Demerara Bank opens $485M Leonora branch and announces plans for faceless, cashless banking soon 


By Sharda Bacchus

Demerara Bank Limited, the country’s only indigenous bank, Friday opened a branch at Leonora, West Coast Demerara and announced plans to significantly move to more e-banking options and reduce in-person transactions.

“We want to improve the banking facility and we also want to promote easier access to banking to everyone.

“For that, we are trying to have four things in line: we have to have a cheque-less banking, cashless banking, paperless banking and faceless banking,” said Chief Executive Officer Pravinchandra Dave.

CEO of Demerara Bank Limited Pravinchandra Dave (Photo: Office of the President/Decemeber 23, 2023)

According to Chairman Komal Samaroo, the bank is embarking on the utilisation of cutting-edge technology which will enhance customer experience in terms of speed, convenience and efficiency, thereby transforming the banking sector in Guyana.

The Leonora branch, which was constructed at a cost of $485M, is situated opposite the recently commissioned West Central Mall.

It includes a drive-thru ATM, night deposit facility and adequate parking.

In delivering remarks at the opening ceremony, Mr Dave said the aim is to provide a banking service in every area across the country.

“Expansion of banking is one of our leading indicators of our growth. From just one branch, this is the ninth branch,” Dave said.

In keeping with the modern era, Dave said Demerara Bank Limited his now technology-based and the staff were “adequately” trained to ensure customers do not experience any difficulty during their transactions.

Demerara Bank Limited has been in existence for 29 years. At the ceremony, Dave who has served as the Chief Executive for more than two decades, announced that he will be retiring at the end of this year.

Mr Samaroo said the Leonora branch will contribute significantly to the rapid growth which is currently being experienced in the area.

Chairman of Demerara Bank Limited Komal Samaroo (Photo: DPI/December 22,2023)

“I think that the opening of this branch would not have been more timely given the phenomenal growth that we see taking place here.

In the feature address, President Ali said the building is testimony to the speed, efficiency and quality associated with Demerara Bank Limited.

With major development ongoing across the country, including in Region Three, President Ali noted that within the next three to five years, the infrastructure will be converted into “back offices”.

“You will have faceless banking but you will have the people in there doing the back office job. You wouldn’t see them but they will be doing the important back office work,” he said.

Importantly he said, is that there will be more job creation.

“Because we will be creating the infrastructure for near shoring and financial services,” the Head of State noted.

Meanwhile, Minister of Finance, Dr Ashni Singh, said investment in every sector in the country, Guyana is witnessing transformation at a speed that has “scarcely” been seen.

“There are a few place that illustrate the speed at which Guyana is being transformed.

“Leonora has emerged in the space of two and a half years to be a major center of economic activity and that didn’t happen by magic. It didn’t happen by accident. It didn’t happen by luck or by chance.

“It happened as a result of deliberate policy choices that were made, deliberate decisions that were made,” Dr Singh said.

According to Dr Singh, the government commitment is to ensure they maintain the growth that is being recorded to ensure a “well regulated” financial sector that is conducive to growth.

“Demerara Bank has been at the forefront of the private sector response to environment that President Ali and his government are creating…The best of your growth are yet to come,” he noted.

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