Holness endorses newly renovated flagship branch
Scotiabank has officially unveiled its $1.5 billion, newly redesigned and renovated flagship branch in downtown Kingston.
The bank also unveiled its new Premium and Corporate & Commercial Banking Centres – located on the second floor of its landmark headquarters in downtown Kingston. With all social distancing protocols observed, Scotiabank last week hosted a grand opening befitting of its investment in the new, ultra-modern banking facility and corporate headquarters.
A key feature of the new branch is an expanded ABM Zone with seven intelligent deposit machines where customers can make deposits, activate and PIN new cards, pay loans, transfer funds and even purchase US dollars in a safe, well-lit, self-contained area 24 hours per day. Another novel feature is the Social Zone outfitted with iPads to allow interested customers to conduct transactions and learn how to use digital banking.
Now celebrating 131 years of unbroken service to Jamaica, Scotiabank says the modern amenities will promote both collaboration and efficiency while at the same time it is expected to drive greater productivity and improve the bank’s ability to deliver quality service to customers.
Prime Minister’s endorsement
In his address at the opening ceremony, Prime Minister Andrew Holness congratulated the Scotia Group on the successful completion and reopening of the flagship branch which he hailed as a “forward thinking and progressive move”.
“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 – a necessary measure for Jamaica to improve productivity and efficiency,” Holness said.
According to the prime minister, “it is essential for Jamaicans to embrace digital technology and digital commerce and, in doing so, the first step is to own a bank account”.
Both the incoming and current CEO of the bank, were also in attendance and gave insight into the strategy that informed the new branch and corporate office design.
David Noel, who has served in the bank’s most senior leadership role since 2017, stated that “the significant investment in the branch headquarters is a key signal that the bank remains committed to Jamaica as one of the key markets in our global bank”.
Shift in work culture coming with physical transformation
Noel highlighted that the physical transformation of its office spaces is complemented by a new internal cultural shift for employees.
According to the Scotiabank president and CEO, “We also made significant investments in our head office facility, adopting an Activity Based Work philosophy which offers our staff the flexibility to choose work settings based on the nature of the work they are doing at any given time.”
Noel leaves the top position in Jamaica at the end of the month for an overseas assignment. Incoming President and CEO Audrey Tugwell Henry, in her capacity as executive vice president, retail banking, trumpeted the bank’s role in helping Jamaica transition to a more digital society.
“We are changing our processes across the entire Scotia Group to make things simpler and more convenient. Next year we will be launching several new features to our online platforms and introducing new products to the market,” Tugwell Henry said in her remarks. She stated that over the past few years, the banking landscape has changed significantly, noting that Scotiabank has been very focused on ensuring that it makes the right investments to allow the bank to meet its customers’ changing needs.
“We set ourselves the audacious goal of building a bank for the future and redefining what a branch should be,” Tugwell Henry added. She emphasised that under her new remit in 2021, the flagship branch will be a catalyst for further improvements across the bank’s network.
$1-million contribution to Salvation Army
A longstanding supporter of community-based initiatives, Scotiabank furthered its contribution by announcing a donation of $1 million to the Salvation Army Christmas Kettle Appeal to mark the special occasion.
“As 2020 comes to a close, I am very proud of what the Scotia Group has achieved. Our dedicated team of Scotiabankers continue to deliver every day for our customers. Our vision is to be the bank of choice for Jamaica and for all of the Americas,” Noel said in closing.
Scotiabank is a leading bank in the Americas. With a team of over 90,000 employees and assets of approximately $1.2 trillion (as at July 31, 2020), Scotiabank trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the New York Stock.