Beautiful Virgin Islands

Tuesday, Jul 23, 2024

Lorna Smith plans bank talks to fix several issues

Lorna Smith plans bank talks to fix several issues

Amid cries of poor customer service delivered by banks across the territory, Minister for Financial Services Lorna Smith said an “early meeting with banks” is at the top of her list as a new minister.
In recent years, there have been growing complaints of long wait times, inadequate and poorly trained staff, and empty ATM machines at local banks. Smith said she will be holding meetings to solve these customer-related issues as well as others.

“One of the early things I’d like to do is hold an early meeting with all of the banks; not only to make sure they improve loan financing services but also the wider services they provide,” Smith explained. She added that she is particularly concerned about the banking services delivered to Jost Van Dyke and Anegada.

“I will not stop my discussions with them until they provide services to the sister islands — Jost Van Dyke and Anegada especially — and at least a functioning automatic teller machine,” Smith said.

Earlier this week, the Chairman of the Financial Services Complaints Tribunal, Jack Husbands, said residents could bring their grievances to the tribunal which would then dialogue with banks to address reported issues.

He added that the Complaints Tribunal accepts a wide variety of reports including those related to individuals who feel they have not received timely responses from banks when applying for mortgages and other types of loans.

At the same time, he said his office can’t tell the Commission what sanctions to impose on banks and other financial institutions that residents feel are operating below standard.

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