By Vanessa Braithwaite
THE MANAGER of the Banks DIH Linden branch, Shondell Eastman, was proud to announce its earnings of $1.19, 243, 984 for the fiscal year of 2015. According to Managing Director, Clifford Reis this has been the first time that the branch has earned over 1 billion dollars and this received high commendations. This 11.6% increase of $243,984 from the total earnings of 2014 has deemed the branch the best performer for a consecutive year as it was awarded the chairman’s performance trophy in 2014 as well. When given the award, Eastman was congratulated for a job well done. The branch also sold 704, 860 cases of products, an increase of 6.3%. In addition to this the branch reached the target of the entire company by selling 13% compared to the 4% that was allocated. According to Reis it was a display of hard work as the company did not raise prices hence the branch had to sell more volume. The Managing Director lauded the management and staff at Linden and challenged them to break the record of $ 2 billion next year. “As the only female branch manager Shondell has worked hard and that is why I had to give her the Chairman’s Trophy again, posited Mr. Reis.
The manager and staff of the Linden Citizen Bank were also applauded for the yearly totals and increases. The branch made an 18.5 % total revenue increase of $33.7 million. In addition to this, loans and advance grew by $150 million. The banks gave out $670 million in loans and there was currently $586 million in deposits. “Some societies don’t have that kind of money in their main branch,” articulated Mr. Reis. He said that even though the New Amsterdam Branch was built before Linden’s, the performance of the latter was better. The hard work of the staff had proven all initial pessimism of establishing the branch in Linden wrong according to Reis.
The applause of the local shareholders represented their appreciation for the achievements of the two branches. This increase in sales and revenue of the branch will see its extension as part of the country-wide renovations and extensions to branches. These include plants, breweries and the Idiho restaurant. Some of the renovations that have started will continue during 2016. “Our customers will receive new and exciting experiences and environments for the enjoyment of a variety of services,” he mentioned. The company will also continue with the construction of a new Citizen Bank branch at Regent and Camp Street.
The chairman was pleased to announce to the shareholders a dividend payment of $69 million. He said that a share is now worth $28.60 and because of this increase he encouraged the shareholders to desist from selling their shares. He said that shares in the company was the best investment anyone could make and the shares should be left to one’s family. “If you need money you can go to the bank and use your shares as collateral for a loan but don’t sell your shares,” he cautioned. He further encouraged them to have their children’s name on their certificate in case of death so that it will continue to pass down in the family.
Even though the company has progressed, the Managing Director said that one of the biggest challenges faced was that of the heavy demand in taxation from the government. Currently the company is paying the government $15 million per day in taxes and this was very strenuous on the company’s operations. “We are asking the Government to review this taxation and to look at decreasing the tax in the restaurant business,” pleaded Mr. Reis. He said that despite those challenges the company would continue to strive and it was there to stay. The aim is to continue strengthening the Banks family as they celebrate their 60th Anniversary with the theme, ‘The journey of discovery continues.’