ECONOMIC GROWTH? CIBC FIRSTCARIBBEAN CLOSING ITS FONTABELLE BRANCH

Customers of CIBC FirstCaribbean’s branch located at Fontabelle in St. Michael can remain confident that the bank intends to accommodate their banking needs when that branch closes later next month.

Staff to be redeployed to other branches and customers’ accounts migrated to nearby branches; ABM to remain in place until June - then decided where to re-locate...

Staff to be redeployed to other branches and customers’ accounts migrated to nearby branches; ABM to remain in place until June – then decided where to re-locate…

The bank announced the operations of its Fontabelle branch will be combined with its new super-branch at the Warrens Banking Centre, which was opened last December. However, CIBC FirstCaribbean’s Managing Director for Barbados, Donna Wellington, assured customers the bank has taken note that not all of its Retail (personal banking) customers will be able to travel to Warrens, so she is reminding them that they can visit the main branch at Broad Street or the remaining other six branches, whichever is more convenient, to do their banking. She also assured the bank’s 17 employees at Fontabelle that they will be absorbed into other branches.

The bank has also outlined a number of other alternatives for customers of Fontabelle. “A large number of the transactions at our Fontabelle branch are done over the counter, and can also be done at the ABM as an alternative, so we have made arrangements to leave an instant teller® (ABM) in the area. The current ABM will remain open until June 27th when we will put into service a machine at a location to be decided. We also note that quite a few of our Fontabelle customers make use of our excellent internet banking service, and that will continue.”

Ms. Wellington said there were some sound business reasons for the closure of the branch: “The security of our employees and customers at the Fontabelle branch has been a concern for us for some time, with two incidents over the past two years at the branch, and some attacks on customers making their way to the branch to do business.

Additionally, the closure of Fontabelle is a part of the overall restructuring of our operations to reduce the cost of doing business not only here, but across the region. Finally, Fontabelle has traditionally had a large commercial clientele and there has been an ongoing migration of business out of the Bridgetown area in recent years.”

She added: “A large number of our customers who visit the Fontabelle branch actually have their accounts domiciled at other branches across Barbados, so we are contacting them to start the process of making the transition to those branches. We recognize that the closure of the branch will be an inconvenience to some persons so this is why we have put several alternatives in place to ease the transition. We intend to make the process as easy as possible for our clients.”

The branch officially closes for business on 25th April 2014.

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