At long last, banking services have officially returned to Virgin Gorda and Premier Andrew Fahie has said he is extremely confident the new Banco Popular branch that opened on the island this week will be operating on a five-day-per-week basis shortly.
The bank is currently opened three days a week — Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 am to 4 pm but Premier Fahie said those days will soon expand as a result of the projected economic activity which is likely to occur soon.
“We recognised that there is tremendous economic potential right here on Virgin Gorda in the future with so many businesses coming on stream. Already approved Little Dix, already approved Biras Creek, Bitter End and many other areas coming back on stream,” said Premier Fahie at the bank’s official opening ceremony on the sister island on Wednesday, November 6.
“I can guarantee 99.9% that the economy of Virgin Gorda will lift and rise and flourish so great that the three days in Banco Popular will turn into five days,” added Fahie who is also Minister of Finance.
Opening of bank to bring relief to residents
Premier Fahie said the opening of the bank on Virgin Gorda was of high priority for his government when he took office in late February. With no banking services available on the island since Scotiabank’s departure in 2018, he said this new joint-venture with Banco, will bring relief to both residents and business owners on the sister island.
“Business owners on Virgin Gorda felt a heavy sense of insecurity, having to keep large sums of monies home, thereby posing a threat to themselves and their families. With the opening of the bank today on Virgin Gorda, this feeling of insecurity and concern will be significantly reduced,” the Premier added.
Meanwhile, Senior Vice President and Division Manager for Banco Popular Virgin Islands Region, Oran Roebuck, said that the expansion of services to Virgin Gorda reaffirmed the bank’s commitment to the BVI.
“Establishing a presence in Virgin Gorda to provide financial services for residents and visitors alike have been a long-standing goal of Popular and today we are so proud to see the goal come to fruition,” she stated.
Services to be offered
Among the services that will now be present on the island are a 24-hour walk-up ATM which will also possess their new easy deposit feature, and access to a commercial night depository.
“At this facility, our clients will also access consumer and commercial loan products, business banking services and have access to our mortgage staff,” Roebuck added.
The branch consists of a six-member staff inclusive of four Virgin Gorda residents.
In May, Premier Fahie had disclosed that his government was entering into a five-year partnership with Banco Popular by subsidising some of their operations. He said the subsidy will not exceed $70,000 annually.
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