Category: News

24- Nov2020
Posted By: BASL
906 Views

2020 ECCU Bank of the Year Awards

The ECCU Bank of the Year Awards recognise the commercial banks operating within the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union which have made outstanding contributions to the overall development of the people they serve. This year, the Awards are presented to the banks that are adjudged to have demonstrated excellence, to the highest level, in the following categories over the past year:

Customer Service;
Financial Education and Empowerment;
Technological Innovation; and
Pandemic and Banking

This year the public is given the opportunity to vote online for the Bank of the Year of their choice in each category. Click here for more information and to cast your vote,

Be part of the process, cast your vote now!

Categories:
14- Oct2020
Posted By: BASL
992 Views

Financial Information Month 2020

The Bankers Association of Saint Lucia (BASL) continues its collaboration with the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) in hosting a series of activities as part of Financial Information Month (FIM) 2020.

Financial Information Month (FIM) is a regional financial, economic, business and entrepreneurial education campaign executed in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU), through the collaborative efforts of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), ECCU member governments, financial and academic institutions, the media, other private and public sector institutions and community-based groups.

Financial Information Month (FIM) has been observed each year since 2002 during the month of October and incorporates a series of initiatives designed to support the attainment of the goal of “a financially developed and vibrant ECCU region that fosters strong and sustainable economic growth and the improved well-being of the citizenry.”

This year the theme is “Building Financial Resilience in a COVID-19 Environment”. The activities for the month will cover the following sub- themes:

• Living Through ‘Rainy Days’: How to Manage Your Money in Challenging Times
• It’s Happening Online: Using the Internet as a Tool in the New Normal
• Turning the Frown Upside Down: Creating Opportunities From COVID-19

This year’s FIM is considered to be particularly critical to help cushion the economic and financial impact of COVID-19 to the public and provide the much needed information and guidance on how to cope in this new normal.

COVID -19 has brought to the fore the reality that financial resilience forms an integral part of our daily lives and that of our clients. Financial resilience helps individual and businesses cope with difficult financial circumstances (whether arising from a pandemic as is the case with Covid-19 or the impact of natural disasters).

Therefore, as part of the Bankers Association of Saint Lucia strategy of public engagement and education, a number of activities are being undertaken during the month of October to enhance the level of financial literacy amongst Saint Lucians and help build financial resilience. These activities will include:

1. A panel discussion on NTN on 14th October @ 8.00 pm. Topic- “Living Through ‘Rainy Days’: How to Manage Your Money in Challenging Times
2. Meet the Bankers News Paper articles weekly from the week ending 16th October featuring senior bankers
3. Weekly Radio Interviews on the topic – “It’s Happening Online: Using the Internet as a Tool in the New Normal
4. Weekly donations to homes for the elderly, vulnerable and less fortunate
5. Regional Webinar in collaboration with the ECCB on 19th October on the topic – “Turning the Frown upside down: Creating Opportunities from COVID-19”
6. Virtual discussion with Primary & Secondary school students 20 & 22 October topic – “Coping in times of financial crisis”
❖ Prizes – First three winners of a laptop each at the primary and secondary school level
❖ The deadline for submission of the essay is 23 October 2020
7. Webinar on 21st October for LFI’s Employees on the Topic – “The Impact of COVID-19 on the Property Sector”
8. Essay competition amongst Primary & Secondary Schools on the Topic – “The Impact of COVID-19 on my family finances and how I have adapted to the new normal”
9. Webinar on 27th October for LFI’s Employees on the topic- “The Impact of COVID-19 on the Insurance Industry”
10. A donation from the Bankers Association to deserving students of Secondary Schools on 29th October
❖ One (1) laptop per Secondary School for a deserving child who shows promise but the parents cannot afford to purchase the electronic equipment, 24 students will receive lap tops.

In celebration of FIM 2020, the Bankers Association of Saint Lucia has released a jingle which was written and arranged by Mr. Buffalo Odlum, produced by Mr. Semi Francis and sang by Ms. Sharma Joseph, daughter of Mr. Odlum and employee of CIBC FirstCaribbean.

The members of the Bankers Association of Saint Lucia thank the general public for your continued support and participation and look forward to a legacy Financial Information Month 2020 during what may very well be the most trying time in modern day history.

