Windward Islands Bank St. Maarten unveils sleek new building

POSTED: 06/25/13 12:32 PM
WIB 1The exterior of the newly renovated Windward Islands Bank. Photo Samuel Allen

St. Maarten – “We want to do something different for our commercial clients,” Assistant Managing Director Kelvin Bloyden said yesterday as he gave a tour of the newly renovated and extended Windward Islands Bank (WIB) on the Clem Labega square. The WIB features a state of the art building with a luxurious lounge where its commercial customers can relax while they wait for service. But it’s not just commercial clients who’ve gotten an upgrade, regular customers, too, are treated to a sleek, modern lobby complete with large flat screen TVs airing CNN and leather chairs. The redone exterior also features 24 hour mailboxes for rent and wheelchair accessibility.

WIB – the first bank on St. Maarten – has come a long way since its founding in 1960, over 40 years ago, when it occupied a small space on the Cyrus W Wathey square. Since then the bank has grown steadily as the island’s economy has grown, boasting 240 employees now along with a healthy portfolio of assets. The new building includes a training center for employees so that they can continually upgrade their skills, or where new staff is trained. “Every aspect of a successful company is the training of staff,” said Bloyden. “It’s very dear to me.”

The expansion section of the building rises to four floors, each housing specific departments of the bank. “All the paintings are bought from local artists,” Bloyden said, pointing out the numerous pieces that adorn the walls of the upper floors of the bank. He further explained that the building and planning involved took about four years, and it has eco-friendly features, such as large windows to let in more natural light, censored indoor lighting that automatically switch off and on, a cistern where collected rain water is used for restrooms and watering the building’s plants, and energy efficient air coolers throughout the structure. It’s also a smoke-free environment. The building also features a large outdoor patio on the rooftop where staff can relax and enjoy their lunch breaks or for when the bank needs to host private functions.

The building will be officially inaugurated on Wednesday.

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