Birds dominate annual report Windward Islands BankPOSTED: 07/10/15 8:22 PM
A picture of Binkie van Es in the WIB annual report. Photo contributed
Bank increased sponsorships by 20 percent in 2014
St. Maarten – The Windward Islands Bank spent 20 percent more on sponsorships in 2014 than it did the year before, the bank states in its annual report. The WIB sponsored for more than 230,000 guilders, and also sponsored and organized events like the cleaning and painting of the zoo, weekly reading with students at Sister Borgia Elementary School and the WIB Carnival Block Party.
The ban k is looking back on a satisfying year. Total net loans and advances to customers were 527.6 million guilders, a 2 percent increase over 2013. The bank’s assets totaled 1.1 billion guilders at the end of the year, exceeding the one-billion mark for the first time in its history.
The bank cites an increase in customer deposits as the main cause for the increase. The WIB’s deposit portfolio grew a sturdy 15 percent to 1.01 billion guilders.
Managing Director Derek Downes notes that the Central Bank of Curacao and Sint Maarten project a further growth in the local economy, driven by an increase in tourists’ arrivals. “We remain cautiously optimistic regarding 2015. However, while the US economy is doing well, there are signs of a slowdown in Europe, another important tourist market for St. Maarten,” Downes writes in the report.
The bank chose pictures of local bird watcher Binkie van Es and work from Natalie Collier and Adam Brown of Environmental protection in the Caribbean (Epic) to illustrate its twelve-page report. Four pages of the report are entirely devoted to the island’s bird population – from the bananaquit bird, the humming bird and the dove, to the green heron, the magnificent frigate and the laughing gull. There is also attention for bird tourism and for conservation concerns.