Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Audley Shaw, has congratulated Sagicor Bank Jamaica on its innovative roll-out of the Bank on Wheels initiative, which has been operating from Spalding in Clarendon since last month.
Speaking at the official launch ceremony at the Spalding Library on Friday (November 27), Shaw hailed the Bank for ‘thinking outside the box’ in seeking to respond to the needs of the community that has recently seen the withdrawal of at least one financial institution, which has transitioned to a digital branch.
“I want to say congratulations to Sagicor on this initiative, because there is a saying that in every adversity there is an opportunity; and in every crisis, there is a chance for a greater benefit and Sagicor has demonstrated what it means to think out of the box,” he said, adding that this move to have a physical presence in the area is particularly valuable to the elderly who require more face-to-face interactions and may have difficulty maneuvering digital and electronic platforms.
“As old fashioned as it may seem, [the elderly] want to go to a facility where they can look at a live person and get help to complete their transactions. Sagicor is creating an opportunity here where they are being cost effective, while still providing the service. They have taken a unique approach and I believe this will help our economy and our citizens,” the Minister said.
Sagicor’s Bank on Wheels is the first of its kind in the region and aims to deliver banking services to underserved and underbanked communities across the country.
Starting on November 9, the unit has been offering a range of services to community members in and around Spalding, including opening of accounts, deposits, withdrawals, and debit and credit card services, as well as the provision of our SWYPE and POS machines. The unit is expected to be in Clarendon for an initial period of six months.
Sagicor Bank CEO, Chorvelle Johnson Cunningham, in addressing those present at the launch event, said the Bank on Wheels initiative kicked off in Spalding as a response to the calls for intervention from community members.
“Our mantra at Sagicor Bank is that we are always in our clients’ corner, and when we got the calls that the community needed critical banking services, we wanted to start here. We are delighted to have received so much support and are looking forward to continuing to work closely with this community,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Bank received further words of congratulations on behalf of the community from Member of Parliament for North West Clarendon, Phillip Henriques, as well Former MP, Richard Azan; Custos William Shagoury; and President of the Spalding Citizen’s Association, Doreen Evans, who were in attendance.