Finally, we urge the general public to continue to follow the COVID-19 protocols which have assisted in ensuring minimal spread and zero deaths to date in Saint Lucia.

– 1st National Bank St. Lucia Limited
– Bank of Saint Lucia Limited
– Capita Financial Services Inc.
– CIBC FirstCaribbean International
– Financial Investment And Consultancy Services Limited
– First Citizens Investment Services Limited
– RBC Royal Bank
– Republic Bank (EC) Limited
– Sagicor Finance Inc.
– Saint Lucia Development Bank
– St Lucia Mortgage Finance Company Limited

Categories:
08- Oct2020
Posted By: BASL
936 Views

Bankers’ Association Donates To Dennery Home For The Elderly

As part of its activities for (FIM) Financial Information Month 2020, the Bankers Association of Saint Lucia has been active in educating the general public and giving back to the poor and elderly. Last week, representatives from the various banks came to together to pay a special visit and make a donation to the Villa St. Jospeh Home for the Elderly.

Categories:
30- Sep2020
Posted By: BASL
921 Views

Frequently Asked Questions – Moratorium

In these trying times, the Bankers Association of Saint Lucia is here to support you and your family. Our objective is to help you to concentrate on what is important – remaining in good health, supporting your loved ones, and of course, taking care of your finances. Our Association members are offering our valued customers, moratoriums on bank debts in an attempt to cushion the economic blow dealt by the COVID-19 Pandemic. To assist with your concerns on moratoria we have prepared a list of answers for some frequently asked questions.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): COVID-19 Support Programme

1. Question: What is a Moratorium?

Answer: A moratorium refers to the period of time during which you do not have to pay the instalment on your loan. The moratorium is being offered as part of a support programme to help individuals who are facing temporary financial difficulties as a result of loss of income or reduced income due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

2. Question: Is the offer automatic or do clients have to request the offer?

Answer: In the majority of Financial Institutions, the moratorium is not automatic, clients who are impacted by loss of income or reduced income will need to opt–in by contacting their bank to avail of the moratorium. However, there are some institutions that applied an automatic moratorium and requested that their clients opt-out as opposed to opting in.

3. Question: Are all Banks in Saint Lucia providing the moratorium?

Answer: YES. All Banks and other Licensed Financial Services Institutions are providing support via the moratorium.

4. Question: Which Banking facilities are eligible for the moratorium?

Answer: Personal and business Loan, Mortgages, Credit cards, overdrafts, lines of credit.

5. Question: If I avail myself of the moratorium, what is the period covered?

Answer: The moratorium options vary across organizations ranging from 3 months up to 6 months.

6. Question: Will I be charged penalty fees for availing of the moratorium?

Answer: NO. All penalty fees will be waived for the facility on which the moratorium is granted during the moratorium period.

7. Question: Can I select which facilities I want the moratorium to be applied to or must it be applied to all of my loan facilities?

Answer: YES. Clients will decide if they wish the moratorium to apply to all of their credit facilities or if they want it to apply to specific facilities.

8. Question: My loan is already in arrears, can I still qualify for the Moratorium?

Answer: The amount or the level of arrears is a determining factor, so you will need to contact the receivables unit of your Financial Institution to ascertain how they can assist.

9. Question. If I avail myself of the moratorium, will the bank charge interest during the moratorium period?

Answer: YES. Interest continues to accrue during the moratorium period.

10. Why does the bank charge interest during the moratorium period?

Answer: The objective of the moratorium is to provide cash flow relief to customers but interest must be paid to allow the banks to meet its obligations to its depositors and cover its operational expenses while remaining stable to protect depositors’ funds.

11. Question: Should I avail myself of the moratorium if I am not impacted financially?

Answer: If you are not impacted financially it is advisable that you continue to pay your loan as arranged with your financial institution.

12. Question: What options are available for the moratorium?

Answer: You have three options (a) to pay interest only (b) to pay a reduced payment i.e. – what you can afford or (c) to pay nothing during the moratorium period.

13. Question: Is there a monetary limit to what payments I can postpone if I take up the offer?

Answer: There is no monetary limit assigned to the offer at this time.

