Banco Popular opens service center in Cruz Bay


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ST. THOMAS - Banco Popular is trying to be more convenient to its St. John customers by opening a service center today in Cruz Bay.

The center is not a new branch, meaning its customers will be limited to withdrawing and depositing cash.

However, bank officials said the new facility will make things easier for its customers, including those who own businesses, on St. John. "We've received a lot of requests," said Antolin Velasco, senior vice-president of the Virgin Islands region for Banco Popular, which is based in Puerto Rico.

"Usually, our clients on St. John have to go to Red Hook," Velasco said.

The bank will monitor how many people use the service center to determine whether the island needs its own branch in the future, he said. Velasco would not say how many customers the bank had on St. John, but he said the bank spent $175,000 on the service center, which comprises about 400 square feet.

Located in Cruz Bay, the center is on the first floor of a building shared with Mooie's Bar, which also is on the first floor, and a residence upstairs. The bar is on one side of the building, and the service center is on the other.

The service center includes a 24-hour ATM. Starting today, customers will be able to withdraw cash. Next week they will be able to make deposits at the ATM without an envelope, as well.

Additionally, by next week the service center will have a night depository, which will be checked a few times each week, according to Velasco. The bank will monitor how many night deposits are made in a week, and will either maintain or change the night deposit check schedule based on any trends it notices, he said.

Also starting next week, the service center will have a host inside to help people with the ATM and assist people inside the center who have questions.

- Contact Jenny Kane at 714-9102 or email jkane@dailynews.vi.

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