Norlann Gabriel, country manager of First Citizens Investment Services Ltd. in SVG. (IWN Photo)

First Citizen Investment Services has launched a retirement plan, which it has describes as “a superior retirement product designed for individuals with monthly fixed and variable income seeking a medium to save for retirement and simultaneously benefit from investing in higher yielding financial instruments.”

“What we are trying to do is offer to individuals the tools to ensure that they are adequately planning for their future,” Norlann Gabriel, country manager of First Citizens Investment Services Ltd., said at the launch in Kingstown on Tuesday.

The plan has a minimum start-up of EC$100 monthly, and persons must contribute for at least 10 years.

At maturity, there are several payment options, including a one-time lump sum or a partial encashment with annuity.

Gabriel said that while the plan has no management fees or administrative charges, holders can receive annual tax deductions.

“So, it is feeless investment plan trying to assist you with saving for retirement…

“The rates of return are highly competitive,” she said, adding, “… we do guarantee that your rates are always going to be 2 per cent above the savings rates.”

She further said the plan can be used as collateral for a loan.

Gabriel acknowledged that persons in the region are “understandably” investment shy after the developments in the insurance sector over the past few year.

She however noted that her firm is a securities rather than an insurance company.

“We are part of First Citizens Bank … the highest rates indigenous bank in the English-speaking Caribbean with investment grade with Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s, which doesn’t mean that they grade us now and they move on.

“It means we are under constant scrutiny — our revenue, where our costs are going… That is constantly being scrutinised and our rating are adjusted accordingly,” she said.

2 replies on “First Citizen Investment Services launches retirement plan”

  1. She needs to explain to consumers, why they should invest in any company in the Caribbean, after what happened in the insurance sector. Many retirees and returning nationals lost their pants by investing in companies they thought were reliable. Can she explain why this venture is not a Ponzi scheme? What assurance consumers have in getting their money, or even part of it back, in case of bankruptcy? Last but not least, who is responsible for guaranteeing consumers’ investments are protected?

  2. C. ben-David says:

    Good point, pvpalmer, but there is nothing in the press release indicating that investment will concentrated in, let alone limited to, the Caribbean, a region notorious for economic ups-and-downs rooted in political mismanagement and the vagaries of the hospitality industry. I’m sure that most of what customers put in will be invested in extra-Caribbean securities.

    Still, given the fact that it is possible for Caribbean nationals to avoid companies like First Citizen Investment Services and place their holdings in well established overseas entities, potential clients should proceed with extreme caution. (Remember all the off-shore banks that failed.)

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