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Premier writes banks asking them to further relax policies due to prolonged impacts of COVID-19

In light of the continuous financial challenges being faced due to COVID-19, Premier Andrew Fahie has once again written to several local banks asking them to consider further relaxing a number of their policies for residents.

Speaking in a recent session of the House of Assembly, Premier Fahie said the letter specifically addressed areas such as mortgages for first-time homeowners, loans for home construction, loans to assist existing and start-up small and medium-sized businesses, and a request to extend the loan moratorium period up to one year.

“What is being offered by some banks, while it is very good, it is still lagging behind their competitors. So, we are asking them to review and reconsider their position and to see how they can improve and become more competitive. Customers benefit when there is competition in the market,” he stated.

Second request for one-year moratoriums

Fahie, who is also the Minister of Finance, said only the National Bank of the Virgin Islands had instituted a one-year moratorium after the first letter he sent to local banks back in May.

The Premier said he sent follow-up letters requesting moratorium policies that extend up to one year on July 1.

“I thank them (the banks) for what they do in this territory and I ask them to do their best to facilitate our request for the one-year moratorium on credit repayments, along with any other areas that we have mentioned before,” he stated.

“Please work with our people in these difficult times. Do allow your policies to adjust so that they can be applicable to the realities on the ground at this time,” the Premier urged banks.

Banks immediately responded to first plea

In April, Premier Fahie had pleaded with banks in the territory to suspend payments owed by customers experiencing hardships because of the pandemic.

Days after his plea, six banks across the territory responded by announcing that they were offering various moratorium packages to their customers, with some lasting up to six months.

These banks included FirstBank, Banco Popular, National Bank of the Virgin Islands, VP Bank, Republic Bank (formerly Scotiabank), and CIBC First Caribbean International Bank.

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23 Comments

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  1. What he should do says:

    Is come op with a transparent plan to start the economy again.

    Communicate, what are we going to do. When? If it changes because of developments, it changes. But this “we are doing nothing” to get back going approach is killing the country.

    Like 12
    Dislike 2
  2. Mr.Gage says:

    The Premier looking out for the people just hope the banks agree to the request.

    Like 14
    Dislike 7
  3. vip heckler says:

    This clearly shows that he doesn’t have a plan on how to get the country’s economy jump-started

    Like 25
    Dislike 5
  4. well sah says:

    Dem banks mussy belong to he?

    Like 11
    Dislike 7
  5. LOL says:

    Yet he implement the 7% charge on money transfers

    Like 14
    Dislike 4
  6. true says:

    what have they done with the $6.5 million promisedfor small/medium size business grants nothing yet due from June 15th, they have had the cash for a couple of weeks now,so whats happening?

    Like 9
    Dislike 2
  7. Want to know says:

    So my question is ‘assuming that the economy is stabilizes, would customers’ monthly loan payments increase once the moratorium is lifted?

  8. #@@ says:

    But also remember the dowm side. You will have daily interest being accumulated that must be paid before you can pay on the principal.

    Like 8
    Dislike 1
  9. Hmmmm says:

    I think the real question here is WHAT IS GOVERNMENT’S Short/Medium/Long-term plan for dealing with the economic issues caused by COVID? Businesses were promised assistance which should have started over a month ago and ZERO updates on it, nobody knows what’s happening. How are you calling on banks and Government themselves have failed to help people. All we are seeing are curfews, new legislation, road works, mask laws, over-the-top protocols, bags of food in April, nothing substantial and we are 4 months in.

    Like 17
  10. VG Residnet says:

    ***** Bank is the worst bank I have ever dealt with. Ripped me off with all kinds of fees. late charges when the payment was lost in the bank. So glad I got rid of them last week.

    Like 5
    Dislike 1
  11. Tongue Fu says:

    How about relaxing the entry requirements to allow for work permit holders and visitors to enter? Of course with the requisite health safety protocols in place. Even it means inter- regional travelers only. Then Mariners, then hotel and Villas then cruises. That can stimulate the economy.

    That is something within your control.

    Like 4
    Dislike 3
  12. Over it! says:

    Looks to me like the Government has no intention of opening the borders but are too scared to say so.
    Think we can kiss the 2021 season goodbye!

    Asking banks to extend loans and mortgage relief when their own assistance to local businesses has not materialized. !!
    Wtf?

    This Government needs to practice what it preaches, grow a pair and lead!!

    Stop hiding!

    Covid is here to stay.
    Deal with it like grown ups! Manage the situation and communicate!!

    Like 7
    Dislike 1
  13. Anybody? says:

    Where do small businesses go to apply? Where can you obtain an application form?

  14. Need a Plan! says:

    Getting a loan to help get by until things get better requires a business plan. How is one to write a business plan when the government hasn’t given us one? How can we plan anything? The banks need to know when the government will start to allow visitors back in before they can loan money. Mr. Fahie, please make a plan to open the borders soon. Yes, with using safety measures. Yes, with extreme caution. But give us something to plan for please! We are all waiting. I am in the tourism business and have applied for a loan to pay bills until business picks back up. The bank says they are waiting to see what the government is planning so they can approve my loan and many others who are getting deeper and deeper in debt.

  15. Moratorium says:

    Try paying my loan on line, the bank system will not allow me to. This is a way for the Banks to skim more interest out of us as they continue to pay less than 1% but charges 14%. This is criminal. These are the issues that the Premier needs to address and set standard. For example there should not be a difference greater than 8 % point between interest the banks charges and what they pay.

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