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Lower interest rates not promised despite SSB investment

Chairman of the National Bank of the Virgin Islands, Clarence Faulkner.

Even with a $15 million investment from the coffers of the Social Security Board (SSB) which ensures the availability of more funds to on-lend to the public, the National Bank of the Virgin Islands has indicated that there is still no guarantee of a dip in interest rates for customers.

Questions about the likelihood of lower interest rates for borrowers was put to executives of the bank during a ceremony yesterday which saw the SSB officially becoming a 33 percent shareholder of the bank.

“There is something in the investment world deemed as risk and reward. So, obviously, that whole analysis has to go into every investment. That means a home, a personal loan and so forth, so our credit department will look at that and determine what is the most applicable rate to assign,” said Chairman of the National Bank of the Virgin Islands, Clarence Faulkner.

He added that persons need to be mindful that there are things to be considered such as the cost of operating a bank, payroll, and the cost that comes with expanding and improving their systems and services.

In the meantime, the move which saw the SSB becoming part owner of the bank was made possible with the recent passing of the Development Bank of the Virgin Islands Transfer of Assets and Liabilities (Amendment) Act 2017.

The legislation allows statutory bodies such as the SSB and companies that have been incorporated locally to become shareholders in the bank.

Up until yesterday the BVI Government was the sole shareholder of the bank

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