By Lorraine Blasor
Special to News is my Business
Eighteen months after purchasing the failed R-G Premier Bank, Scotiabank of Puerto Rico will culminate the merger of both institutions by closing all of its 46 branches and central offices next Thursday afternoon and reopening them Monday, Nov. 14, upon completion of the integration.
“The integration of systems starts Nov. 10 at 3 p.m. and culminates Nov. 13,” the bank announced through a press release that News is my Business obtained Thursday.
Officials will be holding a press conference next week to provide more information, this media outlet learned.
Although all of the bank’s 46 branches will be closed, clients will still have access to ATM machines to make cash withdrawals. And they will also be able to make payments using their MasterCard Debit and Scotia Card at terminals and points of sale, according to the press release.
Scotiabank branches will re-open for business at 8:30 a.m. on Nov. 14.
The timing for the integration is particularly convenient as Nov. 11 is Veterans Day and a holiday, so the bank would have been closed anyway.
Bank of Nova Scotia, Canada’s third-largest bank by assets, bought R-G Premier Bank in April 2010, following its seizure and sale by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. R-G was one of three banks that failed that month and were closed down by federal authorities: the other two were Westernbank Puerto Rico in Mayagüez and Eurobank in San Juan.
In acquiring the assets of the failed bank, Scotiabank nearly tripled its branch network in Puerto Rico from 17 branches to 46. The transaction included $2.2 billion in deposits, $5.6 billion in assets and $5.3 billion in loans, as reported by Bloomberg.
Scotiabank of Puerto Rico President Peter Bessey told News Is My Business in July 2011 that the bank’s focus now would be to “create and deliver innovative banking services to facilitate financial planning for all our customers.”
“In this case, we have in mind commercial customers, whether corporate sector or small businesses and professionals,” he said.