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Banks telling people foolishness- Hon Ronnie W. Skelton

- accused banks of not having the interest of Territory @ heart
Minister for Health and Social Development, Honourable Ronnie W. Skelton (AL) has accused banks in the Virgin Islands of not having the interest of the Territory at heart and putting unnecessary stress on residents, who are already under pressure following hurricanes Irma and Maria in September 2017. Photo: Andre 'Shadow' Dawson/File
Premier and Minister of Finance Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL) has since extended the duty free close date from December 31, 2017 to the end of March 2018, giving residents three more months to get the necessary materials to restore their homes and other properties. Photo: Andre 'Shadow' Dawson/File
Premier and Minister of Finance Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL) has since extended the duty free close date from December 31, 2017 to the end of March 2018, giving residents three more months to get the necessary materials to restore their homes and other properties. Photo: Andre 'Shadow' Dawson/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- The Minister for Health and Social Development, Honourable Ronnie W. Skelton (AL) has blasted banks in the Virgin Islands for what he called “asking them [residents] to do all sort of foolish things that doesn’t make any sense and putting people through additional expenses” following damages to their properties by hurricanes Irma and Maria in September.

Minister Skelton was at the time addressing the Twelfth Session of the Second Sitting of the Third House of Assembly (HoA) last Wednesday December 20, 2017. He was explaining that people were worried about the importation of goods into the country tax free as the duty free list put in place by Government after the hurricanes was to expire on December 31, 2017.

"The 31st December is coming to an end and people want to know, because the insurance companies are taking much longer than was anticipated, the banks are holding up people’s cheques.”

Referring to the banks, Hon Skelton continued, “I understand that the banks are worried that the people might take their monies and go buy stuff instead of fixing the property that the bank has an interest in, so there is a need for some kind of supervision. But to put people through additional expenses is not the right way to run the programme.”

Banks not having interest of Territory at heart

It is Hon Skelton’s belief that the fact that most of the managers of the top banking institutions are expatriates is contributing to the issue with the banks. “To me, in my analysis, they don’t have the interest of the country at heart, like it used to be long ago, and its becoming a problem. It's becoming very frustrating to do business,” he said.

Hon Skelton then took the time to officially report that the Social Security Board (SSB) made a sizeable investment into the National Bank of the Virgin Islands (NBVI). This he says “is a big step forward, because we need a financial institution that stays with us, that understands our needs so that we can build our country.”

On December 19, 2017 the SSB sealed a 33% ownership of the local bank with a $15M investment of tax payers’ dollars.

Duty free list active for another 3 months

Meanwhile, Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL) subsequently extended the date by which certain imported items will not incur duty.

Premier Smith made the announcement during the final hours of the same HoA, to extend the duty free close date from December 31, 2017 to the end of March 2018, giving residents three more months to get the necessary materials to restore their homes and other properties.

29 Responses to “Banks telling people foolishness- Hon Ronnie W. Skelton”

  • belonger (26/12/2017, 11:39) Like (11) Dislike (8) Reply

    Cor***t politician talking nonsense again

  • Up on a tree top (26/12/2017, 12:36) Like (13) Dislike (2) Reply
    I here wondering if he realize he ranting rubbish. SSB invest in a broke bank is bad business. A broke Development bank offering a bad short term loan with ridiculous rate is bad for the economy.

