In 1959, negotiations were initiated with Cyrus Wilberforce Wathey, who has been the bank's correspondent in St. Maarten for many years.
His business enterprise was also the largest on the island and was very diversified. Talks with representatives of Maduro & Curiel's Bank were successfully concluded, and a working arrangement was soon reached. On December 1st 1960, The Windward Islands Bank Ltd. opened its doors to the public. Maduro & Curiel's Bank held 76.6% of the shares and the balance was taken up by the Wathey family group. The Bank was originally housed in quarters that were partitioned off from the popular Lido Bar on the Ruyter Square.
The first Managing Director was Cyrus Wathey, and the first Manager was Johan Soree. When the latter was transferred to Bonaire, Frank Jansen, son-in- law of Cyrus Wathey, succeeded him. Jansen was subsequently appointed Managing Director and was given the opportunity to acquire some shares in his own name, which he promptly did. Later, the bank came to occupy the entire Lido building plus the adjoining former house of Norman Chester Wathey, one of the two sons of Cyrus Wathey. After his father's death, Chester Wathey became a Director of the bank. In 1985, the bank built its own modern and large building on the Pondfill. A few years thereafter, it opened another branch on the road to the airport.
Over the past 50 years, The Windward Islands Bank Ltd. has been an instrumental part of the development of St. Maarten. True to its slogan "Your Partner in Progress", WIB has, is and will continue to grow as the island develops.