Banco Popular is launching today a yearlong celebration of its 30th anniversary of operations in the U.S. Virgin Islands, where it began doing business in 1981 through the acquisition of the assets of the Royal Bank of Canada.
“Thirty years ago we opened our first branch in St Croix, from then on we have continued to grow and invest in the region,” Senior Vice President and Regional Director Antolín Velasco said. “Our commitment is to provide our clients with the best service and the most innovative products for all their financial needs.”
Banco Popular opened its first USVI branch in Christiansted, St. Croix, in 1981. Sixteen months later it opened its first branch in St. Thomas. In 1993 and through the acquisition of another financial institution, Banco Popular expanded its presence to five more branches, including one in the British Virgin Islands. At present, Popular’s footprint in the USVI/BVI island chain breaks down to five branches in St. Thomas, two in St. Croix and one in Tortola.
By the end of this year that number will increase to nine with the upcoming opening of the Sunshine Mall in St. Croix, bank officials said.
To mark its milestones, Popular is launching its first institutional campaign tailored specifically for the USVI/BVI region, under the “Let’s build something special” theme.
“We have been very fortunate to have been able to be in the region for 30 years. We are proud of our history and we have strong plans for the future,” said Néstor Obie, BPOP’s executive vice president for individual banking, who is visiting the neighboring island’s branches today.
Banco Popular Virgin Islands is one of the leading financial institutions in the Lesser Antilles, and is the USVI government’s leading lender. In 2003, the bank provided nearly $100 million in combined loans to help several USVI public agencies build long-term projects. While the Virgin Islands Port Authority received $10.7 million to build and improve maritime facilities in St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix, the Water & Power Authority secured $18.7 million to improve and upgrade the electrical and water delivery systems for the same three small islands.