    Scotia and FirstCaribbean injected hundreds of thousands in the economy since the hurricanes. The healthier minister says nothing. This is why many companies are reluctant because of bad ungrateful governance.
    • Reply (26/12/2017, 19:10) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
      we need our 15M back that he give to the national bank so he needs to talk that
  • Longtime expat Businessman (26/12/2017, 13:03) Like (16) Dislike (3) Reply
    "It is the minister's belief that most of the managers are expatriates contributing to the issues with the bank" Sir I understand your concerns but expatriates are having the same issues. There are locally owned places here I do business with and the first thing they ask "where you born" My answer will then decide the quality of service I get. Who should I go to when I am pressured? Whether the managers are local or expats banks and other financial institutions have laws and other international procedures they must follow and unfortunately it is not based solely on "where u from" Finally as an expat business man when I go to the NBVI there are things that I have to do that a person who is "born here" is not asked to. Should I complain ?and to whom? Normally I comply without a whisper. You are a businessman Sir and you should know how ugly and unfair it could get. The aim it to make money and u do everything within your power to do so.
  • ccc (26/12/2017, 13:16) Like (11) Dislike (17) Reply
    see that is why Ronnie should be the Minister of Finance
    • Haitian Gyal (26/12/2017, 17:46) Like (14) Dislike (0) Reply
      that is why the entire ndp administration gots to go before they end like my country. People perishing because they continue to allow ignorant politicians to govern their land. Wish people could see straight through these clowns.
    • fool (26/12/2017, 21:13) Like (8) Dislike (7) Reply
      Uneducated comment
  • island man (26/12/2017, 15:36) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
    Mr. Skelton, your government has their policy be it corrupt or not.
    For now you talking nonesence; the banks are an independent and international body and they had their policy also. However it may not be possible for the banks to be corrupt as your government.
    Leave the bank alone and donate some of the money you got to develop the people in your constituency who are in despedesperate need.
  • @ccc (26/12/2017, 16:28) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
    Being finance minister does not mean you control the banks. What u do is manage and account for the money collected by the Government and prioritize spending. It is more complicated that even which I mentioned. Talk alone does not qualify a person for the post even though I agree the minister may be suitable for it.
  • wize up (26/12/2017, 18:18) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    let the games begin come 2019 lots of us might loose our homes to the bank: no work and renters gone home: the Lord be with us and with poor leadership not much hope(just saying)
  • Joy &Willy (26/12/2017, 19:35) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    What the government should be talking about are the dirty landlords that got breaks from the bank but were still asking tenants for rent when they didn't even fix the apartments after Irma...set of wicket ole things especially the one up huntums ghut...Poor Mr.Edgar Hewlett probably rolling in his grave to see what they've done to his place
  • teller (26/12/2017, 22:19) Like (5) Dislike (2) Reply
    He look like he want the finance minister position. How he jumping on the banks them so budy?
  • just (27/12/2017, 03:57) Like (17) Dislike (3) Reply
    The foreign Bank Managers is not the problem. Its the Local managers is the problem. Maybe you should try a foreign manager at National bank. You may get better results..
  • reverse (27/12/2017, 06:45) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    @Joy &Willy remember the word he always use "Expatriates" is a common word in his vocabulary. Most expats are "renters"and the "landlords/ladies" are from here so who do you think will speak on your behalf?
  • BVI Airways (27/12/2017, 06:46) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    WHERE is the 7.2m
  • ??? (27/12/2017, 07:07) Like (13) Dislike (0) Reply
    Yes, they asked me to provide a job letter so I could deposit my cheque that the Insurance company gave me. If that isn't nonsense please tell me what is.
    • teller12 (27/12/2017, 08:10) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      @??? The bank is trying to get updated info on you as required by the local regulator.. Every 4 years YOUR BVI FSC requires banks to update ID's, proof of address and source of income. That could be why they asked for a job letter
      • ??? (27/12/2017, 14:16) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
        Teller 12, You sound like you work for the same bank. You all are out in force today. I have a 30 year mortgage with the bank and I am about half way through....how come this is the first time I being asked to update this info? Also, suppose I was laid off after the hurricane like many people were and could not provide a job letter??? Are you telling me I would have been stuck with an insurance cheque and a house in disrepair?
    • @??? (27/12/2017, 08:25) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      Call the Bank Out.. Name the Bank. That's definitely nonsense nonsense.
    • Peaches (30/12/2017, 23:03) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      @??? are you kidding? Smh!!
  • Teller#6 (27/12/2017, 08:15) Like (7) Dislike (3) Reply
    Ronnie Skelton need to stop. The banks are managing risk and protecting their depositors money that has been lent to the mortgagee'. In 6 months this hurricane will separate the real bank's from the piggy banks.
  • Tweeter (27/12/2017, 08:30) Like (9) Dislike (1) Reply
    Listen to this clown Ronnie!!!! always trying to be sensational and cause devision between the locals and expats. Perpetuating this xenophobic culture with this hate speech that has kept the BVI as backward as it is. When compared to other British Overseas Territories ( example cayman and Bermuda) the BVI is just messy, disorganized, confused and corrupt. Instead of breaking the treasury why doesn't your government try to help its own people????
  • wize up (27/12/2017, 13:51) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    Ronnie; Claude;John; Mitch will Fahie join Claude(agai) and the list will get longer by end of 2018(we will have election by July 2018)
  • ??? (27/12/2017, 14:31) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    For the record, I have no problem with the banking managing the money once it is deposited (so that it can be spent wisely and to protect their interests) but to ask me for all that shit (not just a job letter) just to deposit an insurance cheque, which a reputable organization, after a massive disaster is a bit ridiculous in my opinion. And this is after you done haggle and wrestle with the insurance companies for several weeks/months. I think this is what Ronnie is addressing so I don't know why you all are jumping on him. I would assume most of you don't own homes in the Virgin Islands so maybe you can't relate. If I'm walking in to the bank with money off the street or a huge cheque from a questionable source then I would completely understand the bank asking for verification. But this is not the case. Come on man, be a bit more sensitive to your customers' needs. And I agree that something needs to be done about out of control landlords.
  • Jack Sprat for finance! (27/12/2017, 20:44) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
    He should try to find out what the banks' rationale is and negotiate a compromise if he cares. To label the managers as expatriates who do not have the country's best interest at heart? Ignorance is bliss. The banks are trying to be prudent by managing risks, and if he was any wiser, we would be reading a very different and more sensible article. Forget Ronnie for finance minister buddy! Jack sprat could take it at this point...bloody hell!
  • experienced (28/12/2017, 09:21) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply

    ***T** evaluates ones pedigree and scrutinizes their family's money too. why isn't that bank thrown out or shut
    down? something extremely dirty there. managers were supposed to be deported. BVI a F shame of a place
    for banks, but especially that one. wouldn't be allowed in the US or UK. only BVI tolerates some of these sick
    banks and their illegal disgraceful behaviour to customers. BVI sick in the head.

    • sense (31/12/2017, 04:24) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Look up the 08/09 credit crisis and you will see it was caused by bad practices of greedy bank managers in both US and UK banks. They gave out subprime mortgages and when people could no longer pay back the mortgages it caused a liquidity problem because 1)the value of the property secured against the mortgage had dropped so the banks were at a loss and 2) the insurance companies who should have been able to cover the banks, went bust (amongst other reasons). The banks then had to be injected with taxpayers money or else the whole banking system would crash. Here you have common factors, banks, insurance companies, devalued properties. The bank needs to ensure that the money will be used to complete the work on the house to bring it back up to its true value, being the security against the mortgage. Of course they could use a more sensible approach however it seems they lack a bit of creativity in doing so. That is their only fault. Remember, we don't have any taxpayers money to inject into the banks in the event of a crisis because of that same NDP government.
  • cromwell (02/01/2018, 07:51) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    The despicable racist and discriminatory commentry from a senior government minister gives a marvelous impression of BV islanders to the outside world, this is the last thing these islands need with the problems we face. Why would British tax payers want to assist the survival of a race of people like this.
    Wake up.


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