Scotiabank in St Lucia has launched a brand new programme targeted to meet the financial and business needs of local professionals.
The Scotia Professional Plan was unveiled to a sample group of professional and business people at the Bay Gardens Beach Resort.
The plan will be administered by the bank’s Small Business Department. It is an enhanced financial services package, which has been designed specifically to meet the needs of independent professionals such as doctors, lawyers, dentists and architects.
Some key components of the package include higher borrowing limits of up to a maximum of $1.3 million, up to 100 percent financing of equipment, flexible repayment options, including extended terms of repayment and moratorium on principal payments as well as competitive rates and fees.
During the launch, Andrew Phillips, Scotiabank’s assistant manager for small business at the Castries branch announced that other resources were also being planned to which professionals and small business customers would have access. These included customer education seminars and workshops on such topics as cash flow management, marketing the business, understanding the marketplace, benefits of proper records and bookkeeping.
Scotiabank’s Country Manager Chester Hinkson told the gathering that the bank was changing its mindset about how to deal with people who had just come back and wanted assistance to start their own businesses, remarking that when these people finished their studies overseas all they came back to was a student loan and the qualification that they had worked hard to achieve.
Hinkson added: “If they wanted a loan the bank would ask them to mortgage their parents’ home which was already mortgaged.”
But he said Scotiabank was changing that kind of approach, explaining that the objective of the new plan was to help professionals who had completed their studies to set up their businesses. “The bank is taking the initiative to reach out to people like that to help them start their business. I am really encouraged by this initiative and I hope you will be too.”
Phillips echoed his sentiments: “At Scotiabank we will make it our business to support yours. We will work together with our professional customers to provide them with a range of solutions to improve their business and personal needs so that they can be better off financially”.
The plan was specifically designed for health care and business professionals who were part of a select and unique group of Scotiabank customers: doctors, dentists, pharmacists, lawyers, accountants etc.
Phillips added: “Whether you are just starting out or well established in your field our specialized solutions can help you meet the unique and financing demands of your practice or business. Our aim is to assist you in achieving the vision you have for your practice and help you develop it into a healthy enterprise.”
Describing the new plan as “comprehensive” and “flexible,” Phillips said Scotiabank was aware of the importance of actually listening to and understanding the needs of professionals. He added: “Our unique approach focuses on customers’ goals and objectives. We will work with you to help you establish and further your business and
get you to where you want to go.”
Veterinarian Dr. Keith Scotland endorsed Scotiabank’s business philosophy, saying he had benefitted from it. Scotland, who established St Lucia’s first veterinary hospital in 1992 and has been a Scotiabank customer since 1997, praised the partnership he had been able to forge with the bank which had financed a lot of the expansion and upgrading of the hospital that he had undertaken in recent years. He also praised the courteous service he had always received from the bank and recommended Scotiabank to professionals looking for the services that it offered.
The team promoting the Scotiabank Professional Plan is headed by Country Manager Hinkson himself and includes Kerwin Jn Baptiste, branch manager at the Castries headquarters; Mandy Alcindor, assistant manager for small business at the Castries branch; Emelda St. Ange, branch manager at Vieux Fort; Andrew Phillips, assistant manager for small business at Castries and Anicia Alexander, manager of the Rodney Bay branch.
Scotiabank is inviting small business people and professionals looking for financial assistance to approach the institution and discover what is possible.