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‘Some doing well, others catching hell!’- Banks & Insurance blasted over local treatment

-Hon Ronnie W. Skelton calls on Deputy Premier, Hon Lorna G. Smith OBE to look into industry
Leader of the Opposition in the Virgin Islands (VI) House of Assembly (HoA), Hon Ronne W. Skelton (AL) while speaking under other business in the 5th House of Assembly (HoA) on Tuesday, September 19, 2023 has lambasted local insurance companies and banks in the territory. Photo: HoA/Youtube
Hon Skelton asked that Deputy Premier, Hon Lorna G. Smith OBE (AL), who is the Minister of Financial Services, Labour and Trade pay closer attention to the issues surrounding the sector before it is too late. Photo: VINO/File
Hon Skelton asked that Deputy Premier, Hon Lorna G. Smith OBE (AL), who is the Minister of Financial Services, Labour and Trade pay closer attention to the issues surrounding the sector before it is too late. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN Tortola, VI - Leader of the Opposition in the Virgin Islands (VI) House of Assembly (HoA), Hon Ronnie W. Skelton (AL) while speaking under other business in the 5th House of Assembly (HoA) on Tuesday, September 19, 2023, lambasted local insurance companies and banks in the territory.

The Opposition Leader claimed that some insurance companies were running Ponzi schemes and banks were engaged in “predatory practices”; however, he did not provide any evidence for these claims.

Hon Skelton shared that his life insurance had now doubled, leaving him to wonder where the cash would come from to pay the premiums, “Where am I going to get that disposable income to pay for life insurance premiums?” he asked rhetorically in the House.

Hard times? - Skelton

Hon Skelton, a former Minister of Finance (2003-2007), told the HoA that no major banking decisions are made in the Virgin Islands.

He noted, “Our country is unbanked, if there’s such a thing. We need to find out what is happening. Some of us are doing well, while others are catching hell.”

Hon Skelton added that business owners, specifically those in the tourism industry sector are suffering under pressure from the institutions in question, “restaurants and hotel owners are not doing well and have loans at the bank, which is calling for their monies,” he added.

Hon Skelton asked that Deputy Premier, Hon Lorna G. Smith OBE (AL), who is the Minister of Financial Services, Labour and Trade, pay closer attention to the issues surrounding the sector before it is too late.

28 Responses to “‘Some doing well, others catching hell!’- Banks & Insurance blasted over local treatment”

  • headache (21/09/2023, 16:26) Like (5) Dislike (2) Reply
    I have a republic credit card over ten years I paying financial fee every blessed month on it now this morning I checking my statement I see a65$ annual fee! Can someone tell this is normal.
  • The watchdog (21/09/2023, 16:51) Like (15) Dislike (7) Reply
    Ronnie with his hot air he done made it he does not really care
  • Hmmmm (21/09/2023, 17:04) Like (24) Dislike (3) Reply
    You put in a well intended NHI and let your greedy elected & medical friends and family Misuse it to get rich and bankruptcy it before it started and you did nothing or said nothing to stop them. Now this part of why the people catching hell.
  • ASKING (21/09/2023, 17:16) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    It is reasonable for the government to not improve the mass on banking education
  • Realist (21/09/2023, 17:18) Like (6) Dislike (3) Reply
    This is not unique at this time to BVI but worldwide as Covid left many governments strap for cash.
  • A suggestion (21/09/2023, 17:22) Like (17) Dislike (1) Reply
    Uncle Ronnie please go ask the now Deputy Premier,, the former Premier, Marlon, Former Governor & PS over oily Bay, & the others from UK & US, to please go bring back our $8 million dollars from that heist that remains unaccounted for up to this very minute. We can use it to help fly those who are struggling out of hell.
  • Really (21/09/2023, 18:37) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
    Wake up people and stop hating on me. I have nothing to gain to help you understand why you all are here. This world isn't a World to just come and live. You must have lots of knowledge to get by in life especially in this devil's Earth which is called the garden of Eden. Do you Doubt me? This Earth has nothing but temptation,soul selling, switched gender. Remember Lil Nas song sleeping with the devil. What about the sneakers with the blood in it. Stay dumb people this video and song is from the ELITES who works for the devil himself. Do you see pure evil going on. All negative comments comes from the dev, once it's negative it doesn't come from the Almighty. I AM smart with common sense,you all use someone else brains to get by in Life. People don't think anymore. You all goggle everything but ask yourself what is a computer,it's called AI. Ask yourself why you are hearing so much about AI...the New World
  • NDP supporter (21/09/2023, 18:42) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    We need stiffer legislation and oversight policies on banks with more protection for customers. We need a boost to the economy. Again, I was not a fahie fan & I didn't think I would ever see the day I say this but at least the economy had some hope with him even during covid but this premier seems to be as hopeless as the economy is right now.
  • Insurance (21/09/2023, 18:42) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    All the Insurqnce Companies holding one head against all the house owners and Government not even stepping to defend home owners
    • Bloody Hell (23/09/2023, 17:59) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      When they try we criticize them. Read the comments about Skelton who is trying to get government to give the matter some attention.
  • People know your history (21/09/2023, 18:45) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
    Wherever the Brits claim they are ensuring good governance in the world is when that place start to go under. If the BVI does not stand up for the people's right against them then BVI will end up another one of their statistics.
  • Lb (21/09/2023, 19:40) Like (4) Dislike (5) Reply
    Both the Nhi and them house he built in upper long bush with the social security money is what got us catching Hell he need to go way fast

