Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, has emphasised that Jamaicans should embrace digital technology and commerce, and that there is commitment to financial inclusion for all Jamaicans.
“All banks and the Government have committed to financial inclusion, meaning that all Jamaicans must be able to access and participate in the formal banking system. They must be able to access banking services and banking products, but on the other hand, there is the efficiency as to how these products and services are delivered,” he said.
The Prime Minister was speaking at the reopening of the renovated Scotiabank Centre at the Corner of Duke and Port Royal Streets in downtown Kingston, on Thursday (December 10).
The ground floor of the bank now has seven new Intelligent Deposit Machines/Automated Teller Machines, drop boxes for cash deposits, a newly installed online customer service system, social zone with iPads for customer use and artefacts from the 131 years of the life of the bank, including a 100-year-old vault.
Mr. Holness congratulated the financial institution on the milestone achievement and the reinvestment.
“The newly renovated Scotiabank Centre brings modern state-of-the-art customer and employee conveniences to downtown Kingston, and fits perfectly with the Government’s plan for the greater development of downtown Kingston,” the Prime Minister said.
“The reopening of your flagship branch at the Scotiabank Centre is a forward-thinking, progressive move. The approach taken in reimaging, so that the redesign blends traditional and digital banking service, is groundbreaking. The vision to overhaul the traditional transactional nature of banking halls and to transform them into hubs of financial empowerment for customers will promote financial inclusion, which is a necessary measure for Jamaica to increase productivity and efficiency and ensure that Jamaica recovers stronger and better than before,” he added.
For his part, President and Chief Executive Officer, Scotia Group Jamaica, David Noel, said the reopened bank could be considered the branch of the future.
“When we conceptualised this branch a few years ago, we knew that we were pushing the envelope, but we wanted to create a new banking environment that was not just about the real estate, but more about how Jamaicans would access financial services, how Jamaicans will interact with their financial institution, and how Jamaicans would bank,” Mr. Noel said.
“And so this $500-million investment in our branch on the ground floor, coupled with a $1-billion investment in the other floors, because we are completely renovating this building, represents a $1.5-billion [investment], not only in downtown Kingston but the future of Jamaica,” he added.
Mr. Noel emphasised that the renovated branch is more than just about “a nice shiny new space”.
“It’s about the future of Jamaica and a future of how we can really grow our economy by creating a more inclusive financial sector,” he said.