14. Will my monthly payment increase after the moratorium?

Answer: This will depend on the option selected when (a) you applied for the moratorium or (b) when the loan is being restructured after the moratorium expires. There will be no impact on the monthly instalment for clients who select paying the interest on their loans during the moratorium period but the term of the loan will increase by the duration of the moratorium. Clients who request the moratorium on both principal and interest will have an increased monthly payment because the interest accrued will be added to the balance of the loan to allow for calculation of the new instalment.

15. Will the maturity date of my loan be impacted by the Moratorium?

Answer: The maturity date will change by the same amount of time requested for the moratorium.

16. If my car or home insurance premium falls due and I have already applied for a moratorium and I cannot pay the premium what should I do?

Answer: Contact your insurance company to ascertain if they have a support programme in place to assist. If they are unable to assist then contact your bankers to ascertain how they can assist.

17. Can I revert to my original maturity date when my finances improve?

Answer: YES. If your finances improve and you would like to revert to your original maturity date then your Bank will accommodate your request, but it will require an increase in your monthly instalment.

We expect there to be more questions and encourage you to contact your Bank to discuss any concerns which we may not have covered in this FAQ. We thank you for your business and ask that you continue to observe the COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

Categories:
06- Apr2020
Posted By: BASL
821 Views

Teller Services To Resume From April 7th

The Bankers Association of Saint Lucia shall resume limited banking operations effective April 7th, 2020 following the announcement by Honourable Prime Minister Allen Chastanet on April 5th regarding the end of the 24-hour curfew. Financial institutions are mindful of the continued threat posed by COVID-19 and will be opening their doors to the public from 8:00 am to 12 noon until further notice. We shall also be implementing special measures for social distancing.

The following banking services will be available to the general public:

-Over the counter teller services for personal and business customers

-Full ATM services

-Wire transactions

-Payroll processing

-Processing of urgent temporary credit facilities

-Night depository services

Heightened Protocol and Social Distancing Measures

The Association’s members will be implementing social distancing markers in the banking halls to ensure that every customers will be six feet apart from each other. Priority will be given to the elderly. In addition, the areas outside of the banks will be demarcated to allow customers to stand at least six (6) feet apart from each other. Members of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force and other security personnel will be on hand to ensure compliance with these measures.

The Association advises that members of staff will be wearing masks and customers are strongly encouraged to do likewise for the protection of all.

Use of non-branch channels

In order to limit the number of visits to our branches, the Association is encouraging the general public to utilize digital channels such as online and mobile banking, ABMs and debit and credit cards as far as possible. Customers are also encouraged to contact their banks by email and telephone when making inquiries or for initiating certain transactions.

1st National Bank St. Lucia Limited

Bank of Saint Lucia Limited

Capita Financial Services Inc.

CIBC FirstCaribbean International

Financial Investment And Consultancy Services Limited

RBC Royal Bank

Republic Bank EC Limited

Sagicor Finance Inc.

Saint Lucia Development Bank

Categories:
21- Mar2020
Posted By: BASL
784 Views

Numerous Banking Services to be Adjusted From Monday March 23rd

The Bankers Association of Saint Lucia has confirmed that adjustments will be made to the banking services available to the public in keeping with the Hon. Prime Minister Allen Chastanet’s announcement of a partial scale down of all non-essential economic and social services from Monday, March 23, 2020 to Sunday, April 5, 2020. The following measures are in keeping with the implementation of the Heightened Protocol and Social Distancing Regime as part of a national response to the COVID-19 pandemic:

Adjusted Services
During the period of the partial scale down, financial institutions will facilitate the following services:
– Over the counter teller services for personal and business customers from Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
– Special assigned hours for elderly from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 am and the general public from 9:00a.m. to 12:00 pm.
– Full ATM service including ATM deposits
– Processing of urgent temporary credit facilities
– Night depository services
– Online wire transfers and online payroll service
– Sign-ups for online banking service
– Debit card and credit card replacements
– Processing and clearing of cheques

General lending services and opening of new accounts will not be available during the partial scale down to allow staff to attend to urgent and critical requests.

Heightened Protocol and Social Distancing Regime

The association’s members are also committed to enforcing the principle of “social distancing” and will limit the number of customers in their banking halls of to a maximum of 20 customers for large branches and 10 customers for smaller branches. Customers waiting outside of banks will be encouraged to maintain a distance of at least 3 feet from each other to limit exposure to the virus.

