Virgin Gorda residents are preparing for the possibility of life without a functioning bank on the island by hosting a series of ‘technology conferences’.
The conferences are scheduled to happen during the next few weeks beginning this Saturday, July 28 at the Catholic Community Centre.
Political aspirant and Sister Islands Programme Coordinator, Vincent Wheatley told BVI News the conference is in response to the banking issues plaguing the island.
Scotiabank – the last bank on the island – plans to permanently close its Virgin Gorda branch on August 31. This will leave residents to travel to the island of Tortola in order to receive banking services.
Wheatley said he along with Shereen Flax-Charles came up with the idea to conduct an “intensive community education [programme] to get the community up to speed on using online resources.”
According to Wheatley, presenters in financial institutions, telecommunication providers, and utility companies will be training the masses on how to pay bills and conduct other business using their online platforms.
“We want to see more people feeling comfortable doing stuff online. Everybody has a smartphone. We want to see them using their phones for more than just taking pictures and making phone calls,” Wheatley said.
He said residents have welcomed the idea, so far.
Months ago, CIBC FirstCaribbean bank permanently closed its Virgin Gorda branch because the facility was not fit for use due to the damage it sustained from the 2017 hurricanes.
At least two other financial institutions – National Bank of the Virgin Islands and Banco Popular – are said to be exploring the possibility of opening a branch on the island.
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