photo: Esther Henry

THE BOTTOM – After the hurricane, there were some power outages and an increase in cash transactions from the Windward Island Bank(WIB) clients. “We understand their frustrations and we do our utmost best for better service”, stated Miguel Arrindell Technical Coordinator for Security & Investigation at WIB.

WIB officially closed on Saba in January last year. The Dutch government has agreed to cover the cost of keeping the ATM machine of WIB on Saba, cause this closure would reduce the island to only one ATM machine from Royal Bank of Canada (RBC).

The ATM provides clients access to online banking such a balance queries, transfer money to other accounts and make payments as well as reloading the UTS balance.

According to WIB Managing Director Derrick Downes, the end result of 10-10-’10 and the economic crisis in early 2000 are major events which impacted the closure of the bank’s Saba branch. He said that Saba’s population was too small, turnover insufficient, and overhead costs too high to maintain a healthy banking operation.

“A stationed employee on Saba is not necessary since there are more machines on St. Maarten of approximately 21. I’m not saying that Saba is not a priority however, we do try our best to fix any problem with catching the next flight to Saba”, expressed Reynaldo Richardson ATM Officer.

“We visit the island for about three to four times per month ensuring that the security cameras are in order. However, when challenges arise, our system receives an immediate notification of an error or problem. In that case, we try to get over to the island as soon as possible”, said Arrindell.