80.3 F
Charlotte Amalie
Monday, July 4, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesINFORMATION HARD TO COME BY ON CHASE SALE

INFORMATION HARD TO COME BY ON CHASE SALE

Aug. 7, 2001 – One month before the deadline for putting them into action, if plans for Virgin Islands Community Bank to acquire the Chase Manhattan Bank assets in the territory are still on schedule, it's hard to get anyone from either enterprise to confirm it.
In May, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. extended from May 7 to Sept. 7 the deadline by which the sale must be closed.
Chase employees were told last month that the bank branches on St. Thomas, St. Croix and St. John would close on Friday, Aug. 3, and reopen this week under the new VICB ownership and name.
They were open for business as usual Friday, Monday and Tuesday.
Michael Dow, V.I. Community Bank president, said Monday of the temporary closing plans, "We are a little behind there. We were shooting for last week — that was Chase's thing. We need a long weekend to close, but we did not close last week."
As to when the closing for such a changeover would take place, he added, "I don't have any update. There is nothing new on it."
Messages left by the Source for Cassan Pancham, Chase V.I. president, were not returned. Tynnetta McIntosh, marketing and public relations vice president, said Monday that she had no comment regarding the sale and that any information regarding Chase and the sale would have to come from Charlotte Gilbert-Biro of the JP Morgan Chase & Co. corporate communications offices in New York City.
JP Morgan Chase & Co., formed by the merger of Chase Manhattan Bank and the JP Morgan investment firm in September 2000, is now the parent company of the Virgin Islands Chase Bank operations. Repeated messages left by the Source for Gilbert-Biro via voice mail and through two associates on Friday, Monday and Tuesday were not answered.
Asked if, as far as he knew, the sale was going foward, Dow, a banking executive with Chase on St. Croix before he was named president of VICB, said, "I haven't become aware of anything different. Nothing else is in the wind as far as I am aware."
Dow had told the Virgin Islands Daily News — owned, as is V.I. Community Bank, by former St. Croix resident Jeffrey Prosser — in May that his bank could meet the Sept. 7 deadline. Asked Monday if he still expected to do so, Dow said, "Well, I'd say, yeah, that could certainly be assumed."
His concluding comment was, "There is nothing new that I can report, other than the fact that we are plodding right along."
Prosser also owns Innovative Communication Corp., parent company of Innovative Telephone (formerly Vitelco), Innovative St. Croix Cable TV, Innovative St. Thomas-St. John Cable TV, four other Caribbean cable companies, and Innovative Wireless. Speculation is rife that because of ICC's financial situation he may not be able to close on the Chase acquisition by the Sept. 7 deadline.
While VICB is a separate company from ICC, it is believed that Prosser may be financially strapped because ICC, which is hundreds of millions of dollars in debt, is suffering from cash-flow problems. That information is according to several local contractors and vendors awaiting payment for services, and who asked not to be identified. For further background on ICC borrowing, see the April Source article titled "Does Prosser have money problems?".
In June, an article appeared under a banner headline in the Daily News chronicling a class-action lawsuit against Chase Bank and Chase Agency Services. Insiders at Chase, who also asked not to be identified, said after that article appeared, they were told to cease working on the VICB purchase.
If Chase Agency Services is included in the sale, Prosser and VICB might have to assume its liabilities as well as its assets, meaning they could face a claim for some $25 million filed by members of the class action. This potential scenario could become a basis for Prosser to pull out of the planned deal without being forced to pay Chase a substantial penalty for negotiating in bad faith.
In the purchase of Chase Bank, VICB is to obtain only the assets of the bank, not its liabilities. It is unclear whether the deal also includes Chase Agency Services, essentially a firm that insures home-loan mortgages issued by the bank.
Pancham said in mid-July that the acquisition deal was on track and that rumors to the contrary were baseless. "Nothing has changed. There is no story there," he said. "We are still working on it. We're still hoping we can pull that off" by the Sept. 7 deadline.
VICB announced its plans to acquire the Chase Manhattan Bank holdings in June of 1999. The proposed purchase has been approved, after undergoing lengthy scrutiny, by both the V.I. government's Division of Banking and Insurance and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
V.I. Community Bank, founded by Prosser, operates only on St. Croix, where it has three branches with a total of 49 employees and $78 million in assets. Chase has about 250 employees territory-wide, some $342 million in assets and seven branches in the U.S. Virgin Islands — four on St. Thomas, two on St. Croix and one on St. John.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.




Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.

