Banking and Finance

Saba Business Association raises dire Banking Situation with Van Huffelen

SBA tried to raise as many points as possibel during the 45-minute meeting and Banking to a central spot. Photo: SBA

THE BOTTOM- The Saba Business Association (SBA) had a meeting with Dutch State Secretary of Kingdom Relations and Digitization Alexandra van Huffelen during her visit to Saba last week. Many topics were on the agenda and most were addressed during the short 45-minute meeting which was held at the Tourist Bureau in Windwardside.

One of the issues which was promintently raised with the State Secretary, is the banking situation on the island, which is seen by SBA as the first and foremost a thorn in the eye of many businesses and one that is seen as deteriorating even more.

According to the SBA, it is unacceptable that Saba only has one bank, which is not conducive to do business. It is hard to send and receive funds, the banking costs are very high, the service is poor and it takes very long to open a bank account, the SBA pointed out.

“We feel that we are a century behind with the banking services that we have now,” said SBA President Alida Heilbron. “We are stuck in the 90’ies in a competitive, digital world,” said SBA Secretary Jarno Knijff. 


The SBA asked what the follow-up is being given to the ‘Overview of Saba’s Banking Situation,’ a document written last July by Matthijs Malkus who at the time worked for the Public Entity Saba as a policy advisor.

Unfortunately, Van Huffelen was not aware of such a document and was promised that it would be forwarded to her, stated the SBA. This document described the current challenges and included some solutions for both the short and the long term.  Since this issue was also a topic at the meeting with the Island Council Members, the SBA is hopeful that finally serious attention will be given to the ongoing deteriorating situation where banking on Saba is concerned. It is certainly hampering doing business on Saba.

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