Clear all

banking on stj

Posts: 48
Eminent Member
Topic starter

i am planning my pmv for april. just wondering if i should open an account with firstbank then or wait until i move? also, how difficult is it to transfer money from a stateside bank to a vi bank?

thank you,


Posted : March 12, 2007 9:32 pm
Posts: 1866
Noble Member

Most folks don't really need to open a local bank account before they move. When you do, you'll need your original Social Security card and two forms of photo identification. Depending on the clerk you get you may be hit up for more information and documentation and there's no use arguing if you are. It is easy to wire transfer money between the islands and the states. Stateside checks will have a 14-30 day hold before the cash is available to you. In my experience, the same hold is also put on cashier's checks from stateside banks and traveler's checks, so bring plenty of cash to get you through the first 4-6 weeks when you move.

Posted : March 12, 2007 10:46 pm
Posts: 1057
Noble Member

If you open an account before you need it you will have better availability on funds you deposit. Once you have established yourself in the eyes of the bank they will give you full availability on stateside checks you deposit in about five business days,

Wire transfers work very well and are the quickest way to move money from stateside to the USVI.


Posted : March 12, 2007 11:10 pm
Posts: 1866
Noble Member

"Once you have established yourself in the eyes of the bank they will give you full availability on stateside checks you deposit in about five business days."

Which local bank does this?

Posted : March 12, 2007 11:11 pm
Posts: 39
Eminent Member

We moved here about thre years ago. First thing we did was set up an account at First Bank. To this day, we almost never use our First Bank account. We still use our stateside bank account for almost all (95%) of our financial transactions. Long check clearing times, inexplicable balances, consistently "down" ATM's and generally poor customer service has had us avoid using First Bank whenever we can.

Posted : March 13, 2007 10:09 am
Posts: 2045
Noble Member

I dont trust any of the stx banks, heard and seen too many screw ups by them. We kept our stateside bank and have not had any problems not having a local checking account.

Posted : March 13, 2007 10:31 am
Posts: 66
Trusted Member

My husband and I have lived on StX for four years. We opened a checking and savings account with FirstBank while down on our final PMV before we moved. You will need SS card, two forms of ID and a local address for them to mail your new checks, cards and statements. If took a while to open the accounts (we were there a couple of hours), and the address we gave them was the local hotel we were staying at before we moved (who agreed to keep our mail). But after that, we have never had a single problem with them. No errors with either of our accounts. The important thing is to know what the minimum balance is and to keep that plus a few dollars. Yes, sometimes the ATM machines may be down or out of money, but so are many other machines all over the island. You learn to live with it. If you know you are moving, go ahead and open the account. We are glad we did as it was one less thing to deal with upon arrival. Good luck with your move.

Posted : March 13, 2007 11:21 am
Posts: 1057
Noble Member

When I had an account at Scotia Bank on STT after the first six months my deposited items were made available according to Federal Reserve terms.

I now bank with Bank of St Croix and all my deposited funds are fully available in five days.

Everything is negotiable, just speak with a bank officer. As to be expected the bigger your balance the bigger your leverage.


Posted : March 13, 2007 11:47 am
Posts: 3919
Famed Member

We have an account at Banco Popular and have been very satisified with both personnel and the service. We have direct deposit of three different checks and have had the account for almost 4 years.

Posted : March 13, 2007 3:59 pm
Posts: 0
New Member

A helpful item to remember, the banking in stj customer service is not at all what you are accustomed to in the states.
Best advice just be prepared for a very long wait and go with the flow. 🙂

Posted : March 14, 2007 2:21 pm
Posts: 9
Active Member

A friend and I are moving down to St Thomas for a period of 3 months over the summer. We already have jobs set up but were wondering if we would need local accounts. It seems stupid to open an account for such a short period of time. Thanks for the input.

Posted : March 14, 2007 4:40 pm
Posts: 859
Prominent Member

A far as banking is concerned, I started with Barclays over 20 years ago and then they were bought by The Bank of Novia Scotia. Despite some sometimes rather major downs with Scotia, I stay with them because I know full well that all the banking institutions here have problems and transferring is a major deal.

If you're planning on being here for only a short time, use an ATM card for cash purchases or use credit cards. A local landlord or small hoteler may or may not accept a credit card but that's something you should think about in advance and ask about. Most landlords here along with most businesses don't accept stateside cheques and many don't accept traveler's cheques.

If you are, as "swack" and his friend are doing and coming for just three months or so, use those ATM cards!

Hope this helps!

Posted : March 14, 2007 5:30 pm
Search this website Type then hit enter to search
Close Menu