Bridgetown–With thousands worrying about the possibility of retrenchment, Republic Bank (Barbados) Limited, announced the introduction of a Financial Care Unit to provide financial advice to customers, facing challenges anticipated by imminent layoffs in the public sector and any further contraction in the economy."The news that 3,000 Government employees would be retrenched in the not too distant future is disturbing. As a financial institution, which would have extended credit facilities to persons in the public sector, we believe the responsible thing to do, is to put something in place to help them through what will certainly be a difficult period," said Carlos Brathwaite, senior manager, Retail Risk and Special Credit, during a press conference at the bank's Independence Square headquarters, Bridgetown, Barbados.
Located in the Broad Street Sales Centre, the Republic Bank (Barbados) Limited Financial Care Unit, will provide prompt, relevant and sound financial advice, to public sector workers and anyone else in need of financial guidance in the face of expected developments in the country.According to Brathwaite, the Financial Care Unit will be staffed by a team with specific skills in customer care and debt management. The bank's overall objective in this exercise is to assist displaced workers facing the challenges of repaying their debts and anyone whose financial circumstances have become strained due to loss of income or heavy commitments."Whether a customer of Republic Bank or not, our officers will meet with visitors to the Financial Care Unit, discuss appropriate options such as rescheduling or consolidating existing debts over a longer repayment period to accommodate reduced income, the disposal of assets to cushion loss of income and generally provide financial counseling for better management of expenses," Brathwaite explained.
The unit will function by appointment during normal banking hours and will strive to entertain as many appointments in as short a time as possible. There will be no charge for the service."On January 22, we launched the 2014 Power to Make A Difference campaign, our corporate social responsibility programme, the tenets of which are equally apropos in this scenario–the power to care, the power to help, the power to learn and the power to succeed. With customer focus as our primary core value, we are, with the introduction of the Financial Care Unit, also demonstrating our power to care and to help others succeed in a most difficult time in this country," said Brathwaite. (CMC)