LETTER: Banks Must Remain Open

Customers outside ECAB on April 9, 2020

Dear Editor,

It seems the treatment of the COVID-19 pandemic is going to be more deadly than the actual virus.

I could say a lot on this but mainly I want to speak about the financial institutions. The “collateral benefit” of this for the sector is hopefully that more services are placed online and that more citizens make use of online services to do banking.

However, the reality is, very few services are currently available online and in truth you must go to the bank for many of these services.

The large crowds in St. John’s today shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone because it has been over a week since banks last opened. Tomorrow is good Friday, the banks will be closed.

It is said that banks will open on Wednesday’s and Friday’s there after so one can expect the large crowds or even larger crowds from what we witnessed today.

These large crowds to against the policy of social distancing and achieves exactly what social distancing is meant to prevent.

The reality is the banks are the the fuel that people need to keep going and people need to be able to access their monies and do the long list of things that will help make this crisis easier on them.

The banks must remain open. If people know that they can access the banking services it will cut the long lines but its the uncertainty of not knowing when banks will open again which has people flocking to the streets.

I am no financial guru but closing the banks and credit institutions will hurt more than it will help. Image companies who cannot do business, people who cannot do business.

I hope Gaston and the bankers association reconsider this.

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  1. With the banks now opening, St. John’s will be busy with every Antiguan now thinking they can leave their house as they like to go to town. Police will not be able to do
    anything as the thousands of people in town can simply tell them β€œI going bank”. What a joke this is turning out to be.

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