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SLDB reveals amazing record of assistance since establishment

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Contact: Adhara King


Friday, January, 28, 2011  Approximately two years after re-opening its doors, the Saint Lucia Development Bank (SLDB), has made significant strides toward advancing national development, particularly in the areas of education and housing.


Managing Director of the SLDB, Jean-Francois Sonson, says his institution believes that higher education is the cornerstone of self-reliance and personal autonomy.


The SLDB, he says, regards education as the ultimate investment in national development.


“Over the last year in particular, the bank was able to come to the assistance of a number of young persons in Saint Lucia in facilitating them in accessing educational opportunities. We had for instance the students who had a number of challenges to make use of the scholarship facility to go to the Illinois Institute of Technology. The bank, with very little resources at the time, and under a lot of pressure, was able to come to the assistance of about 29 students.”


A knowledgeable and informed workforce, Sonson says,  has a multiplier effect that results in creativity, innovation and excellence.


The loan facilities provided by the SLDB, he says, fosters a sense of personal empowerment whether in pursuing education, enterprise, or home ownership.


“The bank partnered with Monroe College and the Ministry of Tourism to assist 129 students to access some training so that they could be productive and seek employment within the tourism sector in Saint Lucia.

“From the point of view of our mandate where education is concerned, we have done very well. The other area that we have done very well is in the area of housing, particularly at the lower income level. A number of persons have been assisted in acquiring land and building their homes.”


Almost all farmers assisted by SLDB's agricultural loan facility were affected by Hurricane Tomas. Although this presents a challenge going forward, Sonson says, the SLDB is poised to work with the Ministry of Agriculture to re-establish the productivity levels of farmers, thereby assisting them to maintain their obligations.


The bank encourages citizens to access funding available to pursue industry, manufacturing, and service enterprises.

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