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RBC Announces Sale of Eastern Caribbean Banking Operations


December 12, 2019 (Toronto, Canada)Royal Bank of Canada (RY on TSX
and NYSE) today announced it has entered into definitive agreements to sell all
banking operations in the Eastern Caribbean to a consortium of indigenous banks
within the region. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and other customary
closing conditions,  and is expected to
be finalized in the coming months.

“Consistent with our strategy of being a competitive
leader in the markets where we operate, RBC is always evaluating opportunities
for our business. Earlier this year, we were approached by a consortium of
indigenous banks with their proposal to acquire all RBC Eastern Caribbean
operations,” said Rob Johnston, Head, RBC Caribbean Banking. “After a review of
our operations and strategy, we determined this opportunity was a good decision
for the long-term future success of RBC Caribbean, and also, that it aligned
with our vision to help our clients thrive and communities prosper,” he said.  

The sale encompasses the branches
of Royal Bank of Canada in Antigua, Dominica, Montserrat, St. Lucia, and St. Kitts
and Nevis, as well as regional businesses operating under RBC Royal Bank
Holdings (EC) Limited in Nevis, Grenada and St. Vincent
and the Grenadines. Collectively, these operations are referred to as “RBC
Eastern Caribbean”. The consortium of five financial entities purchasing includes:
1st National Bank of St. Lucia, Antigua Commercial Bank Ltd.,
National Bank of Dominica Ltd., the Bank of Montserrat and Bank of Nevis Ltd.

Johnathan Johannes, Managing Director, 1st
National Bank of St. Lucia, shared, “We formed the consortium for the express
purpose of expanding the scale of the locally owned financial entities in the Eastern
Caribbean Currency Union.  This
transaction gives us the size and scale to play a more active role in the development
of our respective countries. We see this transaction as the first step in
achieving even greater synergies, efficiencies and cross-territory marketing
opportunities.”

“RBC has operated in the Caribbean for more 100 years –
longer than we have been in many parts of Canada. We remain committed to the future
of the Caribbean and to a vision of digital innovation that transcends
traditional services,” said Johnson. “This transaction will allow us to realign
and focus our strategy on Caribbean markets where we can achieve that vision
most successfully.”

“Self-determination is the highest level of empowerment –
and the indigenous banks acquiring this business will now have an increased
opportunity to influence the development of their communities,” said Johnston.  

Johannes added, “And speaking on behalf of the local
banks, we embrace and eagerly anticipate that opportunity.”

The consortium was advised by PwC (JA), led by Wilfred
Baghaloo, who added “this transaction demonstrates that Caribbean countries and
businesses have the capacity and capability to 
come together when the circumstances are right.”

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. RBC
will release its first quarter 2020 results and host an earnings conference
call on February 21, 2020.





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RBC announces sale of Eastern Caribbean banking operations