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ST. THOMAS - Gov. Charles Turnbull on Saturday signed into law legislation that will revamp the territory's banking systems and increase penalties for school vandalism.
The Financial Services Bill of 2005 updates V.I. banking laws to allow local banks to issue credit cards and expand the territory's financial services activity. The legislation also allows local banks to enter into other financial services markets such as securities, insurance and real estate.
Exemptions to interest rate caps on variable rate loans less than $100,000, including home equity and business loans, is also allowed by the legislation.
This is an interesting articel that makes an oblique reference to real estate:
"He said the Vietnam War also played a significant role in civil rights in the territory. Willocks said veterans who were discriminated against and returned home from the war began to examine racism more closely and realized that it also existed in the Virgin Islands.
Arnold Highfield, a 35-year St. Croix resident and former University of the Virgin Islands social sciences professor, recalls that blacks were denied entry into neighborhoods or clubs and that there appeared to be a secret alliance among real estate dealers to keep blacks and Hispanics out of certain communities and businesses.
"There were no signs posted or anything like that," Highfield said. "It was just understood."
He said Virgin Islanders complained of difficulty getting loans and receiving poor treatment at restaurants and hotels. The island soon became racially polarized, with many whites residing in gated communities apart from other residents.
"When the Americans came, they built houses in certain areas most native Virgin Islanders could not afford," Highfield said. "This created a kind of apartness. Before this, anyone could live in your neighborhood.""
Read the whole article here.