An intimate knowledge of its customer base over the past 176 years has given Republic Bank a competitive edge over non-regional banks.
Managing director of Republic Bank, Ian De Souza, made this proud boast recently while speaking to members of the Press following the official opening of a Corporate/Commercial Customer Business Programme at Marriott Courtyard, Hastings, Christ Church.
De Souza said: “There are certain advantages we have, being indigenous and being local to the region. We have a very deep understanding of how businesses are conducted in the region. The Republic Bank has been operating in the region for the past 176 years. Over that time relationships have been built and we work very closely with our long-standing customers. There is also the little trick of an indigenous bank; the value of a relationship and the value of a name.
“We understand how we can make a credit decision on the basis of a name knowing that that family will not take out financial obligations that they cannot service. That does not apply if you are not local to a region. We belong to the region and we are of the community. We have to see these communities survive this storm we are going through because this is home,” De Souza added.
The top bank official argued that with this background the Republic Bank has to sit and work with customers through our Financial Care Unit.
He went on to say that the bank has to take the same action with its corporate customers and look at their financial positions.
“We have to look at extending longer terms of credit, softer terms of credit to ensure that cash flows would be sufficient to continue their businesses and keep people employed and service their debt commitments,” De Souza said.
Meanwhile, responding to a query on last week’s release of Article 4 Consultation of the International Monetary Fund, De Souza said: “We at the bank have a fairly good understanding of what is happening with the local economy. I do not know that there will be any surprises in the report. We are seeing measures being taken by the Government and we do not anticipate any surprises.