Lieutenant Governor Tregenza A. Roach, Esq. who also serves as Chairman of the Virgin Islands Banking Board convened Tuesday his first meeting of the Board to hear from representatives of each of the Territory’s banks about the state of their operations.
Representatives from Banco Popular, Bank of St. Croix, Firstbank, Merchants Bank, and Scotiabank each presented a “State of the Bank” summary report. “The reports that were shared with the Board all painted an optimistic outlook for the Territory’s economy and reaffirmed each financial institution’s commitment to the Virgin Islands community,” said Chairman Roach.
The banks entertained various questions from the Chairman and from other members of the Board about their products and the availability of adequate banking services in the Territory. Chairman Roach raised the issue of concerns regarding the need for faster loan approvals, specifically in the instances of mortgages.
Inquiries were made to each bank pertaining to improvements made to their infrastructure and other areas such as communication to prepare for storms. The matter of providing access to their respective banks and the availability of cash in the event of a disaster were also discussed.
One key question asked by the Board as part of the requested report, focused on the bank’s ability to accept as deposits, proceeds from the sale of legal marijuana in anticipation of the new law that provides for the medicinal use of cannabis. Each financial institution responded to the question. Unanimously, the banks all expressed concerns due to Federal statutes that presently exist to include restrictions by the FDIC which does not allow for the acceptance of such deposits or proceeds from marijuana related businesses. As a result, some of the senior managers indicated that their organizations have been lobbying Congress for a type of dispensation that can allow for the proceeds to be banked in states which have legalized cannabis in some form.
“Overall, the banks were all excited about the state of the economy and the opportunities that can arise from increased capital coming into the Territory. On behalf of the Banking Board, I would like to thank all bank representatives in attendance at Tuesday’s meeting for their time and detailed reports. I look forward to a continued productive dynamic between the Banking Board and all financial institutions in the Territory,” said Chairman Roach. Other Board members in attendance were Rosalie Javois, Richard Grant, and Finance Commissioner Nominee Kirk Callwood.
For More Information Contact:
Petra Matthew, Special Assistant to the Lieutenant Governor
Ph: (340) 773-6449 ext. 3406
Fax: (340) 773-0330
Facebook: Office of the Lieutenant Governor – US Virgin Islands