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CIBC Says It Aims to Return Caribbean Unit to Historical Profit

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Sept. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, the country’s fifth-biggest bank, aims to revive profit from Caribbean banking after being “hit hard” from recessions in the U.S. and U.K., said executive Richard Nesbitt, who oversees the business.

CIBC aims to return its Caribbean banking business, called FirstCaribbean International Bank, “to historical levels of profitability,” Nesbitt said today in a bank conference in New York hosted by Barclays Plc. “The recession and the follow-up to the recession has hurt the Caribbean quite a bit and we think there’s significant growth in profitability as that business returns to normal.”

Caribbean banking will improve when tourism from the U.S. picks up, Nesbitt said.

Nesbitt, a senior executive vice president and group head for international and wholesale banking, also said CIBC will continue pursuing smaller takeovers to expand in areas including wealth management. The bank has no plans to add a U.S. retail bank, or pursue major acquisitions for its investment-banking unit, said Nesbitt, who also oversees CIBC World Markets.

“You should not expect any sort of transformative acquisition at CIBC,” Nesbitt said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Doug Alexander in Toronto at dalexander3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: David Scheer at dscheer@bloomberg.net; David Scanlan at dscanlan@bloomberg.net

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