    He will never be premier
  • Daisy (21/09/2023, 19:43) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
  • king (21/09/2023, 19:46) Like (5) Dislike (2) Reply
    OMG. Thank you for this uncle Ronnie you wake up
  • complain (21/09/2023, 20:06) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    all you want but the financial industry is here to make a PROFIT. It does not matter to them where your were born, reside, passport, family name, political relatives, etc. Bottom line is nobody ever gets special treatment.
  • Manjack (21/09/2023, 20:39) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    Hon R. Shelton, AtL, Leader of the Opposition, we need more information on banks and insurance companies operation. Are banks, the majority of which are foreign owned, discriminating against locals, ie, are they setting higher qualification requirements for locals than for expats? Are they quicker to foreclosed on locals who are defaulting on their locals than on others? Are banks refusing to work with local borrowers and eager to work with expats? Are there other factors heightened the relationship between local borrowers and the bank.

    For example, are borrowers increasingly and consistently failing to meet loan payments on time consistently with the agreement between the bank and lenders? Have the financial income situations, ie, business slow down, co-borrower laid off/ill, etc of borrowers change , resulting in ability to pay? Have banks made a genuine attempt to work with borrowers but to no avail and the only option is to foreclose? Banks are businesses, not charity, operations and have to operate as businesses. Failing to collect on loans are an opportunity cost to banks. Let’s remember that local branches are responsible and accountable to their overseas headquarters. Are customers complaining about low interest on savings? Well, low interest in savings is an indication that banks have surplus cash and don’t need cash but borrowers. BVI borrowers must be aware that what you qualify to borrow may not be what you can afford; they are two different things. Stay within what you can afford,,not what you qualify. Why is insurance, ie, automobile, house, causality, life, etc. so expensive in the BVI?

