Majority of Socio-Economic Loans Repaid – says Social Security Chairman

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Chairman of the BVI Social Security Board, Mr. Paul Webster, Q.C., announced that the majority of the socio-economic loans that were given out over the years have been repaid.

During the contract signing for a loan between the Social Security Board, and the Government Mr. Webster explained that since 1991 the Board has invested $81,430,449 in public sector socio-economic loans at an average rate of return of 5.76 percent per annum.

The Chairman said that the loans provided by the Board is far more than is offered on a certificate of deposit in any bank. In reference to the previous loans, Mr. Webster said: “Many of these loans have been repaid in full and the current amount on the outstanding loan is $33,333,000.00.”

The remaining loan amount, Mr. Webster explained, represents 6.8 percent of the Board’s overall portfolio, which is far less than the 20-30 percent allocated by the investment policy statement to socio-economic policy investments.

In explaining the socio-economic loan policy of the Board, he stated that socio-economic loans are investment in public sector projects that are intended to benefit the entire community.

As it relates to loan approval it was stated that “when reviewing investment opportunities designated as socio-economic investment the Board places first priority on the economic benefit of each investment to the fund, and second priority on the social and economic benefits to the society as a whole.”

“When an application is presented to the Board the investment manager carries out full due diligence and analysis to ensure that the loan meets the Board’s criteria for lending; his report is then considered by the investment committee, which makes a final decision on the application,” he added.

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