Categorized | National News


Opposition leader Philip Davis lambasted Royal Bank of Canada’s (RBC) senior vice president for sales in the bank’s Caribbean region, Tim Rider about his remarks he made concerning Bahamians working at RBC.

During his monthly press conference yesterday held at Gambier House, the Progressive Liberal Party’s headquarters, Davis said he found Mr. Rider’s remarks offensive and insulting.

In a letter written by Davis to the President of RBC, he requested the bank to take appropriate action in wake of its senior vice president’s recent comments about the banking industry in The Bahamas.

“I wrote a letter to the president of the Royal Bank of Canada as leader of the opposition, to say how offensive and insulting I found the remarks attributed to their vice president Tim Rider and reported widely in last week’s press,” the opposition leader stated.

Last week during Royal Fidelity’s Bahamas Economic Outlook (BEO), Mr. Rider indicated that inadequate fiscal controls and the country’s substandard education, both pose the biggest threats to the local economy, adding that corruption is a paramount issue The Bahamas has to focus on.

He also said it is essential that The Bahamas fix its inadequate education and training systems for its citizens and that the lack of education puts The Bahamas at a disadvantage, as it has an expensive, undereducated workforce; all coupled with corruption adds adverse consequences for the banking industry.

These comments caused a stir among Bahamians and Mr. Davis says the government’s push back to Rider’s comments was a weak attempt.

The member of Parliament for Cat Island, Rum Cay and San Salvador said, “I ask Royal Bank of Canada whether they wished to scapegoat Bahamians throwing them under, what I call the proverbial bus as it turns its back on The Bahamas after having enjoyed a century long business relationship with the people and government.

“See, we accept that all countries and markets have deficiencies. There are ways to address that, but not by insulting the people in the markets in which you are doing your business.

“To challenge the patriotism of Bahamians sitting in front of it by saying in effect, that they were refusing to help the lesser of Bahamas, is wholly offensive,” Mr. Davis told the media and PLP supporters.

Using Atlantis analogously, Mr. Davis then said, “Atlantis is an example of how to approach matters of deficiencies. Kerzner saw deficiencies, but he didn’t trash the Bahamian people publicly, instead he did something about it.

“He formed a University and brought the skills up to par of Bahamians. Why can’t Royal Bank of Canada do the same thing if they so perceive deficiencies.

“And I had to remind them (RBC) that much of Royal Bank of Canada’s successes as a leading regional institution were contributed to by a cadre of highly educated and competently trained Bahamians,” Mr. Davis stated.
Mr. Rider’s comments followed RBC’s decision to close four of its branches; one each in Long Island and Andros and two in New Providence.

The bank also informed everyone that it will be moving to a more digital platform which would provide its clients with extra access, convenience and security.

RBC plans to have the four remaining locations closed by March 30th. ​

Written by Jones Bahamas

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