‘Curaçaose Postspaarbank’ began operations on April 1, 1905. Before this, residents of the Dutch Caribbean islands did not have many possibilities to save and/or invest. Although Curaçao already had a bank, the governor at the time was of the opinion that a Post savings bank, as known in other countries, would meet the needs of the people with a low income. His vision proved right, for during the first week as many as 236 savings books were opened with an interest rate of 2,64%. The first person to make a deposit was Mrs. E.M. de Jong van Beek en Donk-Stern, the wife of the governor of the so-called ‘Colony Curaçao’. She made the deposit on the savings book of the ladies association ‘Eendracht maakt macht’.
Influence of oil refineries on the bank
Construction of oil-refineries in Curaçao and Aruba in the early 20th century gave employment to many locals and also attracted a lot of foreigners to work on these islands. As a result of this development Postspaarbank grew enormously. By 1929, total savings at the bank exceeded Naf. 1,000.000.00.
The world depression that started around 1930, also affected the Dutch Caribbean islands. The refineries had to lay off many workers. As a consequence a lot of clients returned to their native countries withdrawing their savings. In 1930, savings decreased by Naf. 400,000.00.
First mortgage loans
Before 1936, savings were invested in Dutch Government bonds. In 1936, the first mortgage was granted in Curaçao. Shortly hereafter, mortgages were also granted on the other Dutch Caribbean islands.
World War II
World War II affected the bank in a negative manner. It was a period of global instability and insecurity. Another development that affected the bank negatively was the increasing competition by other local banks.
After the war, many people drew from their savings in order to send food packages and clothes to relatives and friends in the Netherlands. Many of the people who had fled the war returned to the Netherlands, also withdrawing their savings. This went on until 1946. Hereafter things started to stabilize and business started to improve again for the bank. Before the war there were about 9,000 clients with total savings of Naf 1,500.000.00. From 1945 to 1954 the number of savings books increased to 15,000 with total savings of Naf. 7,000.000.00.
In 1952 the name ‘Curaçaosche Postspaarbank’ was changed to ‘Postspaarbank van de Nederlandse Antillen’.
In 1958, the operation of Postspaarbank Nederlandse Antillen was formalized in a National Ordinance. This ordinance lays down all the conditions to be met by Postspaarbank Nederlandse Antillen. It also defines the role of the Minister responsible for the bank, the Managing Director and Board of Supervision. To this day this ordinance constitutes the basis on which the bank operates, although several adaptations have been made through National Decrees since 1958.
From the sixties onward, Postspaarbank Nederlandse Antillen kept growing. This development accelerated, pushing the total number of savings books in the nineties past 40,000.
However, the administration of the bank failed to develop accordingly, causing the Central Bank of the Netherlands Antilles to take control of Postspaarbank Nederlandse Antillen in 1997. Consequently, no more loans could be granted until the bank could meet the conditions and requirements stipulated by the Central Bank.
In December 2002 a new managing director was assigned to lead and guide the bank. Throughout the history of Postspaarbank, the management had been a responsibility of the Executive Board of the Postal Service. This process indicated the start of a new era. From January 2003 to this day, the employees of Postspaarbank Nederlandse Antillen have worked hard to reorganize the administration of the bank to meet the requirements of the Central Bank. These efforts produced positive results. In August 2003, the Central Bank canceled its receivership enabling Postspaarbank Nederlandse Antillen to continue to grow and develop in a positive way since.