Premier Burt On Job Losses At Butterfield Bank

April 17, 2019 | 53 Comments

The Government is “disappointed at the loss of Bermudian jobs” at Butterfield Bank, Premier David Burt said, adding that they will work to ensure former employees have the needed support, and also “increase efforts to diversify our banking sector.”

The Premier’s comments follow after the Bank of Butterfield confirmed that 30 employees in Bermuda accepted voluntary early retirement packages, 11 positions were made redundant, and Butterfield’s Rosebank Banking Centre and Drive-Thru Teller Services in Hamilton have closed effective today.

Premier David Burt said, “This Government is disappointed at the loss of Bermudian jobs announced today by Butterfield Bank especially in light of their recently announced record profits for 2018. We are also concerned about the impact that these redundancies and early retirements have had on the affected employees.”

“It is clear that Bermuda requires greater diversification in the banking sector to create more employment opportunities for Bermudians and more banking choices for Bermudian consumers. Consequently, the Government will increase our efforts to diversify our banking sector as a matter of national priority.

“In 2009 the Government of Bermuda stepped in to assist Butterfield Bank when its future, the security of depositors deposits and Bermudian jobs were in jeopardy. For the Bermudian workers who have been made redundant today, the Government intends to be there for you, just as we were for Butterfield Bank in 2009.

“I have asked the Minister responsible for Workforce Development to make available the full array of services at her disposal to ensure that the affected employees are aware of and where applicable, paired with suitable employment opportunities, training or retraining needed to get them back to work.

“As Butterfield Bank has obligations to their shareholders, the Bermudians who now find themselves out of work have obligations to their families. We will do everything in our power to ensure that those former employees of Butterfield have the support needed to get through this difficult period.”

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  1. Ringmaster says:

    Unless Government reduces the number of Government employees soon, the impact when the lack of money becomes apparent will be severe. Yet more people are employed which makes the problem worse. The PLP will not tell the people the unpleasant truth and so the can is kicked down the road for the next generation.
    Mass unemployment is coming.

    • JAWS says:

      Stop talking out your A$$ the bank made profits. Banks are greedy as hell. If they screw up a transaction it’s ok …….but if the client forgets a payment OMG they come down hard.

      When you call the bank now days you listen to the voices next time! A great deal of the jobs are over in some cheap wage paying country.

      Fire 1 Eagle here and hire 3 chickens there to do the same @$#$@ job. It’s called hiring cheap labor.

      • Question says:

        You’re the one with your head in your A$$. Business is international these days. You can’t complain how expensive things are and then whine out of your stupid A$$ every time they reduce costs,
        Don’t worry though. Burt has a plan.
        Just as soon as he gets us off the blacklist he got us on.

        • Eyes wide open says:

          Did you find another surrogate A$$ to use or are you still using Jet Gate Craig to lose the next election. Honestly you can’t be that dumb to see you lost X Premier Dunkely and replaced him with Craig take your dumb A$$ head out of the sand LOLOLOL. You have no clue and that is why you got beat 25 to 11. You need more blacklist to help you next election. Now go create a 3rd party because it will happen after the next election.

          • Anbu says:

            Thats all you got? Great your team won. But they still dont have a friggin clue. You lot are all dumb as a box of rocks. So post your LOLOLOL’s. Cause we all know u aint really laughing. All u lot have is a score to boast abt. Kind of like a quarterback bragging how he threw for a thousand yards receiving and still lost the game. Lmao. Dummy

      • cozy says:

        The % of Bermudian ownership of NTB is much less significant these days. So yeah, they have less commitment to Bermuda.

    • Lloyd Van putten says:

      You are on the Wrong Flight check you Ticket.

  2. Town Rat says:

    When are we going to regulate these terrible excuses for banks? BNTB just had their highest profits ever yet they have to do this? A 25% return on equity is not good enough despite being 4 Times what the average bank returns in the US. And they just did a terrible online system rollout that still isn’t fixed. The government should increase taxes on the banks or require them to lower their interest rates or allow new banks to come in to compete.

    It’s time the consumers of Bermuda speak up on this. They’ve completely slowed our economic recovery due to higher home loan requirements and lack of small business loans.

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      Banks ARE regulated. They are regulated by the BMA.

      The Government IS planning on allowing new banks to come and compete with our local banks. That is the point of the Premier’s comment that “Bermuda needs greater diversification in the banking sector”.

      Imposing higher taxes will only raise the cost of banking in Bermuda and make overseas banks even more attractive, thus making more Bermudian jobs redundant.

      Controlling the interest rate does not work. That is why Bermuda abandoned the exercise about 20 years ago.

      I do wish the Bermuda school system would return to teaching basic economics.

      • Town Rat says:

        Are you seriously insulting my level of education in a bernews post? Comical

        If they are so well regulated then why did BNTB have to be bailed out? Why are they allowed to set their own interest rates? We also don’t have a central bank… so YOU ARE FACTUAL INCORRECT MR KNOW IT ALL.

