A brand-new home for NCB
Faithful customers of the National Commercial Bank (NCB) branches in the Manor Park area now have a glimmering new building to transact their business.
On August 31, NCB opened its new branch on Constant Spring Road. Loren Edwards, senior assistant general manager for retail banking, explained how the new building helps efficiency.
"We were operating one branch from two different locations, Manor Park and Manor Centre," he said. "That created many inefficiencies and duplication of activities." He said the bank searched for a new location and, 18 months after construction first began, the branch is in full operation.
"Parking was also a big issue because those branches were in two plazas," said Lloyd Richardson, branch manager. The two-floor, 20,700 square foot building is a hub of activity. Other than merging the branches, the new location is also home to parts of NCB Capital Markets and NCB Insurance Company. The private banking unit has also been fully relocated from The Atrium in New Kingston.
"We have more space, it is more private and more convenient than where we were before," said Audrey McIntosh, manager of the private banking centre. "Many of our clients are from the area, so they love the more convenient location now." Edwards said the response has been tremendous.
"Customer traffic has been very heavy. In fact, it has surpassed our expectations, Edwards said, adding that even Half-Way Tree and Washington Boulevard customers were there. Richardson also noted that even customers from downtown were seen.
"We are making sure that we keep the service right up there, to make sure the customer experience is where it should be," Richardson said. The location has NCB's much-talked-about 'Bank on the Go' facilities, plus two drive-throughs, one with a teller, the other an ABM. Technology-wise, the branch is top-notch. Richardson noted the two 'intelligent ABMs' as examples.
"Apart from dispensing cash, they also take in actual cash and print cheques," he said. "You can ask it to scan a cheque, and it reads it, and deposits it to your account. It takes the cash from you, counts it, and puts it to your account at the same time." A kiosk machine also allows customers to order specific items and services. There is also an express deposit box.
"So if you're passing and you see that the bank is full, you can put your cheques there. It gives you a receipt and, within the next two hours, it's in your account," he said.
Stacey Hamilton, NCB's manager of planning, performance and special projects, said the building is very energy-efficient. Apart from solar power, other components include an inverter air-conditioning system, energy-efficient pumps, LED lighting, insulated roof and low-flow faucets and toilets. It even has a rainwater harvesting system. But it is as stylish as it is green.
"For the interior design, we wanted a modern and open feel," she said. "It provides a welcoming experience, so when you come, you don't want a lot of walls so you feel that you're not enclosed." An eclectic mix of marble and mahogany, especially on the upper floor, plus porcelain tiles throughout the building, add to the chic, modern look.
"We have mahogany doors and windows with frosting for privacy; the wood and glass gives the modern look," she said. "It gives a balance between privacy and openness."
Martin Lyn and Associates were the architects, HTG Engineering took care of the mechanical and electrical work, Jentech handled the structural work, Michelle Simone Clarke handled interior design, and NCB staffer Shevene Logan was the quantity surveyor.
There were some parking challenges early on as there are only 90 parking spaces, but that has been addressed.