Banks, Hear Our Cry

Former Banker John Beale

The blogmaster read Marsha Hinds-Layne’s recent column of August 30, 2018 with some interest – Calling the banks to account. Although she is promoted on the article as the PRO of the National Organization of Women (NOW), for the purpose of this blog the blogmaster prefers to tag as a former Barbados Labour Party (BLP) candidate.

Why the association with the ruling BLP?

The content of the article gives an insight into a conversation that is probably taking place on Bay Street. How does the government pressure commercial banks to sacrifice enormous profits in order to contribute to the recovery effort to rescue Barbados.  It is no secret that across the globe the banking industry is a powerful sector and wields enormous influence with governments.

By coincidence this week the blogmaster was researching a matter (let Google be your friend) and stumbled on the following article posted to the People’s Empowerment Party website on the 26  January 2011 that is as relevant today as it was then.

 

IMPLICATIONS OF THE JOHN BEALE EXPOSE

The Nation Newspaper of 20th January 2011 featured an interview with Mr John Beale, the former President and Chief Executive Officer of RBTT Bank (Barbados) Ltd and Barbados’ current Ambassador in Washington D.C, in which he described the process through which banks in Barbados impose bank fees and other charges on their Barbadian customers.

Mr Beale’s reported words were as follows:-

 

“For example, every year a bank would sit down with their directors and their managers and they may say: ‘We made $1 million last year, we must make $1.1 million this year, where is it coming from?’ The guy may say the loans are not as many as we had in the past, and then somebody comes up with the bright idea – ‘let’s make some extra fees’, they go straight to bottom line, there is no cost to it. Someone may ask ‘how can we do that?’ The answer would be ‘Let’s tack on a $5 fee here or something and across the board that would give us another $200,000”.
The Barbadian people should read this statement over and over again, and let it sink into their consciousness! Many of us suspected that our banks were unreasonably and exploitatively imposing bank fees and charges on us, and now we have express confirmation from a man who functioned at the highest level of the banking fraternity!

31 comments

  • Banks and lawyers do legally what the armed robbery fraternity do illegally.
    In reality, there is little difference between the three sets of venal vultures.

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  • 45govt

    Absolutely.

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  • A Royal Bank of Canada sign is shown in the financial district in Toronto on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. Royal Bank of Canada raised its dividend as it reported a record $3.1 billion in net income for its third quarter, up 11 per cent from a year ago.

    https://business.financialpost.com/pmn/business-pmn/royal-bank-reports-third-quarter-profit-up-from-year-ago-raises-dividend

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  • There are Canadian banks in Barbados. They all seem to be doing well in Canada.

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  • Canada is a second division economy. What is it, the tenth largest in the world, yet it is allowed to attend the G7? Even Brazil is ahead of it.

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  • @Hal A
    Stick to the topic of bank fees

    BTW did you start to hoard yet? Brexit coming soon…..

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  • @Sargeant and Hants

    How are bank fees regulated in Canada?

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  • @David

    There is no legislation covering increase of fees etc. the Banks generally provide notice e.g. 3 months’ notice and of a fee increase, however they do provide instructions on how one can avoid or lessen the fees e.g. accounts with minimum balances etc.
    If I have time today I’ll try to respond on how these roll out and why it is not going to change.

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  • @ David I maintain a balance ( now that I am retired ) that allows me to pay no fees for everyday banking.

    https://www.canada.ca/en/financial-consumer-agency/services/banking/bank-accounts/low-cost-no-cost.html

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  • BTW I should add that occasionally some back bencher will raise the issue in Parliament and consumer groups will generally weigh in sometimes the Banks may temporarily delay an increase but eventually they still work their way in.

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  • Thanks Hants and Sargeant

    That agreement between the banks and government to enc low cost accounts is supported by law or is it an informal one.

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  • Excellent article.

    “This is a business system based on the principle of plundering the enterprise and its customers or constituents for the sole purpose of delivering ever increasing “profits” to people whose only connection to the enterprise is that they hold pieces of paper (shares) that entitle them to be considered a part owner of the enterprise.”

    Perhaps banks have come to the conclusion that profits will not be appreciably increased through increased economic activity and with increasing yearly expenses, the one remaining tool in the toolbox is to increase fees.

    It would good to see someone attempt to answer the question “What can banks do differently?”. Your response must indicate how the banks will benefit as they are in the business of looking out for themselves and making money.

    “What can banks do differently and remain profitable?’

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  • A hearty good morning to all…..

    Please note that my comment and question is for Banks in Barbados….

    Mr blogmaster,
    Going forward, I promise to exercise a higher level of decorum than what I exhibited on other posts.

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  • Thanks, the blogmaster takes the opportunity to remind all to take personal responsibility for our behaviour.

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  • Hanats,

    I was replying to your claim that Canadian banks are doing well. It is a claim that was made during the 2008 crisis. My point is that the banks are not in the big league. As to fees, banks are not just businesses, they also have a social purpose. By law British banks must offer the low paid a current account.

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  • Talking of behaviour David, I note WW is conspicuously absent.

