STT - BANCO POP OR FIRSTBANK?
After maintaining my bank accounts first with Barclays and then with their successor, Scotiabank, I've had it up to the eyeballs with Scotia and am ready to make a change. Either BP or FB is handy but I'd be interested in hearing from people who've dealt with either for at least a few years. Most of my business will be done online - a couple of automatic payments out of the account and some automatic deposits into the account. Any comments, pros and cons, of both banks and their systems would be appreciated. If I stay at Scotibank much longer I'm in danger of being arrested for public disturbance of the peace as I stand in the middle of one of their branches and go nuts. Thanks for any input.
I realize that it's probably an issue of one not being overall generally much better than the other but how about their online banking service? After all these years I'm used to standing in line without getting twisted about it but I've little reason to physically go to a bank at this point. I'd at least like to be able to get online easily to check on my account activity. Any comments on that where either one is concerned? Thanks.
If Merchants Commercial Bank is convenient to you it's the best on island. The problem is they have one branch on STT and it's in Tutu next door to OMax. There is never more than one person in line in front of you. Between BP and FB, it's a toss-up, whichever is convenient. I've never had problems with BP, my girlfriend has had tons of problems with FB having her card declined for no reason at restaurants. I've heard people say the same thing about BP, though.
I have not been in a bank in the VI in many years - I use a stateside bank, do everything online or by phone, can deposit checks by scanning them or even mailing them, pay bills online, write checks and pay my credit cards with no problems - even get a car loan and direct deposit SocSec.- I have had no reason to physically use a bank here since Barclays closed the waterfront branch back when they were using ledgers and handwritten deposit books.
EZ, that sounds downright 21st century! I just discovered the other day that banks in the UK are actually open to walk-in customers until 8PM - and of course 24/7 online services. Once Scotiabank has found a missing wire transfer (it's been apparently floating in cyberspace for 12 days now and this is the second time in a year this has happened) I'll just take my chances with whichever bank is closest and charges the lesser fees.
I've found out something interesting about Scotiabank and wire transfers and I don't know if this applies to other banks here but the money first goes to a clearing house in the Dominican Republic, from there goes to Toronto and then wends its way to the USVI. 2-4 business days really means a week or more and if the money goes missing you can plan on playing 'phone tag with a whole bunch of people who don't have a clue ... is it too early for a glass of wine as I look forward to another day of sheer bloody frustration? 😀
Wire transfers to Banco Pop are credited to your account within 1 day of when wired from originating bank. There is a $15 fee.
They (BP) did manage to lose a deposit check once. I had the deposit slip and the reciept so when I noticed the money had not been credited to my account, I contacted them, went down to BP and showed them the proof of deposit and it took them almost 30 days to locate the check even with proof of deposit and credit my account. Banks rule and too bad if you have to suffer for it. They really are all the same so for me it's a matter of convenience as to where the locations are.
EZ has the right idea but I am hopelessly non technical when it comes to setting up stuff on computer. I do not know if BP lets you scan deposit checks into your account and glad he hasn't had any issues with his bank. Way to go!
I certainly have had some issues banking this way over the years,[ lost mail deposit, stolen credit card, CD rollover discrepancy, etc] but the good part is that real people answer the phone and have taken the time and interest to resolve them - setting it up on the computer is painless and I am not a tech savvy person by any stretch - also they have a very workable phone system with a simple way to do many transactions that I have used while sailing on the E.coast and Canada.
My checks have my local address printed on them and I haven't had any problems using them here.
I have used my bank issued credit card at ATMs while traveling but not here so don't know the cost associated if any.
Now that I think of it I have stood in line at BP to cash a locally issued check on rare occasions but haven't found any need to have a local bank presence and actually I have never been at my stateside bank in person either.
The only fee I pay is for a paper,mailed , monthly statement [ which often sits unopened on my desk] --- unless I would miss and be late on a credit card payment.
I echo Ronnie's suggestion of Merchants. Closest thing we have to a stateside bank. I was a FirstBank customer for several years and can't say much to recommend them, although their online banking system is adequate.
Unless Merchants' STT branch is incredibly inconvenient for you, you will likely find much better satisfaction going with them than with the other options. Definitely go in and investigate what they have to offer -- and enjoy how friendly they are!!
We use BP for our mortgage. They ladies in the mortgage department in STT are very nice and very helpful. We mail in our payments and have not had any issues so far. Only complaint is that they make you escrow for taxes and at a much higher rate than what the tax bill actually is.