When the Executive Council of Saba learned of the Windward Islands Bank’s (‘WIB’) intention to close their branch in Saba, they sent a formal letter to the Ministry of Finance in the Netherlands. This Ministry is responsible for a healthy financial market on the BES. Awaiting a formal reply from said Ministry, on Thursday 18 August 2016, the Executive Council also met with members of the Management Board and Supervisory Board of the WIB in St. Maarten.
During this meeting the Executive Council were especially vocal in expressing their concerns towards the WIB Management. The main concern is how this will impact Saba’s economic development, its citizens and all businesses. The Executive Council of Saba had indicated the same earlier in a formal letter, asking for a confirmation in writing from the WIB and a chance to meet and discuss the matter in person. Thus far it had only been corresponded through media outlets and informal meetings that the WIB intends to leave.
During last Thursday’s meeting, WIB’s Management confirmed again that the WIB will close down the branch in Saba. They did express their intent on keeping online banking open for Saban customers and potentially, the ATM machine in the Bottom until December this year. Everyone discussed more in depth the exact motives behind this closing of the branch. The Executive Council urged the WIB to reconsider, or at least postpone closing down the branch in Saba. According to WIB Management, the branch in Saba is commercially and economically not profitable enough to remain open.
Right now all eyes are focused on the RBC, as this will be the sole remaining bank in Saba. The Executive Council indicated that it would also be good to discuss these trials further with RBC’s Management. It would be good to get their vision on the matter as well. Therefore the Executive Council hopes that a meeting with RBC’s Management can take place shortly also.