Bank Fees and YOU!

The following was submitted by a member of the BU family who requested to not mention their name – David, blogmaster

Rather than justice for all, we are evolving into a system of justice for those who can afford it. We have banks that are not only too big to fail, but too big to be held accountable.”  – Joseph E. Stiglitz

Recently I received a statement from the Bank with charges deducted, exceeding far more than the interest deposited. I do not recall receiving notice that changes were being made. This account was rarely used, only to update when necessary.

Speaking to friends and neighbours re: same, I found this puzzling that money deposited for a “Rainy Day” is being siphoned off in the dead of the night. Some affected are pensioners who are considered members of a vulnerable segment of society. When the bank was asked to explain, here are a few of the explanations given by staff members:

  1. A pensioners with a Barbados pension is exempted once they submit the necessary certified form.
  2. We are following a directive from senior management.
  3. A message to the effect to take your business somewhere else.

Are Bajans now having to pay for the misdeeds of previous governments? Why has the government through its agent the Central Bank of Barbados allowed banks to charge high rates for borrowing and pay ridiculously low interest to customers with added fees to inflate charges to ordinary bank accounts. Is the Central Bank interested at all in curbing the excessive behaviour by banks in Barbados? Should ordinary Barbadians accept what we are told and do nothing about it?

What do our brothers and sisters think about this money grab known through the ages as greed?

Here is my opinion on the matter:

The Banks are using OUR money to lend US our own money and have the audacity to charge us high fees while using our hard own money. Are our relatives living in other jurisdictions aware of this rip-off?

For as long as I have become aware Barbadians have been encouraged to set aside a percentage of earnings to guard for a rainy day. This was always praised by successive governments as a worthy behaviour. Today we now see a transformation of what is expected. To compound the problem for ordinary Barbadians, investing in government bonds is not an option given current challenges. Also tax breaks given to both ordinary and middleclass were removed.

What are ordinary Barbadians to do now if they want to plan good lives for themselves and family?

113 comments

  • I wonder if David will pick up and run with this.

    Like

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ John A at 7:45 PM

    I am not at all surprised by the actions of the property owners. The new impositions disrupted the cash flows of many persons who were already living from pay cheque to pay cheque. The 10 % discount was removed. The value discount to pensioners was removed. The pay by date was moved higher in the year etc. The income tax brackets were shifted to their disadvantage.

    This is not an industrial relations issue so it is outside the unions’ remit. I am surprised at the lack of a statement by BARP. Mostly the elderly are the property owners and are on declining pensions.

    Like

  • @ Vincent

    I guess we were not the only ones who had a problem with it 2 weeks ago.

    Don’t forget though the boss man from Terra when asked came out and said ” the increase to the home owner will only be marginal. ” Then again I think he had on a bright red shirt when he said so !

    If a 61% increase to some is ” marginal” I grateful as hell it was not ” major” .

    Liked by 1 person

  • My point about the unions was the impact these increases would have on the standard of living of their members.

    There is an argument here that the increased land taxes would in fact of negated the small increase their members were granted.

    I agree with you on BARP though as some of their members would of got a double blow. Not only were they hit with the land tax increase, but many lost income in the debt restructuring too.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Bajan Free Party, No Banking, No Bank fee, , No Bank account, No Laundering, Best Bank is Our My Pocket, We need to call Barbados