Rbc Executive Retires After Blasting Education Of Nation


Tim Rider


Deputy Chief Reporter


TIM Rider, the Royal Bank of Canada executive who faced backlash from Bahamians after lambasting the educational standards of the country, yesterday announced his intention to retire from the institution.

RBC's senior vice-president of sales' decision was revealed in an internal executive transition announcement to bank staff members, noting his retirement would be effective February 28.

Rob Johnston, RBC's head of Caribbean banking, is slated to assume responsibility for sales for the region on an interim basis, the statement said.

The transition of Mr Rider, pictured, from RBC's operations comes weeks after his inflammatory comments at a Royal Fidelity Bahamas Economic Outlook angered many and stirred wide public discourse.

In a rhetorical question, he asked if The Bahamas is committed to its own success and spoke poorly of the educational standards of the country.

The Bahamas, he said, cannot allow the education "status quo" to persist if it is to be competitive in the global economy.

He also said the education standards and US dolar parity put this country at a disadvantage, because it has an expensive labour pool with inadequate education.

"The single biggest factor, in my view, that is now and will continue to lead to income and wealth inequality in The Bahamas is the inadequate education and training of its citizens," he warned late last month.

He also said corruption, poor fiscal responsibility, detrimental mortgage and lending laws have had adverse consequences for the banking industry, according to an earlier report by The Nassau Guardian.

However, it is unclear whether his decision to retire is connected to his controversial remarks.

Following the comments, Deputy Prime Minister Peter Turnquest told The Tribune he found the statements to be "unfortunate" and "uninformed".

In an interview with The Tribune yesterday, Official Opposition Leader Philip "Brave" Davis said he "certainly" was not pleased with the comments, adding that he wrote to the bank urging officials to take whatever actions they deemed appropriate.

RBC's corporate office in Toronto, Canada yesterday chose not to speak directly to this aspect of Mr Rider's tenure with the bank, telling this newspaper he made the decision to retire after two decades with the institution.

"After more than 20 years with RBC, Tim Rider, senior vice president of sales will be retiring from the bank. We thank him for his contributions and wish him well in his future endeavours," the statement said.

"The Bahamas is an integral part of RBC's Caribbean banking business and we are proud of our 109-year history in the region. Rob Johnston, head, Caribbean banking will assume interim leadership of this important market and support our ongoing journey of transformation and innovation in the Caribbean.

"We cherish the partnerships we have with our clients, employees and communities in The Bahamas and aim to further strengthen those relationships in the years to come."


Porcupine 3 weeks, 3 days ago

Having hired and managed thousands of people in the U.S., I have to concur with his assessment. I maintain that maybe 1 out of a hundred Bahamians could hold a job in the real world. How should it be sugar-coated for a population in denial? Again, let's kill the messenger while doing nothing to improve ourselves. We need to grow up. We have bad habits, a poor work ethic, and place little value on educating ourselves. Is it a requirement that foreigners shut up and act like good visitors instead of speaking the truth, painful as it is?


stillwaters 3 weeks, 3 days ago

Fired for speaking the truth......my God....this is wrong on so many levels.


sheeprunner12 3 weeks, 3 days ago

He was a white foreigner who criticized Bahamians......... three strikes ur out


OUTSIDETHEBOX242 3 weeks, 3 days ago

It is amazing how Bahamians DO NOT WANT to acknowledge TRUTH. It is also amazing how the writer of the article in question gives credence to this TRUTH when the term is 'US dollar parity" NOT US dolar parity?? You have the audacity to PRINT this Article and NOT EVEN USE SPELL CHECK or have a competent PROOF READER?? Seriously?? I rest my case!!


Well_mudda_take_sic 3 weeks, 3 days ago

Living a life of ignorance is just too blissful for many Bahamians to admit the hurtful truth.


DillyTree 3 weeks, 3 days ago

Fired for telling the truth -- only because a white foreigner dared to do so! So our National Average of D has changed? Typical denial. Wait until the Bahamas joins the WTO -- what a rude awakening for so many who are going to get left behind because they cannot compete on the world stage. Pathetic, RBC.

And while we're on this, RBC, quit advertising in the papers on how you want to build communities and provide excellent customer service. Let's talk about Long Island and no bank there -- this is not building communities. And let's discuss your horrible customer service. In fact, it's as if you don't even want people to actually come inside the bank anymore.


sheeprunner12 3 weeks, 3 days ago

Agreed 100% ....... and Andros, Bimini and Spanish Wells, JFK, RobRoad etc....... If ya ga leave next year, just CYA now ....... we will understand.


