Mid-Year Update: BOB Repositioned for Growth
31 Dec 2013
2013 was another challenging year for The Bahamian economy and by extension the local business community. During this year The Bahamas saw high levels of unemployment and little economic growth. Loan loss provisioning continued to be the order of the day for the entire banking industry to offset the inherent risks of lending in a slow economy. However, out of difficult times, the greatest potential exists for reinvention and transformation.
For BOB the past 12 months has been a time of repositioning and institutional strengthening. During this time we have:
- Revamped our Vision and Values statements which provide direction and focus to all our activities
- Hired a highly experienced Chief Operations Officer to oversee all operations of the bank
- Strengthened our capital base
- Retired all liabilities
- Retrained our staff throughout the islands in the knowledge of our products & services
- Begun a quality customer care initiative designed to improve internal and external customer care
- Expanded our ATM Network to introduce an in-branch site in San Salvador
- Revamped our Website to provide a current and comprehensive overview of our products and services
- Continued our focus on technological innovation
- Continued to support a range of community activities with special focus on youth development, education and crime prevention
In April 2013 we became the first bank to introduce non-envelope cash deposits at our BOB Express ATMs. This feature provides instant cash value and gives our customers the option to now pay their credit card bills or load their prepaid cards instantly via our in-branch ATM Network. Our continued focus on technological innovation also saw the start of testing for another product that will be launched in 2014.
In October we observed an important milestone in the history of the bank: our 25th Anniversary. It was a time for celebration and evaluation as we reflected on how far we have come together and anticipated the next 25 years.
2013 also brought about an important change in direction for the bank. During this year the increasing costs of evolving US regulatory obligations led us to decide to close down our Miami Service Centre. For the time being this means a change in focus from international expansion to seeking new opportunities here at home. In this regard the ground work has already advanced to explore entry into several Family islands where we currently do not have a presence.
As we enter 2014 we anticipate that the current economic conditions will prevail for a least another several months, however, we are optimistic that the tide will turn by late 2014 or early 2015. In the meantime we are excited about the future and confident that because of the work we have begun this year we are in a better position to take advantage of every viable prospect that will arise.
As always, we thank you for the opportunity to serve you and wish you a happy and prosperous New Year.