BVI Deputy Premier Urges Prompt Resolution for Republic Bank’s Disrupted Customers

Recent upheavals at Republic Bank (BVI) Limited have left a trail of disconcerted customers grappling with unexpected withdrawals from their accounts. In the wake of mounting discontent, Deputy Premier and Minister for Financial Services, Labour, and Trade, Hon Lorna G. Smith, OBE, has stepped forward, asserting the Government of the [British] Virgin Islands’ commitment to addressing the concerns swirling around the financial institution.

The predicament, as disclosed by Hon Smith, stems from the bank’s sluggish processing of approved point-of-sale and e-commerce transactions. Customers found themselves blindsided by debits from their accounts, often for transactions they believed had long been settled. The ensuing furor spilled onto social media platforms, with aggrieved patrons airing grievances and clamoring for recourse.

Acknowledging the gravity of the situation, Hon Smith convened with the Financial Services Commission (FSC), the regulatory watchdog tasked with overseeing Republic Bank’s operations. Assurances were made, with the FSC pledging to collaborate closely with the bank to devise viable solutions. Affected customers, Hon Smith assured, can anticipate forthcoming communication from the bank delineating steps to redress the issue.

Republic Bank, in a bid to ameliorate the fallout, issued a statement on May 2, 2024, attributing the disruption to technical glitches arising from a conversion exercise. The bank moved swiftly to rectify the issue and extended a conciliatory hand to customers, offering payment plans to alleviate their distress.

As the imbroglio unfolds, Hon Smith has underscored the imperative of a swift resolution. Though the government’s purview does not extend to direct control over the bank, the Minister remains attuned to the pulse of the community’s concerns. With a firm commitment to advocacy, Hon Smith pledges to liaise diligently with the FSC, ensuring that once finalized, a resolution is promptly set in motion.

In the interim, affected customers are encouraged to seek recourse at their local branch, where assistance awaits. Hon Smith’s proactive stance signals a concerted effort to assuage the anxieties plaguing Republic Bank’s clientele, underscoring the government’s unwavering dedication to safeguarding the interests of its citizens in the financial realm.

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