Scotiabank missed the point

Letters to the Editor

Scotiabank missed the point

Thursday, May 14, 2020

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Dear Editor,

While I have no intention of engaging in a back and forth with Scotiabank, I feel compelled to respond to its letter to the editor, which appeared in this newspaper on May 11, 2020, addressing the concern raised in my previous letter.

Scotiabank has missed the point by leaps and bounds.

While claiming to understand my concerns, there was absolutely no expression of remorse for the inconvenience caused to customers, not even an apology.

Allow me to draw a parallel to teachers. As a result of the lockdown of schools, teachers were asked to deliver lessons online; however, there are thousands of households without access to Internet connectivity. What did the teachers do? Some drove and rode to the communities of students without access, handing out lessons, then returning to collect them after the students were done. Why have they done this? Because they recognised the challenges faced by these students, their sense of responsibility towards them, and most importantly, to ensure that no one is left behind.

That is the point: A sense of responsibility, understanding the needs of the customer, and acting on them, ensuring that everyone feels a level of satisfaction.

Do not get me wrong, Scotiabank; I do support the “genuine” measures that the bank has implemented to make customers' banking experience seamless. In the implementation of these measures, however, it is the obligation of the bank to the customer to ensure that none is left behind. Why? Because many may not be au fait with technology and many have accounts with other banks but conduct business or work with entities/people whose accounts are with Scotiabank. Additionally, some people will never be comfortable enough to buy into these technological advancements. What will happen to these people?

Not encashing cheques is not a measure to protect the health of anyone in this time of COVID-19; I suspect that it is part of the bank's long-term policy to further cut costs to shore up its bottom line.

The customers are the ones who have placed the bank in a position of wealth; hence, it is obligated to attend to the legitimate needs of all clients. The encashment of cheques is one such need. Do the right thing, Scotiabank.

Maybe it makes no sense to try appealing to the conscience of the Bank of Nova Scotia to do the right thing. Thus, I am calling on the regulator, the Bank of Jamaica, to address this matter with alacrity to prevent it from becoming the norm like the unconscionable charges which have been imposed on us.

Kevin Chambers

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