Banking was yesterday made much easier for East Coast Demerara residents when the Bank of Baroda commissioned it Mon Repos branch which will also be opened on Saturdays to serve the needs of its customers.
Baroda is the second commercial bank to open along the East Coast corridor, with the Demerara Bank’s Le Ressouvenir branch being the first.
The India-headquartered bank’s branch located at the Mon Repos Mall at Market and First streets is its first expansion since coming to Guyana 47 years ago and will be the only ECD-based bank to open on Saturdays.
Prime Minister Samuel Hinds hailed the “long awaited” branch opening as a sign of the “full arrival” of the Bank of Baroda in Guyana.
Chairman of the entity DP Trevedi informed that the principal objective in opening the bank at that location is to serve the growing banking needs of ECD residents. He spoke of the resilience of the Indian banking system, where in spite of the global economic turmoil, the bank’s worldwide networks’ profits remained consistent; a factor, prospective bankers could take into consideration when making the decision to become a customer. He cited the over 43 million customers worldwide and US$1.5 billion profits recorded for the last three quarters of last year as testimony that the bank will serve the Guyanese people well and is there to complement the economic growth of this nation.
Manager of the branch Maheboobkhan Patan stressed that while Saturday opening was put in place to facilitate shoppers and vendors since Saturday was the biggest market day, the bank would be open to serve customers countrywide. “We are opening on Saturdays because at Mon Repos Market, Saturday is big market day and the people, especially the sellers, can come deposit that money without having to wait until Monday or travelling to Georgetown to do so. Persons from our Georgetown branch could also come to do their banking; all transactions can be done then.” Stabroek News spoke with vendors at the Mon Repos market and a few residents of the community.
Many expressed their gratitude at the opening saying that it eases the burden of travel to the city. Pensioner Sheer Rohoman, 76, said he was eager to change banks because of the toll travelling to Georgetown took on his frail and aged frame.
Grocery vendor Parbattie Singh and another woman who only gave ‘Aunty Baby’ as her name said they welcomed the bank to the community because it would ease them having to take home large amounts of money after selling on Saturdays. “How long we waiting fuh a bank to come on the East Coast and now we hear they opening Saturdays better yet, because sometimes yuh frighten to carry home all that money so after we sell we walk two steps, bank and then go home and sleep sound nighttime… Ain’t gat to ‘fraid no one coming to tek it,” Aunty Baby said.
The bank will be closed on Wednesdays and Sundays but will be opened on other week days from 8 am to 1.30 pm and on Saturdays from 8 am to 2.30 pm.
Also present at the commissioning ceremony were Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh, Indian High Commissioner to Guyana (ag) Tirath Singh, and many local banking executives.