Long lines at PoS credit unions, banks

Scores of clients of credit unions, banks and other similar businesses, are not only facing the scourge of month-end lines, but the additional burden of social distancing leaving hundreds lining the side walks of Port of Spain on Friday.

On Park Street at Eastern Credit Union – one of the largest credit unions in the country, there were groups of disgruntled members who went there to make loan payments, withdrawals and deposits.

Most customers were told to observe social distancing guidelines and to remain outside until it was their turn to be served.

First Citizens Bank, meanwhile, was surrounded by many more customers, although their service appeared quicker and more systematic.

When Newsday visited Eastern Credit Union, an employee was seen asking customers to have patience, form a line and remain orderly.

One customer said she had been to both First Citizens and T&TEC to pay an electricity bill and were done with both quickly.

"I spent less time at First Citizens and T&TEC than I did in this line. Their lines were big but it was moving. It was orderly," she said. "This is not orderly."

There were other lines littering Port of Spain, with one outside the branch of Scotiabank, on the corner of Park and Pembroke St, just to use the ATM.

A sign was posted on the entrance to the bank which said that the branch was one of 12 that be closed until further notice.

In a recent statement, Scotiabank country head, Stephen Bagnarol, explained the bank's move. "We have taken proactive actions to help keep our employees safe as well as to minimise contact and reduce the spread of the virus, introducing measures that help to reduce the frontline team’s exposure by 50 per cent.

"Additionally," Bagnarol said, "we have reduced density at our shared services and other back end support functions by asking employees with laptops to work from home where possible. We have also deployed teams to alternate BCP sites and the managing director’s office to limit employee contact.

Republic Bank Ltd recently announced similar changes to its operations, but have kept its two major Port of Spain branches opened.


"Long lines at PoS credit unions, banks"

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