Government is exploring the possibility of opening a branch of the National Bank of the Virgin Islands on the sister island of Virgin Gorda.
Premier Dr D Orlando Smith made the announcement on Tuesday, following news that Scotiabank is closing its Virgin Gorda branch.
“We had discussions with the Chairman of the National Bank, Mr Clarence Faulkner, about establishing a presence on Virgin Gorda. This bank is looking into this urgently. I expect to be able to make an announcement very soon on this matter,” said the Premier, who is also Minister of Finance.
He said government understands the importance of having a banking institution present to service residents not only on Virgin Gorda but also on the island of Anegada.
He said his administration is ‘working diligently’ to implement a banking solution by September 1.
Scotia closing VG branch in two months
September 1 is the date Scotia is expected to close its Virgin Gorda branch.
Premier Smith said government has had talks with the bank and it was agreed an automated teller machine – more commonly known as an ATM – will continue to operate on the sister island.
It is said Scotia is focusing more on digital banking, which is a decision made for all Scotia branches across the region.
Scotia believes this will ‘enhance customer interaction for the BVI’, Premier Smith said.
In a media release last week, Scotia noted the impact of the hurricanes on its sister island and Tortola branches.
The bank said it was dumping some $3 million into its Road Town branch for renovation.
The branch is being transformed into a modern, state-of-the-art corporate head office and retail branch with both interactive and digital capabilities.
“We anticipate that the newly renovated branch will open its doors in early 2019 and change the face of banking in the country as it has been designed with both our customers and the future of banking in mind,” Scotia said.
“In addition, our new branch will allow us to deepen our conversations with our customers and fulfil our brand promise of helping customers to become better off.”
Scotia’s impending closure comes months after another bank, CIBC First Caribbean closed its Virgin Gorda branch.