What Is Driving Commercial Banks Downsizing

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Customers of the various commercial banks in the country are clueless as to why banks have been and continue to downsize. The Palmdale branch of First Caribbean is the latest branch of a major commercial bank to close.

According to Governor of the Central Bank, John Rolle, customer behaviour is playing a role in the downsizing process. Mr. Rolle told ZNS news, “it is being driven by customer behaviours and patterns. Some of those bahaviours are being incentivized by the banks but in general we have access to more online means of doing banking transactions, making payments and receiving payments, and that has a natural reducing impact on some of the traffic that’s being experienced. And so, for the banks, from an efficiency point of view, it becomes necessary to reduce the branch network.”

Mr. Rolle went on to say, “I can assure you that the adjustments that we’ve been seeing in the branch network for banks in The Bahamas is a process that is more than a decade long, in terms of the reduction in the branch footprint. The complexity is that there isn’t that perfect turnover switch in terms of when you decide that the amount of traffic that is happening in branch is not at the level to justify a branch standing on its own. And that’s what happened in many cases.”