RBC Royal Bank is closing two more branches, one on New Providence and its Governor’s Harbour, Eleuthera branch, as the company continues to adjust its business to remain competitive and profitable, the bank’s Managing Director LaSonya Missick told Guardian Business yesterday.
Missick said the bank has decided to consolidate its Governor’s Harbour branch with its Harbour Island location by the end of next month and will close its Mackey Street branch by the end of June and move those operations to its Palmdale branch.
While Missick did not say what the fate of those branches’ employees will be, she explained that RBC will help them determine their next steps.
“We decided to consolidate these branches following an evaluation of the changing needs and behavior of our clients in the communities they serve,” said Missick.
“RBC is adjusting its bank footprint to ensure our business remains competitive, profitable and sustainable now and in the future.
“As always, we will work with each employee to help determine what the best path forward might be, while recognizing that this type of change can be difficult.”
While there has been much ire about banks pulling operations out of Family Islands, Missick said it does have a solution for clients who depend on the Governor’s Harbour location for their banking needs, though she did not give many specifics about that alternative plan.
“Through a unique banking partnership, we seek to provide our clients within the Governor’s Harbour community with solutions to conduct their banking activities,” she said.
According to Missick, the Mackey Street location has been closed since March 2020 due to the pandemic.
She added that despite these closures, the bank remains “fully committed to our islands” and announced that the fully renovated Freeport branch and state-of-the-art location in Marsh Harbour, Abaco will open soon.
“Both branches received extensive damage during the passage of Hurricane Dorian,” she said.
RBC announced last week that it has divested itself of its Eastern Caribbean banking operations, having gotten clearance by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank to move ahead with the sale.
The sale of those operations in Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines closed last Thursday.
“This sale has RBC selling its Eastern Caribbean banking operations to a consortium of regional banks comprised of 1st National Bank of St. Lucia, Antigua Commercial Bank, Bank of Dominica, Bank of Montserrat, and The Bank of Nevis,” the RBC revealed in a statement last week.
RBC’s Head of Caribbean Banking Rob Johnston said in the statement that the sale of this portfolio of business will allow the company to streamline its investments and resources in other jurisdictions in the Caribbean.
According to RBC, its regional presence now comprises 3,000 employees across 41 branches and offices in Aruba, The Bahamas, Barbados, Bonaire, the Cayman Islands, Curaçao, Saba, Sint Maarten, Trinidad and Tobago and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
RBC executives have time and again expressed that they remain committed to continuing banking services in The Bahamas, while more and more, Canadian banks are lessening their footprint in the Caribbean.
Both Scotiabank and RBC have shrunk their operations in The Bahamas over time, especially their operations in the Family Islands.