GBTI brings sophisticated banking to Lethem with new branch
The Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry (GBTI) has relocated and upgraded its Lethem branch to a standard that makes financial transactions in Region Nine easy, efficient and high-tech.
The bank located in the heart of the Lethem commercial zone and against the vista of the Kanuku Mountains was dedicated before President Donald Ramotar, executives of the bank, officials of neighbouring Brazil and a large gathering of residents.
ATM banking is now available in Lethem for the first time, including a drive-in night depository, internet and mobile banking and several other services afforded to GBTI customers in several other parts of the country.
The installation of new software recently at that location, coupled with the availability of reliable bandwidth created the means by which the Lethem branch can be connected to the GBTI network.
The bank’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) John Tracey explained at Saturday’s launch the transformation in banking transaction that has been brought about as a result of technology. He indicated that the arduous system of verification that was required for cheques drawn from Georgetown would no longer be necessary.
“We would have had to take your cheque, it had to be scanned, sent down to Georgetown where they would have to check your balance and your signature, call you back and tell you it’s ok to pay. That is no longer the case. This branch in Lethem, when you come in with your cheque, drawn on any branch in GBTI, they will get on their system… and be able to approve your cheque… that will happen in a matter of five or ten minutes,” Tracey said.
The experience has highlighted the importance of making Information Communication Technology (ICT) in the country a national priority given the impact it has on the quality of life for all.
Similar to the GBTI Diamond, East Bank Demerara branch, a multi-purpose court has been built aback of the Lethem branch for all encompassing occasions available to residents free of cost with no membership requirements.
Confidence in the outlook for Lethem, looking at the growth in business and the Government’s development agenda for the Region Nine community is the premise on which GBTI took the decision to open a Lethem branch, according to Robin Stoby Chairman of the Board of Directors of GBTI.
“We are pleased however, with the progress that has been occurring in the commercial zone and encourage our entrepreneurs to take advantage of benefits offered,” Stoby said.
President Donald Ramotar who delivered the feature address, described the new branch of the local commercial bank, as a vindication of growth and expansion in Lethem and by its nature of offering credit and opportunities for people to save, he said it will stimulate the economy.
“When services like banking come into the community, there are two things that happen; it helps to stimulate the economy in the very area… and the same time the community itself by growing, helps them to develop,” President Ramotar.
The Head of State commended the bank for its corporate ventures in the community that have all been directed towards the improvement in the quality of life for the residents. Included in these ventures is the promise to donate an ambulance to the Lethem Hospital.
The potential in Lethem to develop at a rapid pace, with Brazil the fifth largest economy in the world at the frontier was spotted a long time ago by the Guyana Government, according to President Ramotar.
The vision has seen the bridge across the Takutu River, large scale plantation type agriculture in the Rupununi and plans for an all weather road.
During a visit to Lethem in April, President Ramotar had announced plans to establish a Lethem Authority comprising representatives from Lethem and Georgetown who will engage in the task of planning for the future development of the community. (GINA)