The General Employees’ Cooperative Credit Union (GECCU) opens the doors of its new headquarters building today.
GECCU, which will celebrate its 56th anniversary on July 14, has moved one block west on Halifax Street from opposite the First Caribbean International Bank (FCIB) to obliquely opposite the Public Works compound.
“This move to the new and improved premises is what we consider reaching out to serve our internal and external stakeholders better,” Lennox Bowman, the chief executive officer (CEO) of GECCU told SEARCHLIGHT on Monday.
Bowman said the doors will open from 8 a.m. as usual, and customers will be greeted in a more spacious setting, by seven tellers, up from five at the old location. The office closes to the public at 3 p.m.
“The staff now has better surroundings and so do the members,” Bowman said while noting that comfort is good for member relationships.
The CEO noted that the move, apart from bringing more comfort to members and employees, is also a milestone in the financial institution’s 56-year journey as they try to provide the best service they can.
He however noted that this is not the final stop as the overall dream of GECCU is to have an even bigger state-of-the-art headquarters in the area where they vacated.
Bowman explained that GECCU owns five buildings at the former location and they are hoping to one day transform that area into a modern base for the company.
“This is really supposed to be a temporary stop. We have five buildings and the idea was to demolish them and put our headquarters which we are committed to so doing, but obviously, that project is going to take a couple years so you have to find somewhere to operate from,” Bowman said.
He added, “so when we got the opportunity to purchase this building, we said we could purchase this, renovate it; we actually went up an extra floor and it has become our home until that project of our new spanking headquarters is realized.”
He said the new base augments the fact that GECCU has six other offices throughout St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) from which they provide easy access to services.
He said the new building will better serve their over 45,000 members as they have worked hard to make sure that the workflow and the documentation flow processes are as simple, efficient, and effective as they can be.
“We have some the longest lines, so we are trying our best. Apart from the increase in space, we are very gung-ho and relenting in the use of technology so the digital customer experience for us is very important,” said Bowman.
He said there are two ATMs at the new location, but they are not yet up and running so members are being asked to use the ATM at the old location for the time being.
Also, GECCU offers online interviews for loans.
“We are moving towards technology so if you want to come and do a loan, we can hook you up and do the interview online, approve the loan right there and you can get the money at the ATM,” explained Bowman while noting that they also have online banking.
“Our brand is very important to us and we believe in this day and age, the two most important things for us is to make sure that we preserve the brand and enhance it and that we get very deeply engaged in the digital customer experience for members,” said the CEO, who leads over 62 employees spread out over six locations.