Scotiabank Jamaica Charges J$385 to Break-Up a $5,000 Bill


Bank of Nova Scotia is a bank in Jamaica of Canadian origin. It has gotten so big that it is no longer just BNS, but Scotia Group, offering a wide range of banking and insurance services.


The bank came ashore in 1889, 55 years after slavery was ‘abolished’ in 1834. It boasts about having its first female Branch Manager in 1962, and its first Jamaican General Manager in 1987! It is difficult to not say wow, and I have been trying to get a look at just who Mrs. Hastings and B. Tony Lindo were, but I cannot find any trace, but trust me, I would be happy to see what they look like, but I can hazzard a guess….


BANK OF NOVA SCOTIA formerly had three branches in Montego Bay: the notable Sam Sharpe Square one, plus, West Gate and Barnett Street. Having grown prosperous over the years by the faith that ordinary Jamaicans have shown in them over decades as the bank of choice, they closed the branches at West Gate and Barnett Street, and consolidated them at the new, fantastic building they have at Fairview (New Mobay). Fears grew that they would have closed the famous Sam Sharpe Square branch, but due to the sheer volume of business it still attracts, it would make such a decision foolhardy more for business than for the convenience of customers who would have had to bear the added burden of taxi fares to transact business at the new location.


Long known for its serpentine lines that snake almost outside of the bank on any given day, it isn’t strange for a customer to spend an hour inside their doors in order to get their business done. Despite their knowledge of this, they did not include in their plans for the new facility simple restrooms for the use and convenience of their many customers. Instead, the hapless customer, needing to use a restroom, must go outside, around the building to a Guard House some uncomfortable distance away that upon arrival, did not impress me with its cleanliness. I considered my good fortune that it wasn’t raining.


Speaking to a rather polite young employee about the matter, he let on that the building was modeled after the Canadian concept where they were not accustomed to having customers in the bank for any long period…. No kidding. Those people would never tolerate any such thing, and so it brings it clearly home that instead of considering what is in the interest of the Jamaican customer who has to put up with this extraordinary waiting, the minds went to Canada when it came to making a decision as to what would be in the best interest of their island customer. They can take heart that they are not alone in this kind of thinking.


It is well known that the Jamaican customer is taken for granted, and it is his or her money that is of primary importance to most businesses that he/she comes in contact with. They are not averse to abusing, misusing and treating this customer with scant regard, because he is long suffering and will put up with just about anything that the system puts in his/her way without complaining. Yet, it is this same Jamaican, who would not tolerate a simple infraction from his brother or sister without waging war to the bitter end. I will leave it to the Sociologists to tackle the cause for this strange mindset, but it is indeed puzzling.


As for Bank of Nova Scotia, it will just be business as usual. The fact that they have Air Conditioning and water should be enough…


Until next time, keeps doing what is noble and just. Go ahead and have a discussion right here.

I am Warren Johnson



Editor at Large, Mckoy’s News: the views expressed on this post are that of the writer and not that of Mckoy’s News.

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