, 5 months ago

What support for the Spicers!!! - over 500 people !!!

I just looked at the petition and was stunned - it appears the Spicers have very significant support with already over 500 people that have signed an on line petition to support the Spicers in this terrible case exposing CIBC FCIB allegedlt significant wrong doing and also supporting their adviser's plans for a Banking Ombudsman for the Bahamas, so as to protect all Bahamians from these types of situations.

Over 500 people have signed the on line petition since it started - which it looks like was on or around March 3rd....

I hear there is now a Town Hall meeting this weekend on Abaco to discuss the public outcry with the way the banks are treating Bahamians, with other upset bank customers coming forward as well....

Over 500 people so quickly? Looks like the community is really behind the Spicers and that the banks operating here have really upset a lot of their customers...

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Entrepreneur 2 years, 5 months ago

Only 5 days later...

...and the support for the Spicer case and his Advisor's proposal for a Bank Ombudsman is now closing in on 1,000 people. (one thousand)

THAT IS A LOT OF FRUSTRATED CUSTOMERS - 1,000 !!!

No matter which way you cut it...

Genuine praise to Neil Hartnell for having the courage to speak up and begin to take the lid off these types of cases. The allegations go against every tenet of a civil society.

If CIBC FCIB, even at the 11th hour take responsibility, and if the Ombudsman plan takes off this could be the most welcome start of a new era of accountability in the Bahamas, which could only help both the banks and the consumers.

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