The expected boom in employment on Virgin Gorda is likely to positively impact banking services on the sister island, Ninth District Representative Vincent Wheatley has said.
Wheatley said with several hotels, resorts and restaurants scheduled to reopen late this year into next year, the number of operation days for Banco Popular will likely increase.
The bank is slated to begin operations on Virgin Gorda by August.
“It will be a full service but not all week. In the first instance, the bank will open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. But, once the hotels open and more properties come online, there’s more employment, more business on the island, I can see the bank quickly going from three days to five days by the end of this year,” Wheatley said on the Honestly Speaking radio programme on Tuesday.
Bank could open sooner
Based on talks he has had with officials from the bank, Wheatley said operations on Virgin Gorda could begin even sooner.
“I met about 10 or 15 Banco Popular people, and they said to me ‘I know we told you August, but we are trying to do it before August’. So chances are it might happen before,” Wheatley said.
“They (bank officials) said to me they are here and they are fully committed to making sure that you have a bank on Virgin Gorda,” he added.
Wheatley said there will be two automated teller machines — more commonly known as ATM’s — installed on the sister island.
VG’s banking woes
The island was left bank-less after Scotiabank departed last August.
The void that the bank created sparked outrage in residents who would have to ferry to Tortola to fulfil their banking needs.
Notably, the closure of Scotia came a few months after CIBC First Caribbean fled the sister island.