…lauded for continuous investments in GuyanaAs Scotiabank prepares to celebrate 50 years of operating in Guyana, the financial institution has rolled out a number of initiatives, including the introduction of technologically advanced banking services.This was announced by the bank’s Country Manager, Raymond Smith, when the company launched its 50th anniversary, which will be in September.According to Smith, Scotiabank had proudly blazed the trail for commercial banking in Guyana and now, it has to turned its attention to strategies that see the company doing the same over the next 50 years ahead.From left: UG’s Deputy Vice President Dr Paloma Mohamed, Canadian High Commissioner Lilian Chatterjee, BoG Governor General Dr Gobind Ganga and Scotiabank’s Country Manager Raymond Smith at the bank’s 50th anniversary launchHe went on to quote the President and Chief Executive Officer of Scotiabank – headquartered in Canada – Brian Porter, who said the bank is “…a technology company offering financing services”.To this end, Smith said Scotiabank is committed to providing customers with a “superior banking experience” and as such, will be implementing a suite of digital solutions to better serve and satisfy customers.“In this regard, we anticipate that during the course of this year we will introduce the next generation of ABMs (Automated Banking Machine) or Intelligence Banking Machines “IMB” as they are also referred to. Also, we plan to introduce new card products and additional online solutions. The one that we are really excited about is the ability to transfer funds to third parties from the convenience of your laptop, tablet or smartphone,” the Country Manager announced.He noted that Scotiabank will be using technology to build efficiency, cost savings and responsiveness into its operations, as it aims to be an agile organisation that can easily and quickly adjust to changes in the industry and the markets in which it operates.Furthermore, Smith also referred to new CSR-based initiatives that the bank is undertaking as part of its 50th anniversary celebrations. Among these is Scotiabank’s signature CSR (customer service relation) project will be its new partnership with the University of Guyana to commission a “SMART” classroom within the Faculty of Natural Science.“This project, which is in alignment with the bank’s digital focus, will cost $2 million, and will provide current and future students with the benefits of an international learning environment. It is being funded through the Scotiabank Community Programme and hopefully, it’s the first of many more similar projects with the University of Guyana,” the Country Manager said.He added that another such initiative for the bank’s jubilee anniversary is its annual Vision Achiever Programme Business Plan competition, which is an initiative intended to promote entrepreneurship and has a first prize of $1 million and a runner-up prize of $500,000.“This year in celebration of our 50th anniversary, we have doubled the prize money. Former participants of this competition have gone on to start new businesses while others have expanded their existing businesses,” Smith noted.This competition, which was also launched on Friday, is opened to Guyanese residents 18 years and older who are interested in starting a business or have an existing small business they want to expand.Meanwhile, Scotiabank was lauded for its continuous investments in Guyana over the past 50 years by Governor General of the Bank of Guyana, Dr Gobind Ganga, who said the company has participated in the transformation of the Guyanese economy, while at the same time, transforming its operations to meet the challenges that came with economic transformation.“The Bank of Guyana has been heartened over the years by (Scotiabank’s) success and leadership in the industry. The Bank of Guyana continues to support Scotia role as an important player and partner, not only because of its support to the nation’s development, but also because of the drive for efficiency, and diffusion of relevant international best practices in banking and accounting principles which contribute in enhancing stability and transparency of the financial system,” Dr Ganga posited.He went on to note that the discovery of oil offshore Guyana not only has huge developmental potential for the country, but will also provide opportunities for the banking sector.“The rapid development of technology also offers many opportunities which we are yet to tap into. While we are getting acquainted with new technologies and buzz-words such as retooling, reengineering, and smart solutions, newer buzz words are already here, artificial intelligence, big data, and virtual transactions… Our industry must continue to evolve to be abreast with these complexities and to grasp the opportunities,” the BoG Governor General stated.Also making brief remarks at the bank’s 50th anniversary launch were Canadian High Commissioner to Guyana, Lilian Chatterjee, and Dr Paloma Mohamed, Deputy Vice President at the University of Guyana.