    Insurance is a pooling of resources to share in the risk. The larger the number of policy holders the cost can be spread over a wider base, lowering the cost per policy holder. The BVI is a small community of approximately 30,000 people, so if insurance is based on that small number, rates are going to be high. Group insurance is cheaper than individual. Insurance is about large numbers. The Law of Large numbers is used to predict annual loses and payout. Home owners in the BVI must be aware of 100% replacement cost, especially the 80% rule. Simply, if your property is insured for $500000 and if you incur a $500,000 lost, you will be reimbursed 100% for the loss. Further, if the replacement is $500,000, and if you buy a policy for 80% of the $500, 000 or $400,000. And if you incur a $500, 000, you will only be
    • Manjack (21/09/2023, 21:58) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Continuing with example……reimburse $400,000.
      • Correction (22/09/2023, 10:39) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        if you have a policy with a 80% coinsurance variation built in and you insure to 80% you are supposed to get 100% ad not be penalised. No insurer is supposed to tell you that
        • @ Correction (22/09/2023, 19:18) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
          @Correction, I take a different view. If you insure your property at 80% of the replacement value, you will get insured for a 100% up to the insured value, not the full replacement cost. If you were correct, why would people insure for a 100% replacement? Instead, they will insure the 80% of replacement value. The reason that people would choose the 80% route is the probability of experiencing a complete loss is low. It is a gamble, perhaps a sensible risk. Why would an insuree have an 80% co/insurance that is close to self/insurance.
    • @Manjack (22/09/2023, 13:13) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      @Manjack, thanks for basic life lessons, particularly on the insurance basics. If my understanding is correct, insurance in the BVI, which is disaster-prone, will be always pricey because of its small numbers, unless it can join up with a larger group of policy holders. I went and google that 80% rule. Now I know what question to ask, what a 100% coverage mean, etc..
  • about time (21/09/2023, 21:46) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
    You are so right these things have been happening for a very long time until it happens to you or your neighbour you dont feel it. Mr. Betteto Frett highlighted it in his recent protest against First Bank and calked them a Predatory lender for destroying him by offering a loan to repay 6.3million dollars in two months. We need to put laws in place for this predatory lending . It is destroying our people.
    • Common on Man (22/09/2023, 08:41) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply
      @ About Time, common on man, concur with Manjack with qualifying for a loan and being able to afford a loan is not the same thing; we should go for what we can afford. Also banks are for profit businesses , not charities. Banks protect themselves by requiring collateral on loans and if you default they will foreclose. They will foreclose on property put up as collateral but they are not directly in the business of owning/holding on to real estate and will sell, auction foreclose property to get their money. The education system failed us, for we don’t know pullet from fowl in regards to finance, money, banking, etc. Consequently, we make bad decisions, over extend ourselves, don’t take sensible risks, hang our hat where we cannot reach it, push our head where our body cannot pass. We badly assume that banks have compassion for our folly. Additionally, the school system failed us in regards to insurance basics; money and finance should have been taught instead the Columbus three ships nonsense, etc.
    • Hmmmm (23/09/2023, 18:22) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      He must have qualified after he told the bank a Inch of lies
  • cnn (22/09/2023, 02:40) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    Let the free market decide yall
  • Trump (22/09/2023, 02:43) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    My speech of my accomplishments when i was last in office is listed below.

  • Greedy Insurance Companies (22/09/2023, 10:12) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Well, I see how I am going to have to stop paying insurance. The insurance companies are greedy and the banks are worse. At least one will eventually finish paying a mortgage, but you do not finish paying insurance, so why are they so expensive when they can have clients indefinitely? They are not at all encouraging. The banks are pressuring people to insure houses they have claims to. It seems to me like they should be contributing to these hefty insurance payments. Image banks are adding insurance premiums to people's already hefty mortgages, are they trying to sell people's homes? If a person's insurance is $20,000 per annum after paying for 20 years with no claims, what will it be increased to if there is another disaster, God forbid. The insurance will soon price themselves out of the market, let them keep it up. The insurance companies are greedy and the banks are irresponsible.
  • Laddie (23/09/2023, 18:17) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    The banks and I insurances are out of control and they have our hands tied behind our backs. People manage to build houses with high interest from the banks which means mortgage payments are high. We use to barely manage to pay $4K per annum for insurance for a 3 bedroom house before Irma now the insurance has tripled. Is anyone thinking on how the consumers are going to survive this? Or those we entrusted to look out for our interest don’t care or don’t know what to do?

    I already see that more of us will be forced into foreclosure or bankruptcy. We the people need to boycott those insurances with extremely high rates forcing them to lower premiums. Also, the banks use to offer insurance and perhaps they should do so again. Banks are forcing people to get insurance es they cannot afford and that is wrong.
  • Old news (24/09/2023, 09:40) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    This has been happening for nearly 20 years!!! Typical Ronnie - late to de party.

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