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Charlotte Amalie
Saturday, May 18, 2024


The St. Thomas-St. John Chamber of Commerce has joined Sen. V. Anne Golden in strongly criticizing the V.I. Banking Board for placing conditions on its approval of V.I. Community Bank's acquisition of Chase Manhattan Bank's local assets.
In a release from the chamber, John P. deJongh Jr., chamber president, said, "The government is overstepping its bounds in dictating the composition of a board of directors of a private entity, irrespective of whether the granting of tax benefits are involved."
The banking board has stipulated as a condition of its approval government authorization of 30 percent of VICB’s directors. The regulatory board also imposed a $300,000 annual banking fee, which deJongh said amounted to "double taxation."
"Government agencies and commissioners must not continue to stifle private sector expansion and investment in our weak economy," deJongh said. "Decisions such as this directly contradict Governor Turnbull's recent remarks [about his intention]to foster and expand investment in the Virgin Islands economy."
In addition to serving as chamber president, deJongh chaired the Economic Recovery Task Force appointed by the governor to come up with a plan to deal with the territory's fiscal crisis. He was one of the primary architects of the five-year plan it submitted to the governor a month ago. The plan relies largely on developing the private sector in order to bail out the sinking Virgin Islands economy.
The chamber release called on the V.I. Banking Board to rescind its conditions on the annual fee and board composition.
For details on the conditions of the VIBB approval click here.

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