Royal Bank of Canada’s 100th anniversary exhibition will undoubtedly play an important part in telling the story of the Royal Bank of Canada as a pioneer in the provision of full-banking services within The Bahamas, said Public Works and Transport Minister the Hon. Neko Grant as he officially opened the exhibition in the foyer of the General Post Office building, East Hill Street Monday.

In his remarks, Minister Grant said the Post Office, which comes under his purview, is proud to present another glimpse of The Bahamas’ history. “This exhibition will take visitors on a journey from the early years to the present, where through the Royal Bank of Canada and the subsequent arrival of other licensed banks and trust companies, The Bahamas has become a leading international financial centre.”

Nathaniel Beneby, Jr. Vice President and Country Head of RBC Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands pledged to continue the bank’s “client’s first” philosophy. He said, “I pledge our service, our support and our respect, as we live our vision of “Always earn the right to be our client’s first choice.”

Mr. Beneby said Royal Bank is sensitive to the fact that clients who normally have a “good” history may, through no fault of their own, be temporarily impacted financially due to the current economic climate. He revealed several initiatives through which the bank is pledging its commitment to helping clients. Among them are the following:

    – Extending the loan or mortgage maturity date
    – Waiving principal payments for an extended period of time
    – Rewriting the debt which includes consolidation and the use of equity in your home, which is a ready source of cash to pay off debts
    – Allowing interest payments only for a period of time until regular payments can be resumed
    – Allowing an extended period of time without principal or interest payments for clients in extreme economic hardship who are unable to make principal or interest payments on a debt.

Mr. Beneby said, “This is not a time for fear or panic as this economic cycle too shall pass. I trust that Bahamians will use their experience in this difficult environment to assess their financial management practices, saving habits, learn from their experiences and do things differently.”

The exhibition is organized into four sections: the history of the bank, people of the bank including employees, managers and clients, community work, and branch offices. The Royal Bank of Canada has a longstanding presence in The Bahamas with operations first established on November 2, 1908. It has 24 branches throughout New Providence and the Family Islands, a commercial banking business centre and 45 automated banking machines.

Also in attendance at the opening of the exhibition were: Dr. the Hon. Hubert Minnis, Minister of Health; Wendy Craigg, Governor of the Central Bank of The Bahamas; Anita Bernard, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, Brenda Dorsett, Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, Robert Sumner, representing Godfrey Clarke, Postmaster General.