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Saturday, July 13, 2024


Feb. 28, 2002 – FirstBank Puerto Rico has reached an agreement with JPMorganChase to purchase Chase's U.S. and British Virgin Islands operations.
The sale includes eight branch banks and 14 ATM locations on four islands: St. Thomas, St. Croix, St. John and Tortola.
FirstBank has also agreed to purchase the ancillary Chase agencies, which include Chase Agency Services Inc., an insurance service, and Chase Trade, a foreign sales corporation management service.
The deal comes a few months after lengthy negotiations between V.I. Community Bank and Chase broke down, ending up with the two entities suing each other.
VICB, owned by businessman Jeffrey Prosser, had announced in June of 1999 its intention to buy Chase, but more than two and a half years later the whole thing fell apart, after several deadlines had come and gone.
The matter of the lawsuits, according to JPMorganChase Vice President Catherine Keary, "has been amicably resolved."
Keary wouldn't reveal the details of the settlement between Chase and VICB; nor would she say what the sale price was for the acquisition by FirstBank.
In 1999 FirstBank bought the Citibank branch at Port of $ale Mall on St. Thomas and in early 2000 it acquired First Virgin Islands Bank, located in the GERS Building in downtown Charlotte Amalie.
A joint release from Chase and First BanCorp, FirstBank's parent company, said, "This proposed acquisition continues FirstBank's diversification and expansion strategy."
Chase's V.I. general manager and vice president, Cassan Pancham, said he is "happy and excited" about the acquisition and said he will be staying on to manage the combined operations.
"An important element of this transaction," he said, "will be a smooth transition for our customers and employees."
Chase employs more than 280 people and has assets related to the transaction in excess of $500 million.
First BanCorp is an $8.2 billion financial holding company. As its subsidiary, FirstBank operates 92 financial service facilities throughout Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and the U.S. mainland.

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