Long Islanders ‘very disappointed’ about RBC pullout

The local community in Long Island is “very disappointed” by the recent announcement that services offered by Royal Bank of Canada’s (RBC) Gray’s location on the island will no longer be available effective April 13, according to a Long Island Chamber of Commerce director Mario Cartwright.

Speaking with Guardian Business yesterday, Cartwright said businesses will “suffer” from RBC’s pullout from the island, since the only banking services now available would be Scotiabank’s satellite branch that is open two days out of the week.

“They (RBC) have made many millions of dollars, so the local community feels that they are being treated very shabbily by Royal Bank,” said Cartwright.

“We are in a predicament now where we have commercial businesses that will have cash deposits to make and at this early stage, we don’t know how we will continue doing that, because the initial report is that the bank is pulling out all together.

“So, where do we deposit our money? That’s a major concern to us. It is going to be quite a dilemma.”

Cartwright added that the pullout of a major bank from an island could send a “negative message” to second homeowners and investors.

“I regret to say it but it seems like the island is dying. I received many calls. The majority of businesses are baffled by all of this. They want to know how this will affect their business and how it is going to affect the future of Long Island.

“There is much unrest up in Long Island with this issue.”

Long Island MP Adrian Gibson told Guardian Business the total withdrawal of RBC from the island is “quite troubling” to the business community and the island in general.

Gibson claimed that web shops are “likely” contributing to the withdrawal of banks on the island.

“Banks make fees via transactions and loans. But the numbers houses are allowed to carry out free transfers and banks are somewhat eliminated out of the picture,” said Gibson.

“We have to properly regulate the proliferation of these numbers houses.”

Island Luck announced last year in November that it had “implemented systems and procedural changes” to stem the practice of customers using its system as a money transfer mechanism for inter-island remittances within The Bahamas.

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