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Gov’t reassures bank customers amid unexpected withdrawals

Deputy Premier and Labour Minister Lorna Smith

Minister of Financial Services, Labour and Trade Lorna Smith yesterday moved to reassure a number of Republic Bank customers who recently experienced unexpected withdrawals from their accounts.

The issue has angered many residents, with some accusing the bank of unfair practices. 

But a statement from the government explained that the affected customers had done point-of-sale and e-commerce transactions and had already received the authorised goods or services. However, the bank had some processing delays which resulted in customers seeing late withdrawals from their accounts.

“Following public concerns, I met with the Financial Services Commission (FSC), the regulatory body overseeing the bank, to discuss the situation. The FSC assures us they are working with Republic Bank (BVI) Limited to find solutions. Affected customers can expect further communication from the bank outlining steps to address the issue,” Minister Smith explained in a statement.

She said her meeting with the FSC follows the bank’s May 2nd media release where they committed to working with customers and offered options like payment plans. 

“I encourage affected customers to visit the local branch for assistance. While the government does not directly control the bank, we understand the community’s concerns. As the Minister responsible for banking, I will continue working with the FSC to ensure a swift resolution is implemented once finalised,” Smith stated.

Since assuming office, Smith has been working to facilitate greater understanding and communication between local banks and residents, who remain sceptical of these financial institutions. She said her meetings with local banks have revealed that in many cases, the frustration experienced by business owners and residents stems from their misunderstanding of how local banks operate.

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6 Comments

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  1. WTF says:

    Payment plan ?? You all are the ones with the Mistake and you want us all ( the customers ) to pay for it, you all need to apologize and give us some money back or at least stop collecting the loan interest for 2 Months ,, talking bout Payment Plan …

    Like 4
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  2. Big Dix says:

    I experienced the same at FIBC, a purchase attempt in Asia when I sitting here in BVI. This is a broader breach. Luarna in the Corna need to stop minimizing broader issue. Who vote for you, the bank or the people. Take some D3 vitamin, get up from your nap, and leave the rest of the oat meal, do your job, Luarna

    Like 1
    Dislike 3
    • Shimmy shimmy yah shimmy shimmy yeah says:

      Yeah, Luarna (as you refer to her) is the Deputy Premier of some not all BVI landers. More so those with money and power.

  3. WEW says:

    “The government reassures” Oh that makes me a whole lot better. 🙂

  4. Goon says:

    What is she talking about? Unless the monies were deducted for transactions than can be proven to be fraudulent, there is nothing that can be done. The ‘moral’ thing to do was to contact the customers and come up with a payment plan once it was ascertained that the transactions are legit. At this point the bank has done nothing illegal by deducting the money and in my opinion the damage is already done. What can govt do really if the bank hasn’t done anything wrong? Maybe pull the customers to National Bank? lol

  5. Ex Banker says:

    The deductions were not completed in a timely manner, therefore the bank has failed in it’s process and this has been to the customers detriment. My advice would be to close your account if you were affected, and move to a more reputable bank. Unfortunately the FSC seems pretty toothless, and the quality of banks in the BVI are woefully low. The closing paragraph underlines this with the “Businesses and individuals don’t understand how the bank works” statement. Quite simply they are pinning the blame back on their customers and it is low and unprofessional statement to make! “Talk by doing the walk” instead and move your custom to a bank that does want your custom and will treat you as a customer with respect.

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