Bank of Valletta has a strong presence in Gozo. Horace Laudi, Regional Manager of Bank of Valletta in Gozo speaks about the challenges and rewards of representing Bank of Valletta on the sister island of Gozo.
In his capacity as Regional Manager of Bank of Valletta in Gozo, a role he has been occupying for the past two and a half years, Horace manages the BOV Branch in Victoria, four agencies, along with the Business Centre, the Investment Centre and Legal Unit. Horace is also responsible for Gozo Operations, the unit that handles certain back office operations of the Bank.
The BOV team in Gozo is composed of 65 employees, all of whom, with the exception of Horace, are Gozitans.
Last year, has been a success story for the Gozitan team. They managed to take home six awards, including Branch of the Year and Top Investment Centre. These awards are corroborated by the Bank’s ongoing research into customer experience, where the Gozo units are voted among the top performers by both personal and business customers.
Speaking about the Gozitans, Horace described them as ‘enterprising and hardworking’. "The drive in our customers spurns us to remain close to them as much as possible," he said. "In fact, along with a number of other branches in Malta, our branch in Victoria offers extended service every Wednesday between 16.30 and 19.00 hours." This is in line with the Bank’s commitment to be customer-driven.
The importance of the team spirit was a recurrent theme throughout our conversation. "The main challenge is to provide every team member with a path for career development. Having said that, connectivity remains an issue," remarked Horace. "Unless one is willing to commute to Malta on a daily basis, opportunities are limited. Nevertheless the Bank is committed to provide job satisfaction for its staff complement in Gozo. Recently two new position posts were issued within Gozo Operations. This goes to show that the Bank is willing to continue investing in its people both in terms of high quality training, as well as with new job opportunities, that will eventually enable all Gozitan employees to choose to pursue a career while working in Gozo," explained Horace.
"We are also looking into expanding the Bank’s ATM fleet in Gozo as well as introducing additional night safes on the island. Another important area we are currently addressing is the expansion of our Investment Services as well as the relocation of our Victoria Branch to one floor instead of the current two floors. Concurrently we are also seeking to invest further in our four agencies."
A unit’s success depends to a great extent, if not entirely, on its team. All the changes we have implemented were only possible because our people are passionate and willing to embrace change. They understand that our core line of business is changing and are prepared to go the extra mile – attending training sessions outside office hours to enhance their skills. These efforts are yielding results in terms of enriched customer experiences.
The Bank’s commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility is strong in Gozo. By embarking on CSR, BOV makes a clear statement of wanting to take this commitment further. In fact, the Bank supports various initiatives organised in Gozo throughout the year through its Community Programme. These initiatives touch various aspects of our community, including arts and culture, sports as well as the conservation of important heritage sites.
"Gozo has the potential for growth," says Horace when asked about his vision for the Bank in the sister island. "Gozo has its fair share of professionals, and the Bank is committed to continue with its investment here. Education sessions targeting the business community on the one hand, and the general public on the other, are on our plans for the coming months."