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Condemnation at the Closing of Last CGD Counter in Ponta do Sol

The Socialist Party (PS) Parliamentary Group issued a statement this week condemning the decision made by Portuguese bank Caixa Geral de Depósitos (CGD) of their intention of closing their remaining counter in Ponta de Sol in line with their restructuring policy.

PS spokesman, Deputy Carlos Colho, firmly stated that the ‘PS condemns the decision of Caixa Geral de Depósitos,’ which they feel has been made purely on administrative grounds and has not considered the unequivocal public service that the bank counter provides within the municipality. He went on to say that rural and isolated municipalities must have some form of public service, such as banks and post offices.

Carlos Colho, who was born in Ponta do Sol, also commented that in recent years two banks have closed their branches.  These are BPI, which closed its branch in Canhas, in 2015, and more recently Novo Banco in the village of Ponta do Sol.

Clearly worried, Carlos went on to say, ‘We cannot admit that Ponta do Sol will be the only municipality in the Autonomous Region without a branch of CGD, a state bank, which must guarantee the public service duty.’ Furthermore, he pointed out that, currently, there is only one alternative bank (with two branches) operating in the municipality, which will have a kind of territorial monopoly if CGD goes ahead with its proposed plan.’

Such a situation will ‘force CGD’s current customers, who are many to judge by the daily movement at that Ponta do Sol counter, to use neighbouring municipalities with the added difficulties of travel and costs that this represents.’

The socialist also said that the PS Parliamentary Group will ask for a meeting with CGD management in Madeira to obtain more information on the situation.

Samantha Gannon

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Madeira Weekly