Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie says banks are on the list of essential services allowed operation ahead of a complete COVID-19 lockdown on Saturday evening, April 4, 2020 through Thursday, April 16, 2020 in the first instance.
'The banks continue to work with us for the good of the people of the Virgin Islands. We continue to lobby the banks to have all of them opened Thursday, Friday and Saturday, to be able to service the needs of the people," Hon Fahie said.
He was at the time speaking in the latest of the daily COVID-19 response press conferences broadcast tonight, Wednesday, April 1, 2020 on state radio and social media.
Those three days coincide with earmarked periods for essential business activity where residents will be allowed to traverse the Territory under strict guidelines to buy food and do other essential business from 06:00 am to 06:00 pm.
"And we have been receiving very good news from most of our banks and we hope all will fall in," the Premier further said.
Coming under high praise was Banco Popular, which according to the Premier, has agreed to have its locations opened for the three days, including on Virgin Gorda (VG).
'I must say thank you today to Banco Popular who has confirmed that they will open on Thursday, Friday and Saturday not only on Tortola, but also on Virgin Gorda. This is what happens when we work together for the good of our people."
According to Premier Fahie, the move by Banco Popular is especially good news for the people of VG, to have banking return once more on the island "to assist in these trying times."
On March 20, 2020, Banco Popular had closed its VG office 'until further notice' less than 24 hours after bandits pounced on the location, carting off an undisclosed sum of cash in a daring daylight robbery.
The Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) has since announced that an arrest was made in relation to the robbery and investigations are ongoing.
We simply attempt to be fearful when others are greedy and to be greedy only when others are fearful.