Gov’t calls on Republic Bank to do better

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The Government is calling on Republic Bank Limited (RBL) to put better systems in place to address the numerous issues being faced by thousands of customers across the country since the bank upgraded its systems.

“If the bank has to alter its mechanisms, it has to put in place some manual facility so that the people can get their money, then it will have to do it,” Director-General of the Ministry of the Presidency, Joseph Harmon said at a post-cabinet media briefing on Thursday.

His comment came moments after RBL issued a statement in which it admitted that several challenges have been experienced since the upgrade of its system on November 4.

The Trinidad-owned bank with possibly the largest customer base in Guyana said the issues will be fully resolved by the middle of December.

Harmon said the Government “will not sit idly by” and see persons being unable to access their salaries.

With the Government planning to pay out retroactive salary increases this month, he said: “the bank has to do something better than they’re doing right now.”

Republic Bank Limited converted over 15 banking applications/systems including the core banking platform, the wire transfer solution, the internet banking solution, debit and credit card issuing solution as well as the launch of a new mobile banking platform and new credit card acquiring capability.

Since the completion of the upgrade, citizens have difficulty in accessing services through the new internet banking and mobile banking services, delays in processing of payrolls and wire transfers as well as lengthy delays in completion of some transactions in branch, inconsistencies with use of the ATMs and most online banking clients have had to re-establish their various utility payment instructions.

The Director-General said the bank will soon be engaged on the issue by Finance Minister Winston Jordan and Governor of the Bank of Guyana, Dr Gobind Ganga.

“To the extent to which large sections of our population is affected by the work of the bank, or by the inactivity in some regard, of the bank, then the Government will have to be engaged. We will not sit idly by and see large sections of our population being affected by an entity and sit down and do nothing about it,” Harmon told the media.

Jordan and Dr Ganga are currently in India meeting with top officials of the Bank of Baroda, the Indian government and financial stakeholders this week.

Republic Bank has assured that the integrity of customers’ data is more secure with its new systems.

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