Janet Silvera, Senior Gleaner Writer
Not even the intermittent downpour could put a damper on Scotiabank's cocktail reception last Thursday night at the historic Rose Hall Great House in Montego Bay.
The event, part of the activities surrounding the financial institution's annual general meeting, which was held in the resort town, attracted a number of movers and shakers from the resort city, many of them stockholders of the bank.
President and chief executive officer at the bank Bruce Bowen used the opportunity to announce the construction of the new Scotiabank state-of-the-art financial centre, valued over $1billion, which is expected to get under way at Fairview in the next six weeks.
According to Bowen, Scotiabank customers will be able to conduct business at the new financial centre by the first quarter of next year, when the facility is expected to open.
"We should be ready for March or April next year. It is going to be an amazing facility. It is going to be something that western Jamaica has not seen before. We know that it's going to give great service to our customers," an upbeat Bowen noted.
The Scotiabank boss disclosed that the new facility will be home to a commercial corporate team, Scotia Investments team, Scotia Insurance team, as well as private banking.
He explained that the move to establish the Fairview branch to replace Sam Sharpe as the flagship branch in western Jamaica resulted from customers' requests for more parking space and easier access.
He was, however, quick to note that the Sam Sharpe branch will remain open, even with the challenges posed by the lack of parking space.
"The feedback I get is that Sam Sharpe Square is too busy - there is not enough parking. On the other hand it is close to many customers and we could never leave Sam Sharpe Square," Bowen stated.
He added: "We will consolidate the West Gate branch into the new centre once it is open. We will move the accounts in there, but Sam Sharpe Square stays open, Ironshore stays open".