Commercial banks want ATMs operational on Abaco in a matter of weeks

Commercial banks are working to have automated teller machines (ATMs) operational on Abaco in a matter of weeks, a press statement from the Clearing Banks Association of The Bahamas (CBA) revealed yesterday, adding that some digital banking services can be used in the meantime.

CBA President and Managing Director of Royal Bank of Canada Bahamas LaSonya Missick said in the statement that the commercial banks are united in their efforts to return banking services to Abaco as quickly as possible, in order to restart the economic processes on the island more than two months after Hurricane Dorian caused massive destruction.

“While we are competitors as individual banks, we are united in our efforts to restore services to our clients and our focus on supporting the rebuilding of communities across Abaco,” said Missick.

“We understand the need to restore what was lost as quickly as we can find feasible solutions.”

She added that the restoration of ATM services will simply be a first step to the return of normal banking services to the people of Abaco.

“In the coming weeks, member banks hope to have ATM options available for clients,” she said.

“Clients should contact their respective banks for information about the specific services they have available.

“One option for many clients is that banks offer a range of digital and mobile banking services. Personal banking and business banking clients who have access to internet services can make use of their banks’ digital services to manage most day-to-day banking transactions.

“We know clients will need services like wire transactions and payroll services and some will be seeking financing. The good news is, many of these services are available electronically or over the phone. Clients are not limited by not having a physical presence on the island.”

Commonwealth Bank is expected this week and will be the first bank to operate on Abaco since Hurricane Dorian.

The statement explained that banks’ branch locations in Marsh Harbour were heavily damaged by the hurricane, while some were completely destroyed.

“Given the extent of the damage, many banks cannot offer a firm timeline on when traditional branches expect to reopen,” the statement notes.

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Chester Robards

Chester Robards rejoined The Nassau Guardian in November 2017 as a senior business reporter. He has covered myriad topics and events for The Nassau Guardian. Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism

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