Additionally, only staff who are critical to the banking services listed above will be asked to report to work during the partial scale down period and others with remote access who are not required to be in-branch will be asked to work from home.

Essential Service Professionals

During the period of the partial scale down, special consideration will also be paid to persons employed in essential services such as the medical and healthcare professions and law enforcement to limit the amount of time spent in the banks and to allow them to quickly return to their critical functions.

The Association stressed the customers also have an important role to play in ensuring that the partial scale down is executed smoothly and with minimal risk to the banking community. As Saint Lucia’s financial institutions work together to maintain access to critical banking functions, customers are strongly encouraged to delay all non-essential banking requests until normal banking functions resume.

Customers are also asked to minimize the frequency of their branch visits where possible by availing of alternative banking channels such as mobile and online banking and utilizing emails and telephone to contact the bank where possible. Finally, while the scaled down operations are intended to safeguard the health and wellbeing of staff and customers in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Nation’s financial institutions are also working out the finer details of a moratorium on various installment payments and fees to protect the financial wellbeing of their clientele and to ease the financial burden many are expected to experience at this time. The Association advised that customers can expect an update on the details of these measures from their respective financial institutions.

As organisations, communities and individuals around the world unite in a concerted effort to fight the spread of COVID-19, financial institutions are committed to playing an active role in supporting the economy and the citizens of Saint Lucia throughout this period of uncertainty and remain optimistic that we will overcome this difficult period together.

1st National Bank St. Lucia Limited
Bank of Saint Lucia Limited
Capita Financial Services Inc.
CIBC FirstCaribbean International
Financial Investment And Consultancy Services Limited
First Citizens Investment Services Limited.
RBC Royal Bank
Republic Bank EC Limited
Sagicor Finance Inc.
St. Lucia Development Bank
St. Lucia Mortgage & Finance Company Limited

Categories:
13- Mar2020
Posted By: BASL
807 Views

COVID-19 Press Release

The Bankers Association of Saint Lucia has been monitoring the global and regional developments as it relates to the novel Corona Virus (COVID-19) and we continue to do so with heightened awareness following the announcement of Saint Lucia’s first COVID-19 case on Friday March 13th, 2020.

We wish to reassure customers that all our Members have taken precautionary steps to protect our staff and customers, from inadvertently contracting and or spreading the virus, as they deliver and access banking services throughout the island. The Banks have enhanced their internal cleaning protocol and have made the required sanitary provisions at each bank. Our staff are asked to take regular breaks to wash their hands; this new practice may slightly impact the speed with which service is delivered especially on the teller lines but we want to assure the public that these measures were implemented for the protection of our citizenry.

In light of the ongoing concerns surrounding COVID-19 and mindful of public advisories issued by the Department of Health and Wellness, The Bankers Association of St. Lucia is encouraging the banking public to take all necessary precautions to minimise their risk of contracting and spreading the virus. We therefore take this opportunity to encourage our customers to adopt the following practices if not already being done.

  • Avoid crowds and reduce the time spent in the Banks by making use of your Bank’s online and mobile banking platforms. These platforms can be used to access all your online accounts at any time to conduct a number of transactions, the most commonly used ones being transfer funds between your accounts, pay your utility bills, send international wire transfers, make third party payments, manage your credit cards, and apply for credit and other banking facilities. These services are secure and may not necessarily require a trip to the Bank to sign up.
  • Pay your bills on the utility company’s online portal where available
  • Conduct your banking via telephone, email or call centre services where available
  • Utilize your Bank’s conveniently located ATMs which will be constantly sanitized for your safety
  • Business clients are encouraged to sign up for night depository services if not already in use.
  • Limit the use of cash by using your Visa Debit and Credit Cards at our merchants outlets
  • If you have symptoms of the virus, you are advised to avoid visiting the Banks and seek medical attention.
  • If you must visit your Bank, upon entering we encourage you to make use of our hand sanitizer dispensers which are strategically placed on our premises for your safety and convenience.
  • Practice social distancing and avoid touching surfaces in public spaces.

The Bankers Association is firmly committed to ensuring that our citizens receive timely and quality service while we take steps to protect their health and well-being. The Association therefore encourages the general public to adhere to all health and safety guidelines in an effort to limit the spread of the virus for the protection of ourselves, our families and our communities.

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