Scotiabank announces changes to branch network, closure of two branches

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Scotiabank announces changes to branch network, closure of two branches

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Scotiabank says it will be making several changes to its branch network including the closing of its Black River and Old Harbour branches.

According to the bank, the changes will better align its organisational structure with current revenues as well as the shift in customer preferences.

The bank said the changes were made following a review of its branch and service delivery network. The operations of the two branches will be consolidated into its Santa Cruz and May Pen branches respectively.

The Black River branch is slated for closure in February 2021 and the Old Harbour location in April of that same year.

In addition, the bank said another six branches will be converted to the bank's digital operating model by January 2021. These include Christiana, Falmouth, Portmore, Port Antonio, Port Maria and St Ann's Bay.

David Noel, president and CEO of Scotia Group Jamaica said, “We will be making several organisational changes including the difficult decision to close two of our branches. These changes are necessary for the long-term success of the organisation. We have begun the consultation process with the Bustamante Industrial Trade Union (BITU), which represents a number of impacted employees. In order to preserve employment, wherever possible, we will seek to find alternative roles for affected staff.”

The bank indicated that the changes are in line with the significant shifts in customer behaviour over the past few years which have accelerated since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It said branch traffic in some locations have been reduced by as much as 50 per cent as customers continue to utilise digital banking platforms. As at September 2020, branch transactions represented less than six per cent of total transactions while online and mobile transactions accounted for over 30 per cent, with ABM and point of sale transactions account for the remaining 64 per cent, it said.

Explaining the move to add more digital branches, Noel added that, “Our digital banking model has been working very well. Customers still have the option to use our ABMs for their cash needs and our branch staff have more capacity to assist customers needing more complex banking services. Digital branches also have dedicated staff to assist interested customers to learn how to use our ABMs and digital banking channels. All branches already have wi-fi and we have also begun the rollout of tablets to help facilitate customers. This is increasingly important as we try to maintain a high level of service and manage branch traffic amidst the current physical distancing protocols.”

The bank said it would be contacting affected customers and stakeholders in the coming months to ensure the transition is as seamless as possible.

Following the closures, the bank will still have 29 branches across the island as well as 277 ABMs.

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