The St. Vincent Co-operative Bank has provided 70 years of quality service to the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The Bank was incorporated on October 18, 1944 and officially opened for business on February 1, 1945.
The Bank was founded by the late Ormond Cyril “O.C.” Forde who also served as its first Manager. “O.C.” was a visionary who saw an opportunity in the 1940’s to service the credit needs of the majority of Vincentians who at that time faced difficulties in obtaining loans and banking services from the international Banks operating in St. Vincent & the Grenadines. Only a privileged few qualified for such services while a large market existed for the banking needs of the many. The St. Vincent Cooperative bank was therefore created to meet the needs of the many and the niche filled by the Bank became so large over time that the Bank now has more savings accounts than any other bank in St. Vincent & the Grenadines.
The Bank’s first President was Mr. Alfred G. Hazell who together with “O.C.” were pioneers in developing the Bank. In honour of their sterling contribution to the Bank’s foundation and growth, photographs of these two distinguished gentlemen are displayed on the Bank’s walls.
When “O.C.” retired in 1974, he was succeeded by Mr. Kenneth E. Forde who successfully managed and grew the bank for 34 years until his retirement on October 31, 2007. Mr. Kenneth E. Forde was succeeded by Mrs. Laverne Velox. Mrs. Velox faithfully served and successfully managed the bank for over 10 years until her retirement on May 31st 2017. She was succeeded by Mrs. Champa Rampersad-Barnes. The Bank is currently under the management of Executive Director Mr. Albert Porter.
From the outset, the Bank’s willingness to open accounts with a penny caused it to be affectionately known as “Penny Bank”. The Bank has always been a place where anyone can open an account with a small sum of money. It is a peoples Bank and one which has benefited tremendously from the loyalty of its customers. This loyalty has passed on from generation to generation thus ensuring the continuity and growth of the Bank.
The Bank’s operations have historically been primarily of a Savings and Loans nature.