The Hon Silvio Schembri, Minister for the Economy and Industry officially inaugurated Bank of Valletta’s new branch at The Promenade, Triq it-Torri, Tas-Sliema. Minister Schembri was greeted by BOV Chairman Dr Gordon Cordina and CEO Rick Hunkin in the presence of Sliema Mayor Anthony Chircop.
Bank of Valletta has embarked on an exciting transformational project inaugurating Sliema Branch as its first branch to feature the Bank’s new customer-centric concept that will be implemented across the largest branch network on the Maltese Islands.
Speaking during the inauguration, Mr Hunkin stated that this new concept forms part of Bank of Valletta’s 3-year strategic plan, dubbed BOV-2023. ‘This development coincides with changing customer behaviours, increased competition, regulatory developments and technological disruption. The current environment necessitates a degree of agility in rolling out these changes in order to ensure that the Bank remains relevant and connected to its customers.’
‘Besides a new and modern look and feel as well as an improved working environment for our colleagues, this strategic transformation will enable new and better ways of working with our customers, reduced back-office paperwork and better and simplified processes,’ continued Mr Hunkin. ‘The initial stages of this transformation have already shown encouraging results and I take this opportunity to thank all our colleagues who have embraced this change for the benefit of our customers and shareholders in this journey that will take BOV towards a better and more sustainable future.
‘Bank of Valletta prides itself as being an instrumental player in Malta’s sustainable development, responsible and caring towards the communities it operates in, with a strong Corporate Social Responsibility ethos, through its extensive Community Programme’, said Dr Gordon Cordina. ‘We have now embarked on the next step in this regard and are adopting a measurable and sustainable CSR approach that is aligned to an Environment, Social and Governance structure.
‘Along the years, we have invested heavily in several initiatives that focus on energy and water efficiency and reducing our carbon footprint such as harnessing solar energy, efficient cooling and lighting systems and intelligent use of rainwater’ continued Dr Cordina. ‘We are proud to call Sliema Branch our first ‘Green Branch’ where most of the materials used are all-natural and derived from sources with a fast renewal rate. Screen advertising results in extensive reduction in paper use, while the customer kiosks are made from sustainable wood and can be reused wherever needed. Green walls act as an extra insulation layer, besides their physical and mental health benefits and the latest technology in lighting fittings is focused on specific areas to reduce consumption and light pollution.’
‘The Sliema branch looks very different to what we are used to, but the keen-eyed visitor will notice that there is a familiar theme flowing throughout the whole premises. Indeed, the colour scheme is based on the colours of our traditional Maltese Luzzu, and the furnishings and lighting are aimed at highlighting different sections of the Branch.’
We have listened to our customers’ needs and extended our opening hours to cater for their busy lifestyles and are looking at different locations in Malta to ensure optimum working hours for the specific localities,’ concluded Dr Cordina.
‘This renewal project was launched with the opening of the main branch in Sliema which due to its location is perhaps one of the most demanding in our islands and serves the largest number of customers. This branch is launching a 3-year renovation project that will cost several millions, but that will improve the customer experience. The branch renovation project will continue across the Bank’s Branch Network. The Paola branch, the Zurrieq branch and the Siggiewi branch are currently being renovated, 'said Minister Schembri.
Minister Schembri extended his appeal to other banks in our country. ‘While digital banking has in some cases surpassed more traditional banking methods, particularly for certain demographics, a substantial part of the customer banking experience still takes place in the branches. Therefore, my appeal to both BOV and other banks remains not to see the branches in the villages as a burden but as a resource and to continue to invest in them. I commend this more consumer-oriented approach, which sees areas where direct contact with the customer be made holistically redesigned to meet the needs of today's customers.
'In addition, it is very gratifying to note that the economy is showing strong potential to get back on track and so it is more important than ever that banks remove as many barriers as possible to our businesses. so that they can invest more in their business' concluded Schembri.
The Minister proceeded to unveil a plaque commemorating this inauguration and was given a tour of the Branch and meet the Bank’s staff deployed at Sliema Branch.
Today BOV employs over two thousand staff as it has increased its workforce significantly in these past months and it has also embarked on a significant training programme to enhance staff skills for the benefit of all stakeholders.
Issued by Bank of Valletta p.l.c., 58, Triq San Zakkarija, Il-Belt Valletta VLT 1130. Bank of Valletta p.l.c. is a public limited company regulated by the MFSA and is licensed to carry out the business of banking and investment services in terms of the Banking Act (Cap.371 of the Laws of Malta) and the Investment Services Act (Cap.370 of the Laws of Malta).