Residents of Virgin Gorda will have to wait an approximate two months longer before banking is restored on the sister island.
Government had said banking services would have returned to the island by August; thanks to Banco Popular who pledged to open a branch there.
But, in an interview with BVI News on Tuesday, Premier Andrew said, “the original opening date has been shifted to a few weeks later due to matters beyond both partners control — Government of the Virgin Islands and Banco Popular”.
Premier Fahie said the reason for the delay is that the building from which Banco Popular will operate is unavailable. The building is still leased by Scotiabank who fled the island several months ago.
The Premier, however, said the matter is being worked out “in an amicable manner”.
“The Government of the Virgin Islands remains committed to ensuring that there’s a bank that physically operates on Virgin Gorda and it will soon be a reality thanks to the commitment and professionalism of Banco Popular. This promise made to the people of Virgin Gorda by the Government of the Virgin Gorda will be a promise kept and fulfilled,” he further said.
Why there is no banking on VG
The island was left without a bank last year after Scotiabank closed its branch to cut costs. Scotiabank’s closure came shortly after another financial institution, CIBC First Caribbean, decided to leave the island.
Since then the Premier said Government has agreed to pay thousands of dollars in subsidies to Banco Popular for the next few years to ensure banking services are restored on Virgin Gorda.
The bank was expected to open its maiden branch by August offering full-time banking services three days per week.
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