History

Since its creation through the acquisition of an established Canadian bank in 1988, Bank of The Bahamas has grown from $90 million in assets to nearly $822 million as of June 30, 2020; from three locations to 12, from serving two islands to a presence on eight, from providing the most basic of retail banking services to the most comprehensive of financial products. In just over a decade, total equity has mushroomed from $19 million in 2000 to $154 million by 2020.

Bank of The Bahamas Limited was incorporated in The Commonwealth of The Bahamas on April 17, 1970 as Bank of Montreal (Bahamas & Caribbean) Limited. In 1983, its name was changed to Bank of Montreal Bahamas Limited. Five years later in September 1988, the Government of The Bahamas created a joint venture with Euro Canadian Bank Limited and purchased 100% of the shares of Bank of Montreal Bahamas Limited, and renamed it Bank of The Bahamas Limited with a 51% controlling interest.

During the second half of 1990, the Government purchased all of the shares held by Euro Canadian Bank Limited and issued an additional 7,000,000 shares, bringing the total number of shares issued to 10,000,000. During September 1994 the Government sold 20% of its Shareholding or 2,000,000 shares to the Bahamian public. In October 1995 the Government offered a further 3,000,000 shares of the Bank to the Bahamian public. Both offerings were substantially oversubscribed.

In 2005, the Bank had an oversubscribed rights offering of $25 million and a subsequent $15 million private placement preference share offering in 2006. Later branded as BOB, the Bank of Solutions, Bank of The Bahamas became synonymous with creating firsts in local retail banking: the first to introduce VISA gift and prepaid cards, the first local bank with comprehensive online banking and the first to offer e-mail and text alerts to notify customers of deposits, withdrawals, loan payment or other activity on their accounts. Its ATMS became the first 24/7 banking facilities in The Bahamas to offer a number of features including instructions in Braille and non-envelope deposit capability with immediate value for cash deposits.

Though relatively young, Bank of The Bahamas grew through acquisitions including the assets of Workers Bank Limited (2001) and the mortgage portfolio of Citibank (2007). In September 2016, the Bank’s $40,000,000 Rights Offering was fully subscribed and in December of the same year the Bank offered a private placement of $30,000,000 at 3.125% Fixed Rate Perpetual Contingent Convertible Bonds (“CoCo”) to accredited investors only. This private placement was offered in three tranches of $10,000,000 each. The first tranche was subscribed by and issued to the Government as at December 31, 2016. The offering closed on February 28, 2017 and effective June 30, 2017, the bond was converted to 6,756,756 voting common shares. As at June 30, 2020, the Bank’s total assets stood at $821,954,216 and total equity was $154,098,078.

Key Milestones

1970 - The Bank was incorporated in The Commonwealth of The Bahamas on April 17 as Bank of Montreal (Bahamas & Caribbean) Limited.

1983 - Its name was changed to Bank of Montreal Bahamas Limited.

1988 - The Government of The Bahamas created a joint venture with Euro Canadian Bank Limited, purchasing 51% of the shares.

1990- The Government purchased all of the shares held by Euro Canadian Bank Limited and issued an additional 7,000,000 shares, bringing the total number of shares issued to 10,000,000.

1994 - The Government sold 20% of its shareholding or 2,000,000 shares to the Bahamian public.

1995 - The Government offered a further 3,000,000 shares of the Bank to the Bahamian public. Both offerings were substantially oversubscribed.

2000 – The Bank launched a wholly-owned subsidiary, Bank of The Bahamas Trust Limited, becoming the first financial services center to offer Trust services for Bahamians.

2002 - The trading name Bank of The Bahamas International was introduced to reflect the expanding direction of the institution.

2003 - The Bank acquired the assets of Workers Bank Limited, increasing its branches in New Providence to four. The Bank also acquired Citibank N.A. Bahamas' mortgage portfolio of $22,459,682 at a cost of $20,995,859. The closing of the contract, which included full payment to the seller, occurred on July 1, 2003.

2005 - The Bank continued to experience extraordinary success as it was able to announce an oversubscribed rights offering of $25 million. The Bank also hosted an Incredible Dream Mortgage Fair, the first of its kind in the nation. The fair was a success, resulting in a doubling of the Bank’s loan portfolio.

2006 - A subsequent $15 million private placement preference share offering was held. Authorized Capital of the Bank was at 150,000,000 Shares of B$1 par value. The Bank embarked on a multimillion technology investment to overhaul the back end of data entry and storage and enable Bank of The Bahamas to provide the best possible business solutions with ongoing analysis.

2007 - Bank of The Bahamas became the first Bahamian bank with a financial services centre in Florida where Bahamians who do business there every day are able to do so with greater efficiency and ease. That same year, closer to home, BOB acquired the mortgage portfolio of Citibank as it shed its domestic book of business.

2008 to 2011 - BOB grew its Private Banking and Trust services division, assisting clients with personalized banking to free up their most valuable asset, time.

2009 - A $20 million preference share offering further increased capital to support expansion.

2012 - Work was completed on the new Carmichael Road branch which was opened in December.  

2013 - The Bank was able to bolster to its capital to 22.89% in compliance with Central Bank and Basel III requirements. BOB also became the first bank in the country to offer non-envelope ATM transactions.  

2014 -  BOB launched its eNotifier electronic application becoming the first local bank to provide text and email alerts for customer generated account transactions

2014 - The Bank collaborated with The Ministry of Social Services to design a Prepaid card for 5000 beneficiaries of its Prepaid Social Services Programme.

2015 - The Bank continued its focus on innovation and launched BOB Mobile Express, a cutting edge Merchant Services Application that allowed customers to use their smartphones to accept and process credit card transactions.

2016 - In September 2016 the Bank’s $40,000,000 Rights Offering was fully subscribed and in December of the same year the Bank offered a private placement of $30,000,000 at 3.125% Fixed Rate Perpetual Contingent Convertible Bonds (“CoCo”) to accredited investors only.

2016 -  BOB introduced the Restricted Registry Prepaid Card for use on The Registrar General Department’s e-portal

2017 -  The Fixed Rate Perpetual Contingent Bonds were converted to 6,756,756 voting common shares.

2018 -  The Bank Developed a new three-year Strategic Plan comprising three phases with the following objectives: 1. Strengthening the Foundation, 2. Accelerated Growth; and 3 Achieve Market Leadership

2019- The Bank invested in a new core banking system and commenced an ATM Expansion Programme to replace old machines with new BOB Express models and increase the number of ATM locations in Nassau, Grand Bahama and selected Family Islands.