Cooper Concern At Bank Of The Bahamas Layoffs

Exuma MP and PLP Deputy Leader Chester Cooper.

Exuma MP and PLP Deputy Leader Chester Cooper.


Deputy Chief Reporter


THE level of layoffs across the country is “disconcerting,” Progressive Liberal Party Deputy Leader I. Chester Cooper said yesterday in the wake of Bank of the Bahamas announcing 30 job losses.

Meanwhile, PLP Chairman Senator Fred Mitchell said men and women losing their jobs is “an unfortunate pattern” with the Minnis administration. He said the Free National Movement (FNM) thinks too often of statistics and figures and not enough about people.

Tribune Business reported yesterday BOB’s job cuts were a part of the bank’s bid to return to sustained profitability following recent branch closures.

The lay-offs, BOB said, were related to the closures of its Exuma and Eight Mile Rock branches, plus a drive to cut costs as part of its turnaround strategy. The Eight Mile Rock branch in Grand Bahama has already closed, while the facility in Exuma will shut its doors on December 31.

Mr Cooper said: “The government must swiftly mobilise a plan for job creation and encouraging business start ups and expansion to redeploy some of the displaced workers. There’s also a need for a swifter permitting process as this is reportedly a problem in Chub Cay.

“This speaks to the need for tangible ease of doing business initiatives. Also I trust that every member of the Cabinet wakes up each day thinking about how to fix Grand Bahama. My heart goes out to the many hurting Bahamian families.”

For his part, Senator Mitchell said: “It is always dreadful when men and women lose their jobs. It is an unfortunate pattern so far in this administration - job losses after job losses. The (FNM) administration thinks too often of stats and figures and not enough about people.

“The PLP is expecting to move shortly, through its council, to provide some policy guidelines on these developments in the banking sector including issues such as labour retrenchment, banking fees and the services that are no longer offered in far flung communities. Our concern is always the fate of our people.

“No doubt the government will explain fully and frankly its strategy with regard to the bank at a time of retrenchment in the availability of banking services in communities that are unbanked or under banked.”

In a statement Wednesday, BOB’s executive management said the bank had started “the right-sizing of departments and units this week in another strategic move to improve operational efficiencies, with the ultimate goal of setting the bank back on a path to sustainable profitability.”

The statement read: “The bank anticipates that less than 30 members of staff will be affected throughout its operations, including the closure of branches,” it added. “This follows recent decisions taken by the Board of Directors to rationalise the bank’s branch network...

“These are extremely difficult decisions to make primarily because they hold implications for continued employment of members of our team, and impact many areas of the bank. However, these decisions are based on careful assessment of our operations and the corporate objective of securing enhanced efficiencies.

“We wish to emphasise that all decisions were taken with the greatest level of diligence, care and sensitivity.”


Sickened 4 years, 6 months ago

Cooper sure has Haitian features. Is he Haitian?


Dawes 4 years, 6 months ago

I would have thought being more concerned about the private sector having to either increase their prices and or lay people off to still operate, due to consistent tax increases, increased back office work due to Govt and other items would be better. Especially seeing as this has been caused by all Govts for a long time. But guess that wouldn't make for good politics, and besides it's only the average Bahamian that will have to pay for Govt's ineptitude.


birdiestrachan 4 years, 6 months ago

This FNM Government continues putting Bahamians on the unemployment lines while they increase their salaries.


sheeprunner12 4 years, 6 months ago

Was Cooper concerned when all of his PLP associates, stalwarts and overlords were fleecing the Bank of The Bahamas?????? ......... and Perry was using our Treasury money to bail it out?????? .......... He is really not helping to build a new PLP3.0 under Davis.


Socrates 4 years, 6 months ago

its a very challenging and stressful situation to lose a job. however, in this case the choice is do a few feel the pain, or do we continue the losses and hurt all bahamians with increased taxation to support loss-making gov't businesses? if you are not a socialist, then you have to agree the former sutuation over the latter choice..


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