First Citizens drives innovation through its investment in Term Finance
First Citizens and Term Finance began their banking relationship in 2015 when Term Finance disbursed its first loan through First Citizens’ online banking system in Trinidad & Tobago. Since then, Term Finance has processed over 38,000 loan applications without ever having to meet a customer face-to-face.
In just five years, Term Finance expanded into Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica and St. Lucia by leveraging their totally web-based platform and acquiring the various licenses required to support their operations in each market. Every application passes through the Trinidad-based Lending Team and all customer service and collections operations are centralized to their head office in Port of Spain.
This acquisition opens the door for First Citizens to fully leverage its digital capability and suite of banking services through Term Finance to thousands of under-banked individual customers and small businesses across the region, without requiring any shop-front footprint. Similar strategies have been executed in recent years by US based banks who invest in FinTech start-ups to acquire technology and access younger and underserved segments of the banking market.
Term Finance’s suite of products include consumer credit (www.mytermfinance.com), small-business credit (www.sme.tt), eCommerce with product financing (www.mytfshop.com) and pre-paid MasterCard services powered by First Citizens (www.mytfcard.com).
The investment gives First Citizens a minority stake in Term Finance Holdings Limited, which owns and operates subsidiaries involved in micro-lending businesses in Trinidad & Tobago, Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica and St. Lucia. The company has minority partners in Jamaica, St. Lucia and in the newly established small-business (SME) lending arm in Trinidad & Tobago.
First Citizens’ advisors on the deal were Pan American Finance, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Fitzwilliam Stone Furness-Smith & Morgan (Trinidad and Tobago), Floissac Fleming & Associates (St Lucia), Cameron & Shepherd (Jamaica), Chancery Chambers (Barbados) and Patterson Mair Hamilton (Jamaica).
About First Citizens
With an asset base of US$7.1 Billion, First Citizens is one of the leading financial services Groups in the English-speaking Caribbean, headquartered in Trinidad and Tobago. First Citizens offers a full range of retail, corporate and investment banking, electronic and digital banking, as well as, wealth management, trustee, investment management, brokerage and advisory and depository, custodian and paying agency services. The Group has operations in Barbados, Costa Rica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago.