Sale Of Bermuda Commercial Bank Announced

February 5, 2019

[Updated] Noting that it is subject to various regulatory approvals, Permanent Capital announced the purchase of Bermuda Commercial Bank, saying they “plan to grow BCB into a full-service commercial bank focused on adding meaningful value.”

Somers noted that the transaction is “subject to a number of conditions including regulatory and Governmental approvals and is expected to close in the first half of 2019.”

Somers Statement

In a filing with the Bermuda Stock Exchange, Somers Limited said they are “pleased to announce that it has entered into an agreement and plan of merger which will result in the sale of the entire issued share capital of Bermuda Commercial Bank Limited to the investment company, Permanent Capital Holdings Limited and entities affiliated with it.

“The transaction is subject to a number of conditions including regulatory and Governmental approvals and is expected to close in the first half of 2019.”

Warren McLeland, Somers’ Chairman commented, “BCB has been owned by the group since 2010 and in that period, we have invested significantly in the Bank’s infrastructure and staff. BCB, led by its current management team, is now well positioned for the future. We will update shareholders once the consideration has been finalized and the sale has completed.”

Alan Gilbertson, Chairman of Bermuda Commercial Bank commented, “We are encouraged by Permanent Capital Holdings Limited’s commitment to Bermuda and look forward to working with them, when the acquisition is complete. I would also like to thank Somers Limited for their commitment and support to BCB over the past 8 years.”

Permanent Capital Statement

“Permanent Capital, a private New York-based socially oriented investor in financial services companies, announced today the purchase of Bermuda Commercial Bank [BCB], subject to various regulatory approvals including from the Bermuda Monetary Authority,” the company said.

“Under the stewardship of Permanent Capital, the bank will provide market-changing products such as competitive lending rates; bespoke services for key industries like reinsurance, and improved access through better technology including mobile banking. Throughout these endeavours BCB will continue to meet the BMA’s globally respected regulatory standards.”

“Permanent Capital’s acquisition of BCB is not simply an investment in a bank, but rather a commitment to the whole Bermuda community.” said Lewis Katz, a Managing Partner of Permanent Capital. “We plan to grow BCB into a full-service commercial bank focused on adding meaningful value to the Island’s businesses and local economy – the bank the people of Bermuda deserve.”

“We greatly value the guidance of the Bermuda Monetary Authority and support shown by the Ministry of Finance throughout this process and share a mutual ambition to grow Bermuda’s financial industry and economy” said Logan Sugarman, a Managing Partner in Permanent Capital. “Although BCB may currently be a small bank, it is uniquely positioned to change the status quo of Bermuda banking for the better.”

“Permanent Capital’s decision to purchase BCB is a clear endorsement of Bermuda as a jurisdiction of choice to buy and build a business in the financial services industry,” said Minister of Finance Curtis Dickinson. “Their commitment to invest in people, products and services will be welcomed by Bermuda’s consumer, corporate and government sectors.”.

“BCB is an established institution with an exceptional team of employees, a strong balance sheet, commitment to customer service and industry-leading technology infrastructure,” the statement from Permanent Capital said.

“While maintaining continuity for both customers and employees, Permanent Capital’s priority is to build on the existing core strengths, improving BCB’s product offerings, expanding its services to a wider customer base, and growing jobs on Island.”

BCB CEO Hubert Esperon welcomed the news today, stating, “I look forward to the Permanent Capital team joining our banking family. I am excited about their vision and the opportunities they have planned for BCB, which will transform the island’s financial landscape as we build a better bank for Bermuda. BCB is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2019 and this represents a new chapter in its history, better yet, it’s future!”

Update 12.40pm: As there has been talk about banking for fintech, we asked if the new owners plan to offer banking for the fintech industry, and a spokesperson said, “The Bank is open to banking any industry as long as it meets all Bermuda regulatory requirements. To be clear, the bank will not be handling or banking cryptocurrencies.”

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Comments (26)

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  1. Awesome says:

    This is good for Bermuda! Finally a bank that will promote Bermudian outcomes and add energy to an otherwise draconian banking industry! Congratulations to all involved!

  2. gustav says:

    is this the new fintech bank ?

    • Awesome says:

      From what I can gather it is a BCB purchase and facelift that might take on Fintech if it is permitted by BMA. That’s why comments by the OBA trolls have got it all wrong and trying to soil the good names of investors and the PLP!

      Bermuda needs an injection of capital and a bank that will support our young people and others who want to own a piece of the rock. We are not getting that from the other Banks.

      • dawn DeRerd says:

        I don’t see any soiling of any names, I see relevant questions.

  3. Onion Juicer says:

    Permanent Capital Holdings was just incorporated a few days ago as a local company, with Mark Pettingill, Kenneth Grant Spurling, Michael Moniz, John Tartaglia, Logan Sugarman and Lewis Katz as the applicants to form the company (which usually means that they are the ultimate owners).