John 3 weeks, 3 days ago

"After more than 20 years with RBC, Tim Rider, senior vice president of sales will be retiring from the bank. We thank him for his contributions and wish him well in his future endeavours," the statement said

How does retiring constitute firing? And while Rider may have bashed our education system here, the results may not be much different in the US, for example only 39 percent of high school students graduate proficient in Math and English. But when broken down by ethnicity 47 percent of Asian students graduate proficient , compared to 37 percent whites and 7 percent black students. Of students graduating from a school in Baltimore, zero were proficient in Math and only 5 percent in English. But the school's population were made up of 1/3 students who came from families with zero wealth. Overall only 38 percent of students graduating in the US are at college level in Math and English. But in Canada its much different: 'High Schools in Canada: A World-Class Choice. Canadian high school students are achieving some of the highest marks in the world in reading, math and science, according to a recent study comparing students in 42 countries. ... Canada is an excellent option for those studying English or French as a second language. So Rider may have had a point.


sheeprunner12 3 weeks, 3 days ago

But RBC and their Canadian bigwigs have NO problem exploiting our small economies and raping us with their predatory banking practices!!!!!!!!!!

And how can Nat Beneby and all of the other "senior" Bahamian RBC staff just sit by and let these frigging white expats shit on them and us with their condescending attitudes about "how dumb we is" ........ Rider can CYC


Chucky 3 weeks, 3 days ago

John, hate to be the bearer of bad news, but whatever statistics you read, the front line reality is quite different. I work for a multi national with over 25,000 employees in Canada, and we are experiencing similar problems. Canada's education system is not producing what it used to. In the 60s and 70s our high school educated employees were at a higher standard than the majority of our current college graduate employees. We have branches in 9 large Canadian cities. FYI, we now have to spend on average $13,000.00 to train college grads to fill entry level positions; in contrast during the 60s , 70s and 80s we used to spend under $250.00 CAD. FYI, we are in the financial industry. College grads apparently cant differentiate between cash flow and profit, much less comprehend basic financial reports.


TalRussell 3 weeks, 3 days ago

Ma Comrades, if KP was serious he'd restrict all the banks to a service fees banks can charge customer profit cap markup maximum of 15%. Scary when some bank fees range in the predatory 5,000% to 15,000% profit markup. Stiff jail time predatory abusers comes mind.


avidreader 3 weeks, 3 days ago

You are right there, brother. Look up "functional illiteracy" on Wikipedia and see that Italy is listed at the top of the ranking with 47% of the population included in that category. Wow! With youth unemployment in the 35% range, government corruption, organized crime all over the country and masses of illegal immigrants being ferried into Sicily and mainland Italy by the shipload by the Non Governmental Organizations, it is no wonder that they are expecting some big political changes in the upcoming elections. We are not the only ones with troubles.


Gotoutintime 3 weeks, 3 days ago

I guess even a "white foreigner" has a right to an opinion. It's a shame most Bahamians will not heed it!


bogart 3 weeks, 3 days ago

When the bigger bosses visit the local pimps usually does the sip dip to usually cover up and distract from their local shortcomings. Never fails to happen. The Bahamas being a global player in banking has Banking courses in all fields and reputable banking programs available AbibAcibCPsnumerous and more so than many Caribbean Nations. Most bankers have first degrees znd there are tellers with masters.Commercial Banks advertize and select the best suited snd pay is less than 20k starting. Stupidly ghe authorities take in the few executives Offshore of Private High paying executive pay into the equasion and average bankers making average 65k pa for all.(similarly the authorities add all the billionaires into average salaryincome as the Bahamas having overall 3 or 4th highest income this hemisphers..yes d grade fully correct) YES on this stupidity reigns On the primary school d grade concerns doesnt affect bottom line who his HumanResource dept hires. Immigration always complies with financial requests if no Bahamians available. Being the expert in Sales to sell his banking products....well his loan officers have his high targets and quotas yo meet so yhat can get bonuses yearly salary increase. How you train them and get massive loan defaults...well thats your training and your decision to approve. If ypu can deny many now you could have denied before. The customer may be illeterate but its your bank trained loan officer, your supervisor, your bank traoned Credit Risk Officer and your headquarters who approves the illiterate customer who does not qualify. ITS VERY SIMPLE MATHS TO VERIFY BASIC CONCEPT PTACTICED EVERYDAY....when ones does potty one makes sure that there is enough toilet tissue!!! You and your staff hold the decisions in hiving the loans. Detrimential Mortgage and lendong Laws actually favour the bank with UNQUESTIONABLY the bank always having the very best battery of LAWYERS ON CALL to harrass the poor customer all the way to Judgement AND STUPIDLY NO PROPER BANCRUPTCY LAWS. Customers always loose. Blame uourselves for uour shortcomings, losses and staffing. On curruption well ots no different fron other jurisdictions.You should not have listened to the pimps or sipsip (Bahamian gossip)


Jetflt 3 weeks, 3 days ago

His comments were spot on, but we Bahamians prefer to bury our heads in the sand and act like everything is ok. And guess what - with very few exceptions, we’ve been who we are for as long as we’ve all been around and the sad reality is we’re content just being who we, doing what we do, and if we’re no better tomorrow than we are today, we’ll that’s ok. We’ll just keep doing what we do. Ever looked up the definition of insanity.........it’s called doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome. That’s we Bahamians!


jamaicaproud 3 weeks, 3 days ago

I don't care what statistics you spout. Its folly to claim you cannot find a few hundred Bahamians to fill entry-level jobs, regardless of how bad the education system is alleged to be. I am Jamaican and I can tell you its simply a ploy to recruit workers from countries with weaker exchange rates, people who will accept less.

On the flip side, retirement for these guys is no punishment.


SP 3 weeks, 3 days ago

Why is this man being ostracized? TIM Rider's comments were true to the facts and everybody is up in arms!

Successive inept, corrupt, governments destroyed the Bahamian economy by failing to educate our people and stupidly replacing the Bahamian workforce with too many expat foreign workers that repatriate income which eroded spend in the local economy thereby crushing the volume of business available to the banking sector.

25 years of the asinine political stupidity of Hubert Alexander Ingraham and Perry Gladstone Christie "leadership" is the root cause of the collapse of the Bahamas!

These two prime ministers sold the country out to Haitians, Asians, Latinos, Jamaicans, Africans, Chinese and now Indians that have regulated the average Bahamians to mass unemployment and soup kitchen lines for survival.

The powers that be need to man up and make obvious changes to rectify unemployment and domestic spending to fix the economy and shore up the banking sector. It is no great surprise that the fastest growing business in the country is money transfer companies repatriating expat income to home countries while local bank business shrinks proportionately as Bahamians are no longer players in the employment arena and have no money to bank.

PM Minnis running from pillar to post attempting to create new job opportunities is a futile effort when all he needs to do is have Bahamians placed in short-term training programs to replace foreign blue-collar workers, which will have an immediate sustainable positive effect on the economy.

Getting rid of Mr. Rider will not resolve the main problem of too many people repatriating income out of the local economy.


tetelestai 3 weeks, 3 days ago

But SP, Tim's comments were not "facts".


SP 3 weeks, 2 days ago

Please enlighten me to exactly what "facts" are missing? Is living proof not "factual" enough for you?

Tim spoke the pure unadulterated truth and WE need to pull our heads out of our backsides, remove our tribal colors, and deal with it!


John 3 weeks, 3 days ago

At least we can now conclude that the Education/learning/skills problem is not exclusive to The Bahamas. See how easy it is to divide and conquer. The same ones who ere bashing Bahamians also hate to admit that the US has a similar proficiency problem and that Canada ares better of the three countries.


Well_mudda_take_sic 3 weeks, 2 days ago

And you just love wallowing in a cesspool with company.


Dawes 3 weeks, 3 days ago

Has no one thought that maybe he knew his retirement was coming up before he spoke. He therefore decided he could say what he felt were the true issues facing this country and it wouldn't matter. As it is, instead of us showing him that he is either wrong and proving it, or he is right and we should change, we decide to foam at the mouth in righteous indignation and do nothing. All while we complain about our wages stagnating and the economy hardly growing and praying that something might change, but if it does we scream that we don't want XYZ to change.


tetelestai 3 weeks, 2 days ago

Dawes, I, respectfully, disagree. Much of what he said was not supported in fact. Which, in my opinion, seems to be the point everyone is missing. I would be foolish to disagree with the fact that our education system is failing (if it hasn't failed already), but again, much of his clichéd rhetoric was not grounded in fact. And, it demanded a response from the government (majority and opposition) and the citizens of this country that are knowledgeable of the truth. The response was quite appropriate and the resulting action, i.e. his retirement (if due to his vacuous drivel) was equally appropriate.


Dawes 3 weeks, 2 days ago

I do agree that there are plenty Bahamians who are educated enough (and more) to do the work RBC said they were having a struggle finding people for. However this hides another issue we are facing, and that is these younger people are going off to study in the US and Canada and not coming back. Meaning that from the employment pool available RBC is having trouble finding the correctly qualified people. Of course an argument could be made that if they paid more, these qualified people would come back. A number of those left are in the boat that he was talking about and which we as a country need to solve. His other point about having a credit bureau I think is correct. Not sure what else he talked about.


Porcupine 3 weeks, 2 days ago

Nonsense. Anyone awake can witness the results of our educational system. Also remember that education isn't confined to a school classroom. Are we really instilling in our children the value of knowledge and a good work ethic? Honestly now. Isn't reading the daily papers enough to convince you that we are failing?


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