Message from the Executive Chairman

In choosing the theme for the 2014 Annual Report, we at Commonwealth Bank selected New Horizons because it describes our commitment to a balance between changing to meet the future while retaining the solid footing, values and dependable way of doing business that has proved a formula for success since the birth of the modern Commonwealth Bank in 1984.
William B. Sands, Jr.
Executive Chairman, Commonwealth Bank

We recognize that innovation and change are concepts that invite both excitement and apprehension. The need to move forward is compelling as changes in the environment in which we operate are greater now than ever before in Commonwealth Bank’s history. We eagerly anticipate the opening of Baha Mar, a $3.5 billion resort project that promises up to 3,000 jobs and vast new opportunities. At the same time, we face increased licensing fees, higher taxation and the implementation of Value Added Tax, which are likely to impact personal spending habits and investment in unknown ways.

Given uncertain outcomes we must be flexible, reinventing ourselves when need be in order to continue providing superior customer service as we reach out to uncharted horizons.

We know change is inevitable and nothing is truer than the statement that “those who stand still while others move forward lose ground.” Yet the desire to hold on to the familiar can be so strong that we all instinctively nod when we hear “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Thus, in aiming for the ideal balance between tradition and change we do so with you, our shareholders, foremost in our mind.

We will pursue the areas and means of banking that show promise without risking security. We know that where online banking once drew furrowed brows, it is now so widely accepted and appreciated that there is no turning back and our customers will continue to expect more features and avenues of paying bills and doing business online. We are working to introduce and expand these services and products. We introduced SunCard MasterCard in 2014 and in 2015 will continue to improve our card product offerings. Our in-branch service will continue to improve; our online service will continue to offer banking anytime, anywhere with our Saturday Banking and ABM network we will continue to be the most secure and convenient bank in the nation to serve you.

What we will not change is what has made us the largest and most successful publicly-held Bahamian company with more than 6,000 shareholders, 500 employees and $1.5 billion in assets. That is our belief in providing premier personal service as the financial partner of the working Bahamian. We will move faster in service and remain steadfast and risk-averse in prudent lending. We will employ digital technology while constantly developing skills to enhance the personal touch in customer service. We will maintain our support for community efforts that make a difference while our volunteers and team members make differences in their own communities.

We will search for new horizons while keeping our feet firmly planted in what makes Commonwealth Bank your personal banking choice and the investment you treasure.