For the first time in its history the National Bank of the Virgin Islands (NBVI) has more than one shareholder. This new development was finalized at a signing on 19 December between the Bank and the Social Security Board which now owns 33 percent of the shares.

Director of the Social Security Board Antoinette Skelton described the signing as an historic moment. She noted that getting to this point took more than 24 months. Here we are before Christmas to present the Virgin Islands a gift that will improve the lives of all people.

Ian Smith the Chairman of the Social Security Board said that the acquiring of the shares is part of the Board’s push to invest locally. He said that the Board’s investment will help to stimulate the economy.

The Chairman said that the Board did its due diligence and found that the investment seemed viable and negotiations began in 2015. In order to facilitate the purchase of the shares the House of Assembly in May made legislative amendments to allow the Board to acquire the shares from the Government.

The Board’s $15 million investment is expected to increase the Bank’s available loan fund which is expected to increase money circulating in the Territory. In fact Mr. Smith said that this level of investment in our islands is a crucial to the BVI socio-economic development.

Clarence Faulkner Jr. Chairman of NBVI Board announced that signing is a moment of pride for these islands. He said that the purchase of shares puts the bank one step closer towards NBVI becoming the main bank of the Territory. “The negotiations have not been lighthearted or easy,” he pointed out noting that the partnership also brings collaboration and sharing of ideas. Additionally Faulkner noted that the bank is steadfast ahead with its new product and service that people will soon see.

Premier and Minister for Finance, Dr. the Hon. D. Orlando Smith said NBVI’s Board will now be expanded and the bank will make it possible for residents to take advantage of opportunities and get relief needed at this trying time. Further the Premier asked that the public look to the National Bank for solutions as they bring on stream new products and services.