    John Tartaglia, of MM&I Holdings, said: “MM&I has never had a contract with Government or any other company or organisation in relation to gaming.

    “Tourism Minister Jamahl Simmons issued another statement tonight, reiterating that the Progressive Labour Party (PLP) government “has not conceived, considered or given any assurances public or private that either the cashless gaming system or that operator will have a presence in our casino gaming industry”.

    He further stated that the PLP government “has not entered into any arrangements with Banyan Gaming or MM&I”.

    • What says:

      So what? Old news made up by the OBA to try and keep Bermudians out of the gaming business and MM&I stated that they have withdrawn their application. This has nothing to do with MM&I anyway so stay on topic. Great for Bermuda! It’s about time that we had a Bank that is focused on growth and not maintaining the status quo! All speed ahead!

      • Goaltender Interference says:

        Aren’t you curious as to why someone who appeared to be trying to get into cashless gaming in Bermuda only a few months ago is now part of a group buying a small, local bank?

        • Double S says:

          No. Political allegiance above else is these guys’ MO.

  4. Let’s do it says:

    This is very good for Bermuda as it will give us Bermudians who need capital to grow our personal and professional lives an injection in the arm. However based on the negative comments around, I think we have to step back and take the lead from Michael Dunkley’s own words “We need to stop dividing people for personal or political gain as it creates scars that cannot be healed easily. We can and must debate issues in a mature fashion for progress…without such there will be a lack of substantive progress.”

    Let’s get on with supporting this new ownership and nurture then to help make a difference to our economy and our lives!

    • question says:

      “This is very good for Bermuda as it will give us Bermudians who need capital to grow our personal and professional lives an injection in the arm”

      They have sure suckered you in haven’t they.

      • What says:

        Who is they and how have we been suckered into anything? All I see is a serious capital injection that can only help Bermuda! OBA trolls are just upset because their Government could not get us less than elite Bermudians opportunities to grow! 25 – 11 and its our turn to get capital to finance our businesses and personal goals!

        • question says:

          The bank has new ownership.

          How exactly does that mean that “it will give us Bermudians who need capital to grow our personal and professional lives an injection in the arm”?
          Do you think the new owners have charitable intentions? Or that they will start giving loans interest-free? Or that they won’t require loans to be repaid?
          What exactly are they going to be doing to “give us all capital to grow our personal lives”?
          Why does “25-11″ have anything to do with it? You throw the phrase around like it means something. It doesn’t. You say 25-11 as an act of aggression and arrogance. It’s childish.
          You’re suckers.

          • Awww says:

            Aww go throw your rattle out of your pram!

            25 – 11 simply means the PLP has the power to get this done without interference and scare mongering of the OBA and it’s elitists who don’t want new bank ownership and certainly not Bermudian ownership.

            40 Thieves ring a bell? No more!

            • Family Man says:

              Yes, 25-11 means they can get this done without having to have any secret meetings in New York.

            • Ringmaster says:

              It used to be 40, now it’s down to about 10.

            • aceboy says:

              The moment anything is questioned you lot go off on a rant about 25-10. You refuse to see any problems and basically attack the person you feel has “disrespected “ you by asking questions. Then your comments about 25-10 allowing the PLP to do whatever they want without interference goes totally contrary to the “good governance “ and “transparency “ that was promised to the people of this island.

              • Wrong says:

                It’s 25 – 11 dummy

                • aceboy says:

                  Nobody cares. Don’t you get it? Nobody really cares who is in power, we just want to see good governance and transparency. The stuff the PLP promised over and over again.

                  We aren’t getting it.

  5. DeOnion says:

    so presumably this bank will take gaming proceeds? will it take crypto proceeds as well?

    • truthertz says:

      “To be clear, the bank will not be handling or banking cryptocurrencies.”

      • DeOnion says:

        Thanks – my comment was posted before that update. Guess it’s all gaming then ….

        • Wrong says:

          Gaming is no different than stocks and bonds or loans to individuals. There is always an element of risk and reward. Happy for a new bank to undertake risk to help move Bermuda forward. The other elitist Banks chose not to support our Premier and are now shaking their little rattles.

          • Ringmaster says:

            Why should a new bank care about you? You make no money for them, it’s like a PLP MP walking down Court Street. Do you see them after an election? Of course not, too busy sucking up to the rich at Mid Ocean Club, or at Davos with their entourage.

            • Dumb says:

              And the OBA does not suck off the rich at Mid Ocean? Really?

          • aceboy says:

            Wrong. Gaming is a mostly cash business that needs to be highly regulated due to the potential for money laundering. It is not the same as trading equities or making loans. At all. Thus the raising of eyebrows on the people involved who are now buying a bank, and those helping it get off the ground locally, after being told to “pound sand” by the other local banks when they wanted to establish accounts previously.

    • sage says:

      Isn’t the idea of cryptocurrencies to cut out central banking as middlemen?