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UPDATE: ‘Today, better has come!’- Premier Fahie @ Banco Popular VG launch

- said promise was delayed but not denied
Premier and Minister of Finance Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1), 2nd from left, who had championed the efforts to return banking services to Virgin Gorda, is on the sister island for the opening of the banco Popular Branch. Photo: VINO
Banking services return to Virgin Gorda from 12:00pm today, November 6, 2019, with the opening of a Banco Popular Branch at Yacht Harbour. Photo: VINO
Banking services return to Virgin Gorda from 12:00pm today, November 6, 2019, with the opening of a Banco Popular Branch at Yacht Harbour. Photo: VINO
Some of the persons at the opening of Banco Popular on Virgin Gorda today, November 6, 2019. Photo: VINO
Some of the persons at the opening of Banco Popular on Virgin Gorda today, November 6, 2019. Photo: VINO
VALLEY, Virgin Gorda, VI - Noting that Virgin Gorda has always been one of the main driving forces of the Virgin Islands (VI) economy, Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) at today’s November 6, 2019 launch of Banco Popular on Virgin Gorda said, “better has come” for the people of the island and their plight for physical banking services.

'People deserve better'

“Over the past months, you the people of Virgin Gorda shared some of the inconveniences being experienced such as having to pay close to $100 in transportation fees via boat from Virgin Gorda to Tortola and on land upon arriving to Tortola as well as other unavoidable expenses that were occurred such as food among other expenses just to change a $150 cheque,” Premier Fahie said in his remarks at the launch. 

“People of Virgin Gorda, you deserve better and today better has come,” Hon Fahie said to the loud applause of those present at the opening ceremony of the bank.

“Also, many persons in Tortola witnessed many workers coming from Virgin Gorda to Tortola, literally running off the ferry boats to the banks desperately trying to change their cheque before the bank closes with the hopes of catching the next ferry back to Virgin Gorda,” he said.

The Premier noted that for local business owners and the feeling of insecurity over keeping large sums of money is over. With the opening of the bank ‘the feeling of concern’ will be reduced the Premier said in highlighting that while the promised was delayed, it was not denied and the opening of the facility represents a new day for the people of the island. 

Partnership initiative

Premier Fahie thanked the management of the bank for responding positively to the partnership proposal of his government and expressed gratitude to Minister for Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration and Ninth District Representative, Hon Vincent O. Wheatley (R9), along with Junior Minister for Tourism Hon Shereen D. Flax-Charles (AL) in addition to Junior Minister for Trade and Economic Development, Honourable Sharie B. deCastro (AL) for pushing the initiative constantly.

CEO of Banco Popular Inc, Ignacio Alvarez, in brief remarks, said he was a frequent visitor to the island for over 25 years and always had a good time except for when it was time to get money. He thanked the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) government for fostering the partnership and working together to solve a problem that has plagued the island for over a year.

Honourable Wheatley noted that it was a private/public partnership to advance the economy, and such partnership not only advances Virgin Gorda but the territory. "It shows that our recovery is alive and well," he said.

"The people of Virgin Gorda thank every single one of you, the bank rush, the headaches, the stress, the loss of time and money.... we went there," he said in also thanking former Premier Dr D. Orlando Smith for starting the race.

Hon Wheatley also moved to recognise the contributions of Mr Romney A. Penn for helping to secure the building for the bank.

See previous article published November 6, 2019

Banco Popular on VG opens @ 12:00pm today, Nov 6, 2019

- 24 hr ATM, night deposits, consumer & commercial loans available

After a year’s absence, banking services return to Virgin Gorda from 12:00pm today, November 6, 2019, with the opening of a Banco Popular Branch at Yacht Harbour.

This was announced today at a press briefing by Banco Popular, which has been providing financial services in the Virgin Islands since 1981.

“This expansion of Popular financial services to Virgin Gorda reaffirms the bank’s commitment to the Virgin Islands and providing solutions to make life easier for their customers,” Banco Popular stated.

Apart from today, the Virgin Gorda Branch will be opened Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9:00am to 4:00pm to offer lobby services to customers. The bank will also offer 24hr access to a walk-up ATM with easy deposit technology and a commercial nightly depository.

Night deposits; Consumer & commercial loans available

The bank said all commercial night deposits will be processed on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Along with lobby cash transactional services, clients will also be able to apply for consumer and commercial loans."

“We are very happy to have a presence in Virgin Gorda. This branch will not only meet the banking needs of residents, but also the needs of visitors to Virgin Gorda. We look forward to serving all customers for many years to come,” said Oran C. Roebuck, Senior Vice President and Division Manager for Popular, Virgin Islands Region.

Meanwhile, Premier and Minister of Finance Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1), who had championed the efforts to return banking services to Virgin Gorda, is on the sister island for today’s opening.

