GNCB - first indigenous Bank

Guyana Chronicle
February 27, 2000

THE Guyana National Cooperative Bank was established on February 23, 1970, as the first indigenous Bank in Guyana representing an important landmark in this country's history.

The bank opened its doors to customers on February 24, 1970 at what was described then as "humble surroundings at Lombard and Cornhill Streets, Georgetown, with a staff of six.

"From the day we started doing business, some of our detractors gave us only six months to survive in the hitherto sacred preserve of the transnationals.

"How could we be so bold as to think that we can own and operate a viable Commercial Bank," then General Manager, Steve Backer said in a message to mark the 20th anniversary of the bank in 1990.

GNCB, in July, 1970, opened an Agency in the Linden Post Office, Avenue of the Republic, Linden.

In 1972, branches were established at Anna Regina on the Essequibo Coast, New Amsterdam, Rose Hall and Corriverton. A branch was also set up in the then Guyana National Trading Corporation (GNTC) building in Water Street.

In 1974, another branch was opened - an Agency at Timehri Airport and in 1975, the bank moved into the Guyana Post Office Corporation (GPOC) building and closed its Water Street Branch.

With its rural customers in mind, the bank entered into an agreement with the GPOC to collect funds on its behalf. And in 1977, a branch at Melanie Damishana on the East Coast Demerara was established.

In 1979, the Vreed-en-Hoop and High Street branches came into being and in 1985, Mobile Services on the West Coast of Berbice, West Coast and West Bank Demerara, began.