The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms and Conditions.


All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2021 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

Banking at the edge of the world

Whether doing a branch network tour or complying with regulation, Bank of Saint Helena boss Josephine George has a job that is like few other bankers’ anywhere.

Josephine-George-Jacobs-Ladder-St-Helena-960x535.png

As the chief executive of the dominant bank in its home market, Josephine George doesn’t quite understand the grumbles of fellow bankers elsewhere about complying with banking’s know-your-customer protocols.

Though George insists her bank’s KYC observance is as rigorous or better than any best-practice operation anywhere, adherence is no big deal for her. She knows her customers well, perhaps too well.

This is because she runs the only bank in one of the least populated and most remote places in the world, a tiny island whose inhabitants rarely leave.

Bank of Saint Helena (BoSH) serves the 4,500 people who live on a 121-square kilometre sub-tropical speck that rises volcanically out of the mid South Atlantic Ocean. It is the British Overseas Territory of Saint Helena, 8,500 kilometres from London and its technical head of state, Queen Elizabeth.

A born and bred ‘Saint’ (as the locals are known) and BoSH boss since 2017, the personable George – "call me Joey" – has known many of her customers since they were born. She knows their parents, relatives and friends too.

All our customers know me. They know where I’m from, what my family background is, everything
Josephine George, BoSH

Joey has been through school with a lot of her clients, played together in the same sports teams, and winds down with them at the same social club.


You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.

SUBSCRIBE ONLINE TODAY

Unlimited access to Euromoney.com and Asiamoney.com

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually

FREE 7 DAY TRIAL

Unlimited access to Euromoney.com and Asiamoney.com, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors

LOGIN NOW

Already a user?

Tags

Eric Ellis
Eric Ellis has covered Asia for Euromoney since 2006. He is a former southeast Asia-correspondent for Fortune Magazine and Time, and an ex-Asia correspondent for Australia’s economic and business newspaper the Australian Financial Review.
We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree