Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) says it has begun construction on a digitally-enabled branch that will serve Marsh Harbour and the Abacos once it opens in February 2021.
“The effects of Hurricane Dorian are still a reality for many persons in The Bahamas. This is especially true for residents of the Abacos,” said LaSonya Missick, RBC's managing director and head of personal banking for The Bahamas and Turks & Caicos Islands.
“Our original branch was completely destroyed. Through our innovative mobile banking unit, we quickly restored operations and were open for business. However, this was only ever designed to be a temporary solution. That is why today I am proud to announce that we will open a new state-of-the-art branch to serve the Abacos.”
The full-service branch will provide RBC clients with the expertise and advice to address the buying, refinancing or renovating of a home; purchasing a car; investing for the future or their retirement; investing for their business; and saving for their children’s education. The branch will also be “digitally-enabled” to showcase RBC’s digital and mobile solutions for day-to-day banking transactions.
“In a few short days, RBC will celebrate 112 years of service to The Bahamas,” added Ms Missick. “This announcement further demonstrates our commitment to our islands, and our confidence in the future of the Abacos. As an Abaconian myself, I know that those communities’ best days lie ahead, and I’m proud that RBC will be there, on the ground, supporting every step of the way.”
Construction and planning have already started for the new branch. Ken Hutton, Abaco's Chamber of Commerce president, recently told this newspaper that the new branch will be located at the site of Scotiabank (Bahamas) former Marsh Harbour premises. He added that RBC had been operating "out of a 40-foot container" and offering minimal banking services, with the taking of deposits not included.
RBC said the dates and timelines for opening its new Abaco branch may alter due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. It added that Abaco clients can continue to use the mobile branch in the meantime.