Business

Scotia merges King Street and Scotia Centre branches

BY BALFORD HENRY
Senior staff reporter
balfordh@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, April 26, 2019

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Effective Friday, May 17, Scotiabank will be merging operations at its King Street and Scotiabank Centre (Duke and Port Royal Streets) branches in downtown Kingston.

In an advisory to customers recently, the bank stated that the merger resulted from a recent review of the branches' operations, as that relates to ensuring it continues to offer “the best operating model” to serve customers.

“The combined operation will be temporarily situated at the King Street location, until renovations are completed at the Scotia Centre location. Once completed, the new Scotia Centre branch will be an interactive, state-of-the-art digital branch,” the bank informed customers.

In order to ensure a smooth transition, the bank said it would automatically assign customer's savings, chequing and/or commercial loan accounts to the Scotiabank Centre on May 17.

Customers who operate current accounts may continue to use their current cheques, as they will still be honoured. Customers can also order cheque leaves for new accounts from any branch; however, they cannot be used before May 17. There will be no account number change for any other product, including Scotiabank loans, mortgage, term deposits, credit card and ScotiaLine.

Customers who are lessees of safety deposit boxes are being asked to visit their branches immediately to access their contents. All other services/products will be automatically handled by the Scotia Centre team.

Scotiabank confirmed last November that it would close its branch on King Street in downtown Kingston, and consolidate its operations with the nearby Scotiabank Centre. The bank said that in the process the Scotia Centre branch will be redesigned and reorganised to meet the needs of the combined customer base.

The bank said then that it would be making significant investments to redesign the Scotia Centre branch, which will underscore its commitment to downtown Kingston and to Jamaica.

The bank also said that when the renovations are complete Scotia Centre will be one of the most cutting edge banks in the Caribbean, redesigned around a better customer experience.

It added that it is now focused on ensuring its customers are informed of these changes and supporting its employees through this transition, while staying true to its principles of treating employees fairly, equitably and with respect.

“It is our intention to redeploy staff across the Scotiabank network,” the bank said, suggesting that there would be no job losses from the closure of the oldest branch in Jamaica.

Scotia Group Jamaica President and CEO David Noel told the media last year that the closure of the King Street branch is in line with restructuring operations being undertaken to better serve customers and improve operational efficiency.

He said that customers have begun to show a growing preference for digital channels which offer cost-effective transactions.

“The [renovated Scotia Centre] will create other opportunities. We are confident that those employees at the King Street branch will be accommodated at the ScotiaCentre or multiple other branches across Kingston,” he said.

Noel also noted that the changes are intended to create a sustainable business.

Scotiabank has made several investments in technology to improve the customer experience. Among them are the introduction of intelligent, automated teller machines, with 15 more expected to be rolled out across the island ahead of Christmas.

“Banking is changing and we are excited about this. We are seeing a change in the way customers do business — 13 per cent of our customers doing business in branch, versus 21 per online; two years ago, that would have been the reverse,” he said.

Scotiabank maintains a network of 32 branches, 253 ATMs, online and mobile banking, and a 24-hour Customer Contact Centre in Jamaica.


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