First chartered in 1948, FirstBank was the first Savings & Loan institution established in Puerto Rico with a capital of $200,000.
Since its inception the bank played a fundamental role in improving the quality of life in Puerto Rico, by helping thousands of citizens to acquire their first home, thus enhancing their social and economic status.
It converted to a commercial bank charter and changed its name to First Federal Savings Bank in 1983. In 1987, First Federal became a stockholder-owned savings bank and went public, trading on Nasdaq. A few years later, in 1993, it was listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol FBP and, in 1994, the name changes to FirstBank Puerto Rico. In 1998, the Bank reorganized into a holding company under the name of First BanCorp.
Thanks to the visionary leadership of its management team, the institution experienced an impressive growth and transformation, becoming one of Puerto Rico's leading financial institutions with approximately 2,500 employees. It offers a full range of financial services to individual, commercial, and corporate customers through its more than a hundred and seventy financial facilities in Puerto Rico, the US mainland, and the US and British Virgin Islands.
First BanCorp. is the parent corporation of FirstBank Puerto Rico, a state-chartered commercial bank with operations in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Florida, and of FirstBank Insurance Agency. FirstBank Puerto Rico, in turn, has the following wholly-owned subsidiaries: FirstMortgage, a mortgage origination company; First Leasing & Rental Corp., a leasing company; FirstBank Puerto Rico Securities, a broker-dealer subsidiary; First Management of Puerto Rico; First Federal Finance Corp. (d/b/a Money Express La Financiera), a small loan company; and First Bank Overseas Corp., an international banking entity organized under the laws of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
In 2002, and after acquiring Chase Manhattan Bank, FirstBank became the largest bank in the Virgin Islands (USVI & BVI), serving St. Thomas, St. Croix, St. John, Tortola and Virgin Gorda, with 14 branches. In the US and British Virgin Islands, the Corporation operates FirstBank in addition to the subsidiary First Express, a finance company specializing in the origination of small loans. In 2008, FirstBank acquired the Virgin Island Community Bank in St. Croix, increasing its customer base and share in this market.
In the United States, FirstBank operates a full-line commercial bank under the brand name FirstBank Florida. In March 31, 2005, FirstBank acquired Ponce General Corporation and its subsidiaries FirstBank Florida, a federal savings and loan association, and Ponce Realty Corporation, a company with real estate holdings. FirstBank Florida has a network of 12 branch offices in Miami/Dade, Broward, Orange and Osceola counties in Florida and regional headquarters in Miami, Florida.
First BanCorp and its subsidiaries are subject to supervision, examination, and regulation of the Federal Reserve Board, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Office of the Commissioner of Financial Institutions of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. FirstBank Insurance Agency, Inc. is regulated by the Office of the Insurance Commissioner of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The Virgin Islands operations are supervised by the Virgin Islands Banking Board (for the USVI) and by the British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission (for the BVI).