No big rush ahead of national pause
The long lines outside financial institutions that have become a familiar sight in recent times did not materialise for the most part of yesterday.
As a NATION NEWS team traversed parts of the island ahead of the national pause which takes effect from tomorrow and runs until February 17, only pockets of people were observed outside most banks, and some credit unions.
During the pause, face-to-face services will be restricted, with only online and automatic teller machine (ATM) services expected to be available to the public between February 3 and 9. Government announced the two-week pause last week in an effort to combat coronavirus (COVID-19)
On the West Coast, a moderate number of people waited in line to enter the FirstCaribbean branch in Holetown, St James, with only a handful observed outside the Royal Bank of Canada’s branch further down the street.
However, the usual line outside the FirstCaribbean branch, Warrens, St Michael snaked around the building as customers waited to get inside to conduct business.
One man who had just finished conducting business at Republic Bank in Wildey, St Michael said it was a quick “in and out” for him.
“When I came there was about three people in front of me. I waited about ten minutes to get in and was out in another ten. This has been by far one of my better banking days,” he said.
Over at FirstCaribbean, also in Wildey, one woman said she arrived at the bank just before midday.
“To my surprise, there were about ten people waiting to get in. I expected there would be way more people out here. I am not complaining, however. It means I will get back home fast,” she said.
There were five people waiting to enter the automatic teller machine vestibule at the neighbouring First Citizens Bank, but no one was waiting to get into the bank.
There were no crowds outside City of Bridgetown Credit Union or Barbados Public Workers Co-operative Credit Union, both on Broad Street, The City.
Meanwhile, post offices, where pensioners usually cashed their cheques and paid bills, was not congested as in times past. It was a normal day at Eagle Hall Post Office while four people waited at Welches Post Office, both in St Michael.
Two people were waiting to enter the post office in Rendezvous, and one waited outside Oistins Post Office, both in Christ Church (RA)