        Controlling interest rates does work…maybe you should read some news outside of this tiny island for once. We are a tiny spec in the world economy so get over yourself and your rude tone.

        • Joe Bloggs says:

          Dear Mr. Town Rat,

          I did not mean to insult your level of education and I do not know how you got that impression.

          Butterfield had to be supported in 2009, just as other banks around the world did, because of the types of investments it had made. If governments around the world did not support banks the way they did 2008 would have closed like 1929 did, in the worst economic depression the world had ever known.

          Please will you explain what I have said that is factually incorrect?

          I stand by my comment that price controls, incliding interest rate controls, do not work in economic reality. My evidence is the former GDR (commonly known as East Germany).

          I do read news from outside Bermuda. I do so every day.

    • billy says:

      Rat: The Government has raised taxes on banks. It’s called the financial services tax. It’s costing the banks millions. So the banks will cut costs elsewhere to make up those funds… by closing branches and laying off tellers.

      No international banks are really interested in coming here. HSBC is trying to leave. Population is too small (not a big enough pie to divide) and the cost of infrastructure and taxes are too high. Plus they don’t want to operate in blacklisted countries. Burt trying to get new banks here is a pipe dream, and his rhetoric is political spin.

  3. Jason says:

    This is just the beginning writing is on the wall

  4. That’s why all the executives keep there jobs. They strategize all day long how they can make more money. They do not care about the livelihoods of there staff. As long as they are raking in the $$ nothing else matters. It’s all about the executives which are mostly not Bermudian. Go figure! Nasty bunch of humans.

    • Question says:

      I think you mean ‘their’. Both times.

    • Inconvenient Truth says:

      Worse still, it’s not just non Bermudian executives behind the leadership, but supported by Bermudian board members in these companies turning their backs on their own people and country. Bermudians and Bermuda enabled the very wealth you all enjoy today. The elite are sacrificing Bermuda’s future for their exorbitant salaries and benefits. Banks, Belco, Telecoms………. Bermudians sacrificing their own people and cowardly standing behind their justification of fiduciary responsibility. That will be the legacy to your children and grandchildren. In the end, the elite (Bermudian and non Bermudian) will leave Bermuda and not care about the long term suffering and damage they created in their haste. Like rats jumping off a sinking ship they will confirm the true definition of a rat race.

      Collaboration is too hard for the elite because it takes effort, time and respect for grass roots Bermuda. You hide in your board rooms and champagne receptions convincing yourselves your so smart and doing what is best for poor Bermudians. In the end, you will see what defines a nation – it’s people and culture will prevail even when your businesses attempt to cling onto your inevitable fate.

  5. The same person that okay the Online Banking system is the same person that told the staff they are closing the branch.
    Another executive over retirement age still living the good life in Cayman. My my imagine that.

  6. Perfect timing says:

    Just in time for the new banks promised by the government to walk into a ready made building. How opportune is this?
    If that doesn’t work then the government can fill the building when it takes over the Corporation. On the one hand sad news, but opportunity exists.

    • bluenose says:

      I believe this only affects the ‘Branch’ on the Ground Floor. So there is no building to fill. Just FYI.

  7. Ra’s al Ghul says:

    Maybe they can all get jobs with Arbitrade

    • Paul says:

      I think those who lost their jobs all qualify to get a job with arbitrade, so Premier please find these qualified workers a job..

  8. Question says:

    Don’t worry. This is just proof of how the economy is booming under the PLP.

    • Lloyd Van putten says:

      The Bank made a very large Profit and you still Blame the Plp for job losses what is Wrong with You it’s that much hate in You.

      • Question says:

        Oh yeah. The economy is doing great. When banks downsize that’s a sure sign things are booming.

        Has Burt got us off his blacklist yet? Since it was his incompetence that got us on there.

      • Micro says:

        Some of those jobs were moved to cheaper countries.

      • lav says:

        Why are you fighting to remove rights from some Bermudians?

        ” what is Wrong with You it’s that much hate in You.”

        Hypocrite!

  9. Frequent Traveler says:

    THE EXECUTIVES WILL FLY HERE EVERY WEEK ON A PRIVATE JET COSTING THE BANK $30K ROUND TRIP. 52 WEEKS IN A YEAR NOW DO THE MATH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    WTF :(

  10. cpm says:

    If this and Tatem was under the OBA the sheepies would be marching with the peoples campaign [Tweed got status yet]

    • Paul says:

      Tweed, has been very quiet as of late has he gone on to greener pastures ? has his congregation diminished ? people are seeing the light.

  11. PANGARA says:

    It was no different at the other bank Ltd.

    If you were that good why would they want to promote a PANGAEA.

    If you have four hours I tell you the whole under handed story.

