RBC closes branches; Scotiabank providing financial relief

Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) is closing its Bay Street and Mackey Street locations beginning tomorrow due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) threat, while branch hours and the days of operations of its remaining branches will also change.

“To protect the health and wellbeing of employees, clients, and communities, RBC is encouraging clients to limit in-branch interactions by performing day-to-day banking transactions through RBC’s online platform, mobile app or ATM network,” RBC noted in a statement.

“Clients can also call RBC’s Client Advice Centre locations across the region for assistance from an RBC representative.

“RBC is also adjusting the hours and days of business in most other branches across the Caribbean to better promote social distancing, while still remaining available for clients’ immediate banking needs. Updated service hours are being posted directly in branches and will be reflected online through the Caribbean branch locator tool. Additionally, effective Saturday, March 28, RBC is temporarily suspending Saturday banking hours in all branches in all jurisdictions, which offer that service.”

According to the statement, RBC employees from the closed branches will be redistributed to other branches, “supporting clients over the phone from other locations, fulfilling back office functions, or working on other projects”.

RBC Head of Caribbean Banking Rob Johnston said changes are happening rapidly due to developments related to COVID-19.

“We are making these tough but necessary decisions to not only protect clients and employees, but to also do our part to help ‘flatten the curve’ and reduce the spread of this coronavirus,” Johnston said.

“The health and safety of everyone who enters our branches is our top priority. At RBC, we are continuing to promote social distancing measures. We are vigorously cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing our locations daily and we are encouraging employees who are able to work from home to do so for the time being.”

Scotiabank revealed in a press statement, yesterday, its financial relief offerings for customers.

The bank stated it will defer loan payments for up to three months.

“Customers wishing to opt out of the program can continue to pay their loans as they always have,” the statement revealed.

Scotiabank stated it will also offer debt consolidation and fixed payment plans on all mortgages, loans, lines of credit and credit cards, up to June 2020.

For small business, corporate and commercial customers, the bank will offer temporary principal payment relief on term loans of up to six months; increased working capital lines of credit; and no loan fees for additional working capital for businesses impacted by COVID-19.

Scotiabank (Bahamas) Limited Managing Director Roger Archer said the company is focused on providing relief to help customers through this difficult time.

“Our focus is to provide relief and help them manage through the financial stress caused by COVID-19,” said Archer.

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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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