Roach Convenes Two-Day Banking Board Meeting for ‘State of the Bank’ Reports

Lt. Gov. Tregenza A. Roach Esq. is also the U.S. Virgin Islands Banking Board director. (Source file photo)

Lt. Gov. Tregenza A. Roach Esq., who also serves as the chairman of the Virgin Islands Banking Board, convened a two-day board meeting on Wednesday, April 19 and Thursday, April 20. The board received reports from each of the territory’s banks, with all reports showing sound financial growth and increased profitability in a number of revenue and operational areas.

Board members Rosalie Javois, Richard Grant, Finance Commissioner Bosede Bruce, representatives of each of the territory’s banks, and the staff of the Division of Banking, Insurance and Financial Regulation participated in the hybrid in-person/virtual meeting.

Senior bank officials from Banco Popular, Bank of St. Croix, FirstBank, Merchants Commercial Bank, Oriental Bank and the Economic Development Bank all provided operational updates and information relevant to their liquidity, advancements in digital access, new product offerings, steps to increase staffing and efforts to improve priority services for customers.

Bank representatives highlighted stability and a strong financial outlook despite the closures of banking institutions on the U.S. Mainland. Each of the territory’s banks also shared updates regarding their loan offerings including construction loans. Banco Popular, FirstBank and Merchant’s Bank all indicated that they offer both individual and developer’s construction loans.

Three banks reported participation in the Economic Development Authority’s (EDA) VI Slice Moderate Income Homeownership Program. FirstBank, Oriental Bank and Merchant’s Bank all shared with the board that they entered into a memorandum of agreements (MOAs) with the EDA to offer loans for the program. The banks will report to the board as they process applications to the program and provide financing.

“The State of the Bank reports underscored that financial institutions in the territory are well capitalized and have adequate liquidity. The information received outlined strength and favorable opportunities for residents who continue to seek assistance in the areas of home ownership, business ownership and other essential needs. Customers are encouraged to contact their financial institution to learn more about the availability of new products, services and loan eligibility,” said Lt. Gov. Roach.

“On behalf of the board, I would like to thank all bank representatives who participated in the meetings for their time and detailed reports,” Roach said.

In other matters, the board voted unanimously to approve an application by Enium Capital Group LLC for licensure as a finance lender/broker in the USVI. As a finance company, Enium works with solar dealers to help customers finance the purchase of solar systems.

During the meeting, the board also discussed an application withdrawal request by BAM Trading Services Inc., Uphold HQ Inc, NYDIG Trust Company LLC and NYDIG Execution. The request made to the board sought approval to withdraw money transmitter applications previously denied by the banking board.

Board members voted to deny the request because they found that their previous action of denying the money transmitter application had no negative impact on the company or its reputation, nor does it adversely affect future business applications or pursuits.

At the close of the meeting, the board thanked member Richard Grant for his seven years of dedicated service to the Virgin Islands Banking Board. Grant will soon resign from the board.

“We are grateful for his wisdom, expertise and contributions to the banking board and are pleased to see him pursue other interests. We wish him all the best in his future endeavors,” said Roach.

For more information, contact the Division of Banking, Insurance and Financial Regulation on St. Croix at 773-6449 or 774-2991 on St. Thomas.

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