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Customer-focused First Global to open after working hours

Published:Friday | March 11, 2016 | 3:00 AM
Mariame McIntosh Robinson, president and CEO of First Global Bank.

Most commercial banks open and close when many of their customers are at work, but First Global Bank wants to buck that trend by modifying its opening hours into the night, according to new President and Chief Executive Officer Mariame McIntosh Robinson.

Banks typically close at midafternoon, which inconveniences customers. It requires a rethink, said McIntosh Robinson.

"Banks in Jamaica need to stop thinking of themselves as banks and rather (like) consumer-oriented companies," she said, to make it as easy as possible for persons to do transactions in-branch and online. "At First Global we have modified our opening hours, so instead of opening at 9 a.m. when we all get to work, we open at 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. and stay open until 6 and 7 p.m. in most of our branches. We also open on Saturdays," said the bank president, who was recently recruited by GraceKennedy to fill a vacancy left by the departure of Courtney Campbell.

McIntosh Robinson, the featured speaker at the CEO Breakfast Forum hosted by Jamaica Employers' Federation (JFF) on Thursday, addressed the issue during a Q&A after her speech.

Banks typically close at 2 p.m. or 2:30 p.m., and at 4 p.m. on Fridays.

"Its not easy to open outside these normal hours because you have to take into account employee compensation and lifestyle. So you have to get to the detail and find out how to make it work in order to serve the customer well," she said.

In addition to its revised hours and Saturday banking, First Global also added video teller machines, which allows most transactions, starting from 7 a.m.

McIntosh Robinson's formal presentation addressed four business trends: private equity, customer service, social media and the millennial workforce.

JEF announced at the breakfast that its 34th annual Business and Workplace Convention & Expo 2016 will be held in May at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, the same venue as last year.

business@gleanerjm.com