By BORNEOTODAY REPORTERS
KOTA KINABALU: Despite appeals by its customers, Alliance Bank Malaysia Berhad has proposed to close its Luyang-Damai branch, and will move all of its branch operations and customer accounts to its Jalan Gaya branch by March 1, 2018.
However, it will continue operating the 24/7 E-lobby which includes services such as ATM, and cash and cheque deposit machines, Alliance Bank said in a statement Monday.
At the Jalan Gaya branch, the Bank will be able to provide our customers with a wider range of services such as a Privilege Banking Centre, SME Business Centre, and Share Trading Centre services, in addition to self-service terminals and advisory services.
The statement claimed that since the announcement of the closure, its officials have actively engaged with the Luyang-Damai community in order to understand and address their concerns.
“After listening carefully to the feedback, we have decided to continue operating the 24/7 E-lobby and this will allow our customers to keep performing their daily transactions at their preferred location,” the statement said.
Additionally, prior to closing its Luyang Damai branch, Alliance Bank will be launching its mobile banking app which contains innovative features to easily fulfil customers’ banking needs.
To ensure that the migration process is as simple as possible, Alliance Bank will transfer all customer accounts and safe deposit boxes to the Jalan Gaya branch without any actions required from the customer.
Among those who protested the closure were tourism players as well as the Sabah United Chinese Chambers of Commerce, on behalf of scores of their members who did their banking at the Luyang-Damai bank.
A spokesman for the tourism industry had written to Bank Negara said the proposed move would inconvenience the customers, and going to the Jalan Gaya branch, would add to the current serious traffic jam and parking issues in the City centre.
“Digitalization and on-line banking among the financial institutions are unavoidable,” said the spokesman in the letter. “This means less staff and fewer branches.
“However, we would like to point out that the internet connectivity in Sabah, including Kota Kinabalu, is still very slow and lagging behind compared with West Malaysia.”
SUCCC described Luyang-Damai as one of the busiest commercial areas outside of Kota Kinabalu, consisting of about 3,000 commercial shop lots and 8,000 residential houses.
“With the closure of Alliance Bank’s Luyang Damai branch, this will definitely cause hardship to our members who are the bank’s customers and public who does their banking transactions there,” said SUCCC.
“Over the years, we understand the bank has closed a few branches eg Kota Belud, Petagas, Tamparuli and Inanam Service Center due to business requirements. We also understand that the Bank has closed Sinsuran branch in March 2005 and re-opened again later in the following year.”
SUCCC added the bank also has a socio-economic responsibility towards the local business people and communities which have sustained the bank’s business and profit over the years.