Acting Prime Minister, Freundel Stuart????

Government is committed to radically increasing the number of entrepreneurs in Barbados to help pull the country out of the current recession.

This was emphasised by acting Prime Minister, Freundel Stuart, as he delivered the feature address last Friday at the official opening of the Barbados National Bank’s (BNB) branch at Limegrove Lifestyle Centre in Holetown.

Mr. Stuart told his audience of business and financial entrepreneurs, that if government was to achieve this objective, it would, however, need the support of banks to facilitate access to capital and asked the BNB to do "all that was necessary to help strengthen the resolve to succeed and to spread the joy to other entrepreneurs".

In lauding the continued success of the Bank over the years, having made some $49 million in profit after taxes in 2009, he described its new branch as symbolising the hopes and aspirations of those in Barbados and throughout the Caribbean.

"The achievements of the Barbados National Bank demonstrate the power of adopting ad pursuing a?? people-centred vision. You can today take pride in the fact that

during the last 20 years you have become the financial institution of choice in Barbados and the standard bearer of excellence in customer contentment, employee satisfaction and shareholder value within the financial services sector" he said.

The acting Prime Minister stated that the BNB had demonstrated that the Caribbean Single Market and Economy was not only feasible, but also that it made sense, and could "create a win-win situation for owners and clients, whatever their nationality.

"It is also a timely reminder to those who may wish to turn back the clock by taking an insular stand, and cutting back on their contribution to the facilities that the region needs, that that approach is counter-productive."

Mr. Stuart congratulated the institution for making, what he termed, "tremendous progress in developing a formula for success, which involved attracting a more demanding customer, with expectations of service and product delivery, over and above what the Bank had proffered in the past."

He added: "The first part of this formula involved trawling the existing customer base and the under-served market segments for prospective clients in order to generate quick volumes and increase portfolio size; what the bank called ???picking the low-hanging fruits’."

The acting Prime Minister further pointed out?? as a result of this "aggressive penetration of the market by the BNB, customers, in general, are now more aware than ever before and have become more demanding and critical of the offerings within the industry and level of service provided."

In addition, he maintained this growing awareness by customers, with the resulting willingness to shop around, had elicited a vigorous response from competitors in product development, service delivery and marketing.

The new BNB branch forms part of an ultra-modern, mixed-use development that comprises residences and up market businesses, planned and financed by the Bank. clashley@barbados.gov.bb

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