Nov. 6, 2003 – The loan portfolio of Island Finance Corp. will be taken over by First Express, a subsidiary of FirstBank of the Virgin Islands, effective Dec. 1, according to government sources.
First Express will reportedly have three outlets — in downtown Charlotte Amalie and in Tutu Park Mall on St. Thomas and in the Sunny Isle Shopping Center on St. Croix.
The V.I. Banking Board approved the acquisition last week, sources said. The move is being viewed in business circles as a step for FirstBank to gain a larger foothold in the consumer financing aspect of banking in the territory.
Island Finance, one of several small loan companies doing business in the Virgin Islands, provides unsecured loans of up to $7,500.
According to a memo signed by Cassan Pancham, president of FirstBank of the Virgin Islands, and dated Nov. 3, the bank is targeting conversion of the Island Finance portfolio for the weekend of Nov. 29-30 and plans to open for business as First Express on Dec. 1.
FirstBank of the V.I. is a subsidiary of FirstBanc Corp. of Puerto Rico. The local company took over the local First Federal Savings Bank several years ago and last year acquired the Chase Bank assets in the U.S. and British Virgin Islands.
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