Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 3rd 2013 Contents A5
Wednesday, July 3, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
The Moulton Hall Pan Ensemble performs Lord, I Lift Your Name on High
during the school's concert, titled A Call to Praise, at Queen's Hall, St Ann's,
on Sunday. PHOTO: KRISTIAN DE SILVA
CALL TO PRAISE
Almost five years after Cana-
da s Royal Bank of Canada
(RBC) bought out T&T-based
RBTT, RBC is introducing a
series of sweeping changes
throughout its 25 branches,
including trying to find alter-
native places for employees
whose positions will become
redundant, taking away VIP
service for high net-worth
clients and charging $4 for
The process of branchwide
conversion has a name: Wave 1.
A bank employee, who asked
not to be identified, said RBC
Royal Bank has taken away its
VIP services, which included a
separate lounge, recent maga-
zines and private bankers, at nine
branches and is now asking them
to join the queues.
In its response yesterday, RBC
Royal Bank said: "The bank has
taken the decision to discontinue
our VIP service and to imple-
ment a service offering that is
better aligned to the needs of
our clients which still involves
direct interface with senior rela-
These changes are happening
against the backdrop of the June
28 resignation of Arvinder
Bharath, market head of personal
banking and wife of Vasant
Bharath, Minister of Trade and
The Sunday Guardian reported
on June 9 that Arvinder Bharath
had cited personal reasons for
her resignation after four years
Also, the employee said the
bank, wanting to limit the num-
ber of walk-in customers, is
granting one free transaction over
the counter, after which they will
pay $4 for subsequent over-the-
counter services. The aim is to
get more customers to use the
ATMs and free up banking halls.
The bank said it was not lim-
iting the number of walk-in cus-
tomers but "offering multiple
options," including greater ATM
and Internet use.
Customers are even required
to make an appointment to open
a new account. Regarding the
fee, the bank said it was part of
an established industry practice.
"Our most recent review of
the prices of the products and
services we offer revealed that,
in many instances, our prices
were one of the lowest in the
market and in several instances
we were not charging at all,
unlike other banks," the bank s
The insurance product comfort
plan, which pays out cash on the
death of the insured, is "being
done away with," the employee
said. The bank said its comfort
plan and travel insurance ceased
to exist from July 1 because they
were "not directly connected to
Preparing for conversion
RBC Royal Bank has also
introduced what is known as the
Common Caribbean Operating
Model (CCOM), under which a
team, headed by programme
director Christopher Charron,
has gone into the branches to
prepare them for "conversion,"
both in services and infrastruc-
The branches, nine so far, are
at St James, Chaguanas,
Chaguaramas, San Juan, Pt Lisas,
Pointe-a-Pierre, West Mall, Mar-
aval and Diego Martin.
The staff member said some
employees jobs were being made
redundant owing to changes in
some services offered at the
branches. Those who were inter-
viewed for other in-house vacan-
cies, but did not qualify, were
sent to a "transition pool" at
Park Street, Port-of-Spain, for
90 days, the staff member said.
The employee said, though,
not everyone was waiting out
the 90 days, so the bank had
been offering some employees a
"package" to go home. Another
employee who went into the pool
said the package she was even-
tually offered was very good.
On that point, the bank said
it had decided to "adjust some
of our priorities," which included
"implementing a customer-fac-
ing model that meets our clients
The bank said in 2012, it
opened a state-of-the-art client
contact centre in Chaguanas and
an operations and service deliv-
ery centre at London Street,
Port-of-Spain, which have col-
lectively created approximately
300 new roles and another 200
were to be created.
As for the transition pool, the
bank said affected employees
could update their resumés and
participate in retraining, which
would make them "viable can-
didates" for new opportunities.
No more insurance
There is another change com-
ing: RBC Insurance Services
(Caribbean) Ltd, agents for
Guardian Holdings Ltd, will cease
to operate. The 3,500-plus port-
folio will be handed over to
Guardian General Insurance Ltd
between July 31 and August 31.
The bank said the establish-
ment of the Financial Institutions
Act (FIA) essentially bars finan-
cial institutions from owning and
operating an insurance agency
locally, which led RBC Royal
Bank to "discontinue" using a
agency to provide insurance serv-
ices to its clients. The bank said
RBC Insurance would close on
"No existing policyholder will
be disadvantaged by this closure,"
read the bank s statement.
Seven employees are being
made redundant as a result. They
were scheduled to meet with
RBC Royal Bank s human
resource department this week
to discuss their separation pack-
RBC Royal Bank
Shakes up services
No more VIP treatment for 'big clients'
According to a November 29,
2012, Bloomberg report, RBC
profit rose 22 per cent.
Net income for the period
ended October 31 was Can$1.91
billion (US$1.93 billion), or
Can$1.25 a share, up from
Can$1.57 billion, or Can$1.02, a
year earlier, the Toronto-based
Lender said in a statement.
Revenue rose 12 per cent to
Royal Bank of Canada bought
RBTT Financial Group in 2007
for US$2.2 billion.
The Canadian bank offered
$40 (US$6.33) per share, which
represented an 18 per cent
premium on the closing price of
RBTT shares on September 28,
2007. The number of RBC
common shares received by
RBTT shareholders is based on
a plus/minus ten per cent
"collar," based on an RBC share
price of US$54.42.
RBC combined its Caribbean
retail banking operations---with
46 branches and 68 automated
banking machines in nine
Caribbean countries---with that
of RBTT, which has banks in ten
countries, Suriname, the
Netherlands Antilles and Aruba.
The transaction resulted in
RBC having 6,900 employees
and more than 1.6 million clients
in 130 branches in 18 countries
and territories across the region
and total assets of US$13.7
Gary Griffith, security adviser to
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bisses-
sar, is no longer concerned that
investigators in the e-mail probe
were taking a long time to return his
computer and BlackBerry cellphone.
In a telephone interview yesterday,
Griffith said the police could keep the
items for "a year or ten years" if they
Last week, Griffith complained he
wanted back the items which he hand-
ed to the police about a month ago.
He also was concerned that some of
the national security information on
the devices could be compromised.
Griffith now says he had no inten-
tion of pressuring the police and wants
to give them his full support to ensure
the matter was properly investigat-
ed.He said: "I am going along this line
because I want to show I have trust
in the police which is a critical element
in crime-reduction. I do not want this
investigation to be tarnished in any
way and it is also important the public
have trust in the police."
He said the police had told him he
would get back his computer and cell-
phone within a certain period.
"When I asked for my items to be
returned, this was based on the police
telling me it would in fact be done by
a particular time. It was a mistake
they made, on their part, in that they
should have been more specific
regarding the time period."
He said when the information was
taken his IT technicians were not pres-
Asked if he was worried by that,
Griffith said he would "like to believe"
the police "are professionals."
He said: "I do have confidential
information about matters of national
security on my computer and phone
but if you can t trust the police, who
can you trust?
"I just want the country to see that
these e-mails were fabricated."
Deputy Police Commissioner
Mervyn Richardson has assured the
computer and phone will be handed
back to Griffith.
Saying he was pleased with the
progress of the investigation, Richard-
son said several people had been inter-
viewed by the police.
He said the police also had con-
tacted the Telecommunications Serv-
ices of T&T Ltd (TSTT) for assistance.
Foreign experts have not yet been
on cellphone issue
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