Lt. Gov. Tregenza A. Roach Esq., who serves as the chairman of the Virgin Islands Banking Board, convened a board meeting on Friday, April 3. In adhering to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines regarding social distancing, board members Rosalie Javois, Richard Grant, Finance Commissioner Kirk Callwood and representatives of each of the territory’s banks participated in the meeting via teleconference.
Throughout the meeting, the members shared concerns regarding access for customers to banking services. Bank officials from Banco Popular, First Bank, Merchants Commercial Bank, the Bank of St. Croix and Oriental Bank all provided information on steps taken to protect employees and customers by reducing the spread of the coronavirus, COVID-19. Each bank highlighted efforts of their business continuity plan and of the COVID-19 plan they have implemented.
“In understanding the seriousness of the pandemic, the board spoke with each bank to ensure that services are delivered in an environment that is safe and protects the health and well-being of the clients and staff of the financial institutions. We have been in receipt of concerns from the public with regard to a more timely delivery of services and less of a backlog at the locations which are open at reduced hours. We are working with the banking institutions to alleviate any of those issues for the customers. We especially want to ensure that the needs of our elderly population and persons with disabilities are met,” said Roach.
“We also wanted to ensure that all the banks have implemented loan and other payment moratoriums to offer customers relief in this financially challenging time. Customers are asked to contact their banks directly in order to access any such relief,” the lieutenant governor said.
All U.S. Virgin Islands banks under the board’s regulatory authority are employing respective COVID-19 preventative measures to include increased cleaning/sanitizing protocols and maintaining social distancing. Banks will continue to make available to customers their respective products and services through various channels, such as digital banking, mobile banking services, call centers, telephone banking services, limited lobby services and appointments.
For more information, contact the Division of Banking, Insurance and Financial Regulation on St. Croix at 773-6449 or 774-7166 on St. Thomas. Residents are encouraged to use these numbers to register any complaints about service they encounter.