CIBC FirstCaribbean gives $4m to boost COVID-19 testing

CIBC FirstCaribbean has provided a $4-million boost for COVID-19 testing in Jamaica.

Nigel Holness, managing director of the bank, presented the $4-million cheque to Minister of Health and Wellness Dr Christopher Tufton at the ministry’s Kingston offices yesterday.

The money will be handed over to the National Health Fund (NHF), the agency appointed by the Ministry of Health and Wellness for procuring medical supplies on behalf of the Government.

The bank — through its charitable arm, the FirstCaribbean International ComTrust Foundation — has donated a total of US$250,000 toward the purchase of testing kits in the 16 regional countries it operates.

“CIBC FirstCaribbean is committed to supporting the ministry’s efforts at combating COVID-19 in Jamaica. We note that in some countries the closing of borders, testing and isolation protocols resulted in significant containment of the spread of the virus and we want to do our part to ensure the availability of testing equipment and supplies to support the work of our courageous medical teams on the front line,” Holness said.

“This donation is welcome support as we scale up testing mechanisms to achieve more reach. We’re operating on the principle of ‘all hands on deck and everyone counts’. In making this donation, CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank is telecasting to everybody that we must all play our role [and we] thank you,” said Minister Tufton.

The donation by the bank follows its recent announcements of a suite of relief assistance to eligible clients, including:

* A six-month payment moratorium on existing loans and mortgages;

* temporary revolving or working capital financing options for corporate banking and business banking clients;

* a special waiver of late payment fees and default interest to all eligible retail, business, banking, corporate investment banking and wealth management clients for the six-month moratorium period for existing loans and mortgages.

Credit card holders automatically benefit from a payment waiver for three months, based on their current account standing.

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