Premier Dr D Orlando Smith has announced that banks in the territory have agreed to collectively open for business tomorrow, September 13; adding that businesses with internet access will be able to pay salaries directly to their employees’ bank accounts.
“[Also], for employers running manual payrolls, the banks have agreed to assist business owners to ensure salaries can continue to be paid,” said a media release from the Premier today.
Dr Smith, who met with representatives of National Bank of the Virgin Islands, Scotiabank, and FirstCaribbean this week, said the financial institutions have pledged to open tomorrow between 10:00 am and 1:00 pm. Some ATMs will be opened as early as today.
The Premier added that he will meet with the banks again tomorrow to discuss loan reprieves for business and personal accounts.
“Our government fully understands the importance of ensuring that we quickly begin the arduous task of rebuilding our territory, and so I have begun daily meetings with the essential arms of our economy, social and civic make-up, so that we can work quickly to get the Virgin Islands back to normalcy,” said Dr Smith.
Meanwhile, CEO of National Bank of the Virgin Islands, Joy Francis who spoke on behalf of the BVI Bank Association said: “The banks are fully aware of the need to ensure [that] cash is available and we have been working with each other and we are collectively confident about the cash on hand and our ability to provide that access to all of our clients.”
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