PHILIPSBURG–Maduro and Curiel’s Bank (MCB) celebrated its 100th anniversary in St. Maarten on Thursday evening by treating a cross-section of guests to a carpeted welcome ceremony at Port St. Maarten featuring musical and dancing entertainment, a digital stroll down memory lane, a champagne toast and fireworks.
Curaçao-based MCB is the parent company of Windward Islands Bank (WIB) in St. Maarten.
During the celebrations, which a brief downpour failed to dampen, the company made two donations of NAf. 10,000 each to Positive Foundation and St. Maarten Senior Citizens Recreational Foundation.
MCB President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Lionel “Chicu” Capriles told the audience the key ingredients for the bank’s survival over the past 100 years were its commitment to staff and customers; being the partner in progress for its clients; the various visionaries who had led the institution over the years and its integrity and trustworthiness.
He said the institution’s slogan “Your Partner in Progress” was not “a cheap marketing slogan,” but something the bank strives to achieve for its clients. He thanked staffers, the institution’s regulators, Government, shareholders, board members, the community and clients for keeping the institution in business over the past 100 years and said MCB’s intention was to be around for at least 100 more.
In remarks at the ceremony Governor Eugene Holiday described the bank’s anniversary as “a major accomplishment,” saying it showed involvement in, understanding of and commitment to the people of the Dutch Caribbean islands.
Holiday said historic milestones held within them the accomplishments of the past and a promise for the future.
“Viewed from a public policy perspective, this historic MCB milestone must therefore be considered against the background of the critical role which it and the financial system as a whole have and are expected to play in the development of our economy. It is, in our time of rapid change where nothing is built to last, remarkable to reflect that the pioneering work of the bank’s founding fathers still stands today, 100 years later,” he said.
Established in 1916 as Maduro’s Bank in Curaçao and merged in 1931 with Curiel’s Bank, Maduro and Curiel’s Bank has left an enduring footprint on the islands and people of the Dutch Caribbean, Holiday noted. “Our economies and financial systems have evolved and transformed during the past 100 years. They have, in broad lines, developed into modern economies through recurrent ups and downs,” he said.
MCB, he added, has evolved and transformed from a Curaçao bank into a Dutch Caribbean and internationally-oriented financial institution, forging partnerships throughout the Dutch Caribbean as of the 1960s and with its affiliate, the Bank of Nova Scotia, in 1970.
“It has, as such, amidst the economic ups and downs, using its innovative spirit, community involvement and prudent approach, proven to be a steadfast partner for individuals, businesses and government – this by providing the liquidity and credit necessary to propel or sustain our economies during favourable or unfavourable conditions,” he said.
From a local perspective, he said, MCB solidified its activities in St. Maarten in 1960 when it partnered with Cyrus Wathey to establish WIB. Today WIB is “one of the largest employers” of the island, offering quality employment opportunities, Holiday noted.
“Over the years, WIB as a member of the MCB group has, in addition to the creation of quality jobs, managed savings, financed homes and businesses, and invested in the island, and in doing so evolved into a cornerstone of St. Maarten’s tourism and socio-economic development.
“Placing this 100th anniversary celebration in a broader public policy perspective, it is essential to note that the financial system is widely considered to be the heart in the functioning of any economy. This because most, if not all, of us depend on financial institutions for handling our savings, for making payments and for making investments.
“The financial system with the MCB – as its oldest and largest member institution – as such, carries a significant public responsibility, a responsibility to continue to work with individuals, businesses and Government. That is to secure our collective achievements, build on our strengths and create new opportunities for growth,” he said.
He expressed hope that MCB and WIB would live up to the responsibility and promise of MCB’s centennial celebration. “That is that it will employ its pioneering and innovative spirit to help write the next chapter in St. Maarten’s economic development, that by leveraging the wealth of knowledge it has of our economy to help deploy the technological advances and innovations required for a balanced and sustainable 21st-century economic growth,” he said.
He wished MCB and WIB many more years of health and strength, in partnership with the communities of St. Maarten and the islands of the Dutch Caribbean.
Source: Daily Herald
MCB marks 100th anniversary in style