STAY CONNECTED

20,771FansLike
4,757FollowersFollow

FROM FACEBOOK

Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons
17 hours ago
Virgin Islands Source

Host Adisha Penn recaps the biggest headlines of the week while Source reporter Knema Willett joins USVI Division of Festivals Director Ian Turnbull in the studio for some behind-the-scenes info on the 2022 St. John Celebration. ... See MoreSee Less

Load more
Aug. 7, 2001 - One month before the deadline for putting them into action, if plans for Virgin Islands Community Bank to acquire the Chase Manhattan Bank assets in the territory are still on schedule, it's hard to get anyone from either enterprise to confirm it.
In May, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. extended from May 7 to Sept. 7 the deadline by which the sale must be closed.
Chase employees were told last month that the bank branches on St. Thomas, St. Croix and St. John would close on Friday, Aug. 3, and reopen this week under the new VICB ownership and name.
They were open for business as usual Friday, Monday and Tuesday.
Michael Dow, V.I. Community Bank president, said Monday of the temporary closing plans, "We are a little behind there. We were shooting for last week -- that was Chase's thing. We need a long weekend to close, but we did not close last week."
As to when the closing for such a changeover would take place, he added, "I don't have any update. There is nothing new on it."
Messages left by the Source for Cassan Pancham, Chase V.I. president, were not returned. Tynnetta McIntosh, marketing and public relations vice president, said Monday that she had no comment regarding the sale and that any information regarding Chase and the sale would have to come from Charlotte Gilbert-Biro of the JP Morgan Chase & Co. corporate communications offices in New York City.
JP Morgan Chase & Co., formed by the merger of Chase Manhattan Bank and the JP Morgan investment firm in September 2000, is now the parent company of the Virgin Islands Chase Bank operations. Repeated messages left by the Source for Gilbert-Biro via voice mail and through two associates on Friday, Monday and Tuesday were not answered.
Asked if, as far as he knew, the sale was going foward, Dow, a banking executive with Chase on St. Croix before he was named president of VICB, said, "I haven't become aware of anything different. Nothing else is in the wind as far as I am aware."
Dow had told the Virgin Islands Daily News -- owned, as is V.I. Community Bank, by former St. Croix resident Jeffrey Prosser -- in May that his bank could meet the Sept. 7 deadline. Asked Monday if he still expected to do so, Dow said, "Well, I'd say, yeah, that could certainly be assumed."
His concluding comment was, "There is nothing new that I can report, other than the fact that we are plodding right along."
Prosser also owns Innovative Communication Corp., parent company of Innovative Telephone (formerly Vitelco), Innovative St. Croix Cable TV, Innovative St. Thomas-St. John Cable TV, four other Caribbean cable companies, and Innovative Wireless. Speculation is rife that because of ICC's financial situation he may not be able to close on the Chase acquisition by the Sept. 7 deadline.
While VICB is a separate company from ICC, it is believed that Prosser may be financially strapped because ICC, which is hundreds of millions of dollars in debt, is suffering from cash-flow problems. That information is according to several local contractors and vendors awaiting payment for services, and who asked not to be identified. For further background on ICC borrowing, see the April Source article titled "Does Prosser have money problems?".
In June, an article appeared under a banner headline in the Daily News chronicling a class-action lawsuit against Chase Bank and Chase Agency Services. Insiders at Chase, who also asked not to be identified, said after that article appeared, they were told to cease working on the VICB purchase.
If Chase Agency Services is included in the sale, Prosser and VICB might have to assume its liabilities as well as its assets, meaning they could face a claim for some $25 million filed by members of the class action. This potential scenario could become a basis for Prosser to pull out of the planned deal without being forced to pay Chase a substantial penalty for negotiating in bad faith.
In the purchase of Chase Bank, VICB is to obtain only the assets of the bank, not its liabilities. It is unclear whether the deal also includes Chase Agency Services, essentially a firm that insures home-loan mortgages issued by the bank.
Pancham said in mid-July that the acquisition deal was on track and that rumors to the contrary were baseless. "Nothing has changed. There is no story there," he said. "We are still working on it. We're still hoping we can pull that off" by the Sept. 7 deadline.
VICB announced its plans to acquire the Chase Manhattan Bank holdings in June of 1999. The proposed purchase has been approved, after undergoing lengthy scrutiny, by both the V.I. government's Division of Banking and Insurance and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
V.I. Community Bank, founded by Prosser, operates only on St. Croix, where it has three branches with a total of 49 employees and $78 million in assets. Chase has about 250 employees territory-wide, some $342 million in assets and seven branches in the U.S. Virgin Islands -- four on St. Thomas, two on St. Croix and one on St. John.