Oriental Bank 1

An automatic teller machine in Anna’s Retreat on St. Thomas now sports the logo and colors of Oriental Bank after the Puerto Rico-based bank bought Scotiabank’s U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico branches.

The territory’s Banking Board is set to meet Friday with senior officials from Oriental Bank to discuss the transition from Scotiabank and customer complaints.

Lt. Gov. Tregenza Roach, who also serves as chairman of the Virgin Islands Banking Board, called the meeting for 10 a.m.

To request access to the online meeting, email lgopress@vi.gov. Participation is limited to audio only. Members of the public will not have the ability to ask questions, according to the notice.

The Lt. Governor’s Office has not responded to numerous requests from The Daily News for information about what the government is doing to help former Scotiabank customers navigate the transition to Oriental Bank.

The transition from Scotiabank to Oriental has not been a smooth one for many customers. For several days this week, customers stood in winding lines at Oriental branches on both St. Croix and St. Thomas after being unable to access accounts.

Oriental Bank Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Ganesh Kumar responded to questions from The Daily News with a lengthy statement.

“We apologize for discomfort and time spent visiting our branches. The number of people who did not receive their mailed information has resulted in longer lines at the branches. We are working to speed up service and make the wait time more pleasant,” according to the statement.

Customers were encouraged to call their local branch, or schedule an appointment online prior to visiting branches on St. Thomas and St. Croix.

According to Kumar, the bank has expanded its call centers to provide faster assistance.

“We want to assure our esteemed clients that their funds are safe and secure,” Kumar said. “We understand that there is frustration and apprehension in not being able to access funds. It is the priority of every person in our organization to assist our clients in updating their user information which would allow immediate access to their accounts.”

- Contact Suzanne Carlson at 340-714-9122 or email scarlson@dailynews.vi.