Citizens Bank, Guyana’s lone commercial bank at Charity, Essequibo, will donate to the grief-stricken family of the six persons who perished in Tuesday’s boat accident on the Pomeroon River.
“We have a plan to give something to the family as they were from the Pomeroon and many persons from that area use our Charity branch,” Denise Thompson of Citizens Bank told Stabroek News.
Thompson declined to give details about the donation but she did say that although this is a tough time for them losing so many members at one time, it is envisioned that what they give will provide some comfort to the grief-stricken survivors.
It the worst river accident in the last decade, six persons died on Tuesday afternoon after the boat they were travelling in collided with the boat owned by the Region Two administration.
The dead are boat captain Harrinarine Bhagwandin and his nephew Vincent Singh, 40, both of Abrams Creek; Velda Rodrigues, 50, and her son Shawn Rodrigues, 14, also of Abrams Creek; and Rajkumar Singh, 14, and his sister Amerita Singh, 10, of Charity Housing Scheme, Essequibo Coast.
This newspaper was told the ill-fated boat was travelling to Abram’s Creek from Charity when the collision occurred in the vicinity of Siriki. Low visibility due to rain has been cited as a possible contributing factor.
The Citizens Bank Charity Branch can be found in the Alphonso’s Complex at Charity Waterfront. It was commissioned on October 29, this year, after much lobbying from members of the business community, who said they had to travel long distances to the nearest bank at Anna Regina. Persons also complained of having on their person large amounts of cash, which increased their risk of being robbed.
Thompson, giving an update into the bank’s status since its doors opened to the public, informed that business was blooming. She said that most of their customers are farmers from the Pomeroon and persons from the overall agriculture sector, miners, businessmen and women who use Charity as a port to other destinations. “We have been doing pretty decent I must say and have had a great response from the community… right now, we are going out into the riverain areas doing some marketing and that has a favourable response also,” she said.
A major service offered to the Essequibo business sector is the payment of wages and salaries though a payroll system the bank offers to businesses. That way employees of those persons can cash their checks free of charge or open an account with the bank and use the Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) to access their monies.
The bank also has several social projects that it is undertaking in the Essequibo and North West District and Thompson said that they don’t boast of them as the bank sees each act as a part of its corporate responsibility to the people of Guyana.
All ten members of staff of the branch, except the officer in charge, who was taken from the city, live close to their place of employ and Thompson said finding the requisite human resource was easy.
Come January, the foreign exchange services will be offered and Thompson informed that it was the only service not yet introduced at that location as requisite documentation had not yet been completed. Nonetheless, the bank’s clientele is able to access loans, deposits and all other transactions offered at their main Camp and Charlotte Street, Georgetown branch.
Currently, the bank provides service for the Western Union money remittance and financial service company and persons can access this service during regular banking hours which is Monday to Thursday from 8am to 2pm and on Fridays when it closes at 2:30pm.