Scotiabank announced earlier this week in a press release that it consolidate branch operations in a number of islands across The Bahamas as part of a restructuring exercise.
Among the islands affected are Abaco, Andros, Long Island, Paradise Island, and Exuma.
“While we have made the difficult decision to consolidate a number of our retail operations, these changes are necessary for our long-term viability and success as a business.”— Roger Archer, managing director, Scotiabank Bahamas
The exercise, Scotiabank says, comes after a review of its service delivery network and aims to “realign its organisational structure with current revenues, as well as the significant shift in customer preferences”.
“While we have made the difficult decision to consolidate a number of our retail operations, these changes are necessary for our long-term viability and success as a business. We will make every effort during this process, to minimise customer impact, and preserve the employment of affected staff through redeployment, where possible,” Roger Archer, managing director of Scotiabank Bahamas, commented.
In providing a reason for the scale down in branches, the bank said it has observed a decrease in branch traffic in certain locations by as much as 50 per cent as more customers opt for digital banking.
As a result of the consolidation, which will last over a four-month period, Scotiabank will transfer impacted customer accounts to branches on New Providence island.
Scotiabank also plans to ramp up its investments in digital banking technologies so as to provide customers more convenient and robust alternate banking channels, including ScotiaOnLine, mobile banking, automated business (teller) machines, and TeleScotia.
“These help customers to bank safely and securely, 24/7; significantly reducing the need to visit a branch,” Scotiabank added.
Over the coming months, the financial institution will contact affected customers and stakeholders to ensure a seamless transition period. Further Scotiabank informed that it will offer customer assistance to address both general and service-related banking requests, as well as those relating to digital banking.
Following the closures, Scotiabank will continue to operate nine branches across the archipelago, as well as over 70 ABMs — though it intends to increase the number in the coming months.