  12. puzzled says:

    Quo Fata……….
    Take care whilst you have something.
    Happy Easter.

  13. Lloyd Van putten says:

    Agree with you sir how much does Bermuda Government tax these Banks and International Businesses .

  14. Kenneth Scott says:

    Has anyone asked the question when world interest rates where at their lowest in 2009 , Why did these local banks never lowered their rates. . I guess Fed interest rates don’t apply to them. You never heard their stockholders complain. Regulate them like most civilized countries do .

  15. The Blind leading the Blind says:

    If you think taxation is the answer you are going to be very broke and very lonely. Actually, forget that. No matter what, given current trends broke and lonely is the future no matter how you cut the cake.

  16. Town Rat says:

    Our banks charge some of the highest interest rates in the world and the highest bank fees in the world yet give near zero deposit return to their customers…clearly regulation is needed.
    TAX THEM MORE AS THEY ARE MAKING TOO MUCH!

    Instead of taxing small businesses into bankruptcy let’s do a bank levy for 2 years and that will fill the government revenue gap.

    $10M levy for each bank each year for two years. Their Returns are higher than some of the best hedge fund managers in the world. This isn’t right.

    • truthertz says:

      “Our banks charge some of the highest interest rates ”

      No they don’t. I suggest you do a comparison of similar sized jurisdictions. And no comparing the US rates is not like for like.

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      “Our banks charge some of the highest interest rates in the world and the highest bank fees in the world …”

      I am afraid I do not agree with that. I have an overseas bank account.

      “TAX THEM MORE AS THEY ARE MAKING TOO MUCH!”

      The tax will only be passed on to the customer.

      We do not need Bermudian banks like we used to with the advent of internet banking. I still have my account at Butterfield Bank, but I do not need it. I can open an account with CIBC or Barclays Bank in The Bahamas quite easily and avoid Bermuda banks all together. Any Bermudian can do that. Butterfield Bank has an operation in The Bahamas too!

      All that will happen by taxing our banks is that fees will increase on local account holders, the very people our Government is trying to protect.

  17. frank says:

    Today 11 workers were made redundant with out notice
    If an employer fails to give that notice the workers
    Should get compensated
    I suggest that those workers check with the labour
    Department
    This bank is very cold hearted I will never ever bank with them.
    And if the government has any of are money in there they should take it out asap

    • Aware says:

      The employees willof course have been compensated – it is the law

    • bluenose says:

      Do you know whether or not they were compensated? Normally pay is provided in lieu of notice. Unfortunately it is not tenable to have a Bank employee work their Notice Period for security reasons. i.e. having access to the Bank’s computer systems after having been made redundant.

    • Aranda pitt says:

      The banks don’t have to give formal prior notice. They inform staff there will be downsizing, but due to security issues they just send you packing when it’s decided who goes. It’s very harsh but those in the private sector know this when they sign on. It’s horrible but happens every day worldwide.

  18. Rotten Onion says:

    Burt should do the same with the bloated CS.

  19. Change is needed says:

    This is probably just the beginning! 4-5 people were made redundant at another, but that isn’t being published and I’m sure there will be more island wide. We will begin to see more effects everywhere…..

  20. Bill says:

    If you haven’t figured it out yet……we don’t have Bermudian Banks anymore.

    They could care less. HSBC is looking to get out of retail banking.

    All of their “back rooms” have long been moved to Malaysia.If you do not believe me ,call up and ask to speak to someone about your credit cards.

    Ask anyone at XL about computer problems, and who do they talk to…..Try India.

  21. Jt says:

    It’s interesting that the Premier is so outspoken about job losses that are, in large part, due to increased automation. After all, Fintech is our future.

  22. sandgrownan says:

    Ah, the impotent rage of our wet behind the years and increasingly useless Premier.

    I feel for him somewhat, because there’s nothing he can do here. It’s about changing behavior of customers – and also that BNTB leadership would sell their own grandmothers for a short term increase in stock price. BNTB have a history of letting people go in this manner, so it’s the norm for them, and understand that they couldn’t give a toss about being a community bank. They only engage in retail banking because they need it for their license.

    It wouldn’t be nearly as bad if we had a booming economy. But thanks to the PLP, we don’t.

    So, Mr Burt, you are irrelevant.

  23. question says:

    When Burt’s fintech companies all start up I’m sure that will create 2 or 3 jobs.

  24. andrew says:

    How’s that PLP landslide election win working out for everyone? Interesting times ahead.

  25. 2scoops says:

    Why would the OBA want to win the next election ??

  26. Ringmaster says:

    Arbitrade will swoop in with their billions of gold to fill the empty bank vaults and all will be good. Hundreds of jobs. Except Arbitrade has disappeared. Mr Premier, where is Arbitrade who you so publicly identified with? Arbitrade who you sold to Bermuda? Your people want to hear from you.

  27. Jason says:

    Very worrying and all they do is spin and travel and get paid

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