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  • sirfuzzy (i was a sheep some years ago; not a sheep anymore)

    are banks essentially an oligopoly? The next best thing to a sanctioned monopoly?

    Just look at how similar the fees structures are for services

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  • sirfuzzy (i was a sheep some years ago; not a sheep anymore)

    All in all a certain “blue” bank is charging me $5.00 a month so that they can use my money.

    I get nothing much back in return; they call it a “user fee”. You damn right “i am being used”, other than an ATM card I cant say they gave me much more than the equivalent of a “few brown mints” after a 365 days of patronage.

    The funny thing is if i visit certain establishments a few times ain the year i can stick my hand in the provided candy jar and extract more value that i am getting from this “blue” bank.

    I need to ask this establishment if “they considering takng deposits” as the “big blue bank” really not working out to good for me.

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  • @TheOGazerts September 1, 2018 10:26 AM “What can banks do differently and remain profitable?”

    Not hold my CPP check for 6 weeks to “see whether it clears” when they know damn well that in Canada they have to pay the pensioners on the same day that the money is due.

    Yes. First Caribbean did that to me. I stopped banking with them. They may be idiots, but I am not.

    So what can banks do differently and remain profitable?

    For a start they can stop pissing off their customers, especially their long time customers.

    That would be a start.

    But am I hopeful?

    No.

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  • Just now Little Johnnie will need a car loan, a mortgage, etc. etc.

    Will Little Johnnie go to First Caribbean?

    No.

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  • Hal the thing with you and the Canadian girlfriend didn’t work out eh?

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  • The banks have now become nothing more than mercenaries bent on sucking like leeches every cent from the meagre funds of the accounts of even the poorest of customers. The hidden faces behind these nasty and draconian policy decisions never seem to learn or do not care that these kinds of policies give capitalism a bar name and foment revolution

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  • pieceuhderockyeahright

    @ Simple Simon

    THEY did that with me too and I went straight to *** and stopped the money from going to Barbados.

    Then took out a Debit card at a no cost pension ask and they will never see my check again in this lifetime.

    THEY used your US on the open market as interest bearing Forex on overnight markets for all that time and not a man makes a noise

    I should have the grandson make a stoopid poster on that

    “Are Bajan Banks Holding your foreign Pensions???

    STOP THEM NOW!!!

    Get a no cost saving account in the UK, Canada or the US and get your pensions SAME DAY USING YOUR DEBIT CARD!!!

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  • join a credit union.easier to get money with all the new regs in canada, better fee structure if any

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  • First Caribbean….. $3 charge for an over-the counter deposit, $3 charge for an over-the counter withdrawal ….. across the board…. no matter your account balance!!

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  • KS,

    If these are the charges to get your own money, this is robbery. Where is the FSC? Where is the central bank? This is robbery.

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  • Simple Simon,

    Not even in my youth did I find Canadian women attractive. They are a waste of space. At my lowest I preferred Australians and Kiwis, but I was never so bad to as choose a Canadian. Who do you think I am?

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  • @ Hal – especially Those French Canadians, eh?😩😩

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  • I was going to write a longer piece but ‘ll try to be as concise as possible.

    We live in a capitalist society and Banks are at the crux of that society, Bank profitability is seen as the bellwether of business success no wonder its stock is seen as the premiere “widows and orphans” fund.

    The above is from a North American perspective but Bank Presidents/CEOs’ wealth is derived from a compensation package that includes targets of increased profits and increased share value. Those targets are filtered down throughout the organization thus the target of a Branch manager in Barbados is tied to the target of a CEO in Toronto never mind the difference in language.

    From the link provided it seems like the writer is appealing to the “goodness” of the Banks to recalibrate its mission to help a struggling economy. Seeing that there are a myriad of island States with floundering economies in the Caribbean the Banks may conclude if it starts in Barbados where does it end? I believe the Banks want the Islands to become economic successes and their branches to become profit centres but they are not going to change their core philosophy i.e. “to maximise profits” on the strength of appeals from social activists and politicians. If push comes to shove they will decide to pull out and further dislocate the economy of these islands and who can afford that?

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  • @pieceuhderockyeahright September 2, 2018 2:03 A “THEY used your US on the open market as interest bearing Forex on overnight markets for all that time and not a man makes a noise.”

    I know what they were up to. In the misspent days of my youth I wasted ten years working in banking here and over in away, before I found my true calling.

    So I stopped baking with them.

    Another Canadian bank tried the same stunt. I emailed head office in Toronto and within an hour and 45 minutes my money was in my account. If it was not I would have emailed CPP and complained for the Canadian head office.

    I tramped through ten foot deep snow drifts in order to earn that pension. Lolll!!!

    I won’t let any wet behind the ears bankster take advantage of me.

    Not yet.

    Not ever.

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  • I now how to complain…in writing. And with my full name, address, all telephone numbers and email addresses, and i know how to copy my complaint TO the person I am complaining for. So yes they know it is me.

    Gets everybody’s immediate attention.

    Nice.

    Lolll!!!

    Like

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