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Former Scotiabank Customers in Belmopan Face Challenges with Transitioning into the New System

Dozens of former Scotiabank customers stood in long lines at various Belize Bank branches across the country to update their banking cards and information. This past weekend, the Belize Bank Limited (BBL) transitioned its banking system to include customers who had banked with Scotiabank. It is a transition, that the Central Bank of Belize had assured the public via a press release, would have been a smooth process. The transition meant that those who used to bank with Scotia would have to get a new debit card and a new bank account under the Belize Bank Limited umbrella. Correspondent Fem Cruz followed up the situation in Belmopan and found some very unhappy customers waiting in line for an estimated two hours, enduring the elements.

Reporter: Ma’am, how long have you been out here? 

Customer 1: “For more than an hour.” 

Reporter: How much has this inconvenienced you?

Customer 1: “Very inconvenient.”

Reporter: Tell me why. 

Customer 1: “Because Scotiabank and Belize Bank customers are all together now. It’s more people so they need to include more tellers inside. They need more personnel inside to deal with their customers because they have more customers. Scotiabank customers have come to Belize Bank now. I don’t think they are prepared yet.” 

Customer 2: “Brother Fem, yesterday I was out here for 2 ½  hours. Today 1 hour and 15 minutes already. This is bad for business because time spent in the line waiting is really time wasted. Time gone, you really can’t get that back to do other business. So I just hope that the transition goes smoothly and after the next two or three weeks, it won’t be the same. So, be patient. “

Customer 3: “Actually this is my second visit. I was here a little earlier today and the line was as long as it is now. I was just speaking to someone in the line and they have indicated that they have been in the branch but they don’t have sufficient people attending to those wanting to get customer service assistance to get their cards rectified. I tried the online portal but I couldn’t get through with that and now I find myself here having to deal with this so now it looks like I’m going to have to probably come back tomorrow morning again and try. It was a major inconvenience because this requires time off and so some of the people here would have had to take time off but this looks like a 2 hour wait. “

For one customer in the line, updating his banking information and transitioning into a new system was only a part of his problem and frustrations. He says the bank has made changes to his accounts without notifying him.

Belize Bank Customer : “You have to have a lot of patience when you come here. I was with Scotiabank. I had a facility there. They just converted my facility. I had an agreement with the bank. They converted my agreement to their own agreement without my consent. So I went there just now to pay my credit card. They told me I can’t pay my credit card until they generate a statement. Last night I was trying to get on the internet to use their app. I can’t get in. They blocked me out and you have to wait here and it looks like if it’s going to rain. They don’t have the facility to cater to the people that are here and this is a daily thing. It’s very frustrating. Whosoever is managing this transition has failed and failed miserably because this shouldn’t have happened. This should have been a smooth transition. They closed off the Scotia branch over there. No business is happening over there for the customer and they have to come here, stand in the sun or come early. This is like going to the public hospital where you have to come at 7:30 for an 8 o’clock line. It’s very frustrating and I have been here for like nearly, almost 2 hours and I’m still in line.”

Love News understands that for Scotiabank customers who also had a Belize Bank account, they will now have two accounts at the bank. For those who only banked with Scotiabank will have to go into the office to get their new account information, debit cards and online banking credentials.