By Hensley Daniel
The Bank of Nevis was established in 1985 to improve the quality of life of the people and provide a wide range of financial services. It had to deal with the usual doubts that local people harbor about local institutions but it has demonstrated that with sound financial management and imaginative leadership much can be accomplished.
I was teaching at the Charlestown Secondary School when the Bank came into being. I remember having long and sometimes heated arguments with some of my colleagues who were strongly opposed to the setting up of the bank. I argued then and still do that I wanted to support a financial institution where the locus of decision making was Charlestown. I suggested that the establishment of a local bank two years after Independence would raise the confidence of local people and make Independence real.
I said then that the Bank would revolutionize the banking sector and could team up with the then Nevis Co-operative Bank to control the local market.
I wish to salute the visionary founder of the Bank, the late National Hero Dr. Simeon Daniel. He was able to mobilize Nevisians at home and abroad along with the local expatriate community to put their financial resources at the disposal of the Bank to enable it to get started. The vision must outlive the visionary.
I believe that the Board of Directors, the staff, the shareholders and the customers of the Bank would agree with me that the Bank has made a huge contribution to the social and economic development of the country since its inception.
Mr. Hanzel Manners was the Bank’s first Chairman, while Mr. Richard Lupinacci was its first manager. Mr. Rawlinson Isaac was General Manager from 1990 to 2007. I salute all those who have served the Bank. They have certainly helped to re-shape the financial landscape with the products and services offered by the Bank.
The Bank is listed on the Eastern Caribbean Securities Exchange where it can raise capital by providing a fair share price and increase the market value and liquidity of its stocks. It owns the Bank of Nevis International which trades in United States currency.
It takes a will of steel, a great deal of self-confidence and a strong commitment to duty for local people to make a local institution viable. The long learning colonial process has kept many would be entrepreneurs as workers. It is not easy for local institutions to carve out a niche in the financial services sector so Nevisians must continue to support the Bank of Nevis and make it their preferred financial institution.
Long Live The Bank of Nevis! Vive La Banque! Viva El Banco!