Scotiabank closed its Virgin Gorda branch in 2018, putting a severe strain on residents and businesses as they had no choice but to commute almost daily for related businesses on Tortola.

19 Responses to “UPDATE: ‘Today, better has come!’- Premier Fahie @ Banco Popular VG launch”

  • one eye (06/11/2019, 11:01) Like (44) Dislike (23) Reply
    Good news thank God we voted vip
    • Really??? (06/11/2019, 13:51) Like (29) Dislike (29) Reply
      Wait until you hear how much a month the government is putting into this, an it's a shame with the government doing so much they still refuses to operate a full week... remember not everybody on vg has Banco account so the atm fee will cripple the poor people of vg the real question is, If the 15th or month end falls on a day that the bank isn't scheduled to open then what?.. under the VIP only the rich will continue to get rich.... wait for the people of vg to cry out about the hike in atm charges for there transaction.....
      • @Really (06/11/2019, 16:49) Like (29) Dislike (3) Reply
        Surely the plan is to get more customers to the bank? If I'm living in VG and must access banking facilities then I won't have a choice but to open an account with Banco given that they would be the only one on island physically. Life is about choices and the people of VG now have a choice, nobody is forcing them to use Banco. What have they been doing for the past 18 months? The persons that want to use the bank will do so and others will do otherwise.
        • Seamless (07/11/2019, 11:02) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
          So what will happen after 2 years when the government decide they cannot continue to make this great contribution to keep the bank in vg?? Remember there was (3) banks there before an all (3) had to run... That is why Banco was the only bank to take up the offer as the others know what the experience is like..... does anyone ever stop to realize that Banco popular is the only bank in the Bvi operating from there building while all others are leasing,now reality if I been offer (1)hundred and plus thousand a year to operate a business for (3) days a week (36) days a year should I refuse the offer? Let's not forget how Banco was able to acquire that very piece of land there on.. why Fahie didn't negotiate with The government bank to open over Vg?
      • The TRUTH (06/11/2019, 19:10) Like (13) Dislike (1) Reply
        So open a Banco account no buddy. You want every bank over there?
      • dude (06/11/2019, 23:07) Like (20) Dislike (3) Reply
        So wait...Under the NDP it had NO Under the VIP there is a PART TIME BANK and still you blame the VIP?

        Which school did you attend?
      • Hmmm (07/11/2019, 08:50) Like (17) Dislike (0) Reply
    • bout vip (07/11/2019, 00:23) Like (5) Dislike (10) Reply
      Shut your tail up because the lady said it was doctor smith who brought her over there
      • @bout vip (07/11/2019, 09:41) Like (1) Dislike (3) Reply
        She also said that Fahie was able to find common grounds and come up with the solution to seal the deal. So let me rest that down here and I gone.
  • tip (06/11/2019, 12:13) Like (17) Dislike (15) Reply
    VG people, while it is not welcoming to have loads of cash on hand, just remember if you bank at the other banks, when using banco ATM for cash, you will have a fee to pay - so get as much cash to hold on to rather than going to the ATM every two days. Those bank fees will add up.
  • clap clap (06/11/2019, 14:03) Like (11) Dislike (16) Reply
    Good news as we got rid of sleeping burtee
  • NezRez (06/11/2019, 14:35) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
  • Awesome (06/11/2019, 18:43) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    Thanks NDP and VIP very much needed.
    • @ awesome (06/11/2019, 20:24) Like (7) Dislike (7) Reply
      Ndp did zero zero so hush
      • Really (07/11/2019, 07:50) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
        Do you think this was all planned orchestrated and put in motion in 9 months. Do you know the process for opening a bank? It did not all happen in 9 months. It was started by the NDP like them or not so the person is right for giving credit to both Governments. Just stop the ignorance.
  • Charley Rose (06/11/2019, 23:25) Like (4) Dislike (2) Reply
    I really appreciate the introduction of Banco Popular to the island of Virgin Gorda. What an relief for the residents on the island. Despite all the negatives that are being said it is better to have a bank than none at all. With careful financial management one can maneuver between the month end and the midmonth pay period.

    It seems as though everything the VIP does there is a group of people that criticize the government.
  • schuuppps (07/11/2019, 08:55) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    Foy look so wrong with these useless bodyguards
  • Vg residence (07/11/2019, 09:18) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
    We welcome Banco for the limited much needed service. Yes I understand that I will be charge $3.00 while using my bank card that is not Banco, but will you rather pay $30.00 to save $3.00? not quite rocket science.
    On another note I am very disappointed that all the banks in tortola included Banco did not accept a recommendation to facilitate the sister island folks with a simple courtesy to have them experdite in the long lines during the crisis is very sad and says how much they really care about us, this ill never forget. Shame on all of them. They should know how we honestly feel.
  • Vg man (07/11/2019, 09:42) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    I thank Banco Popular and the Premier and his team for sealing this deal for the people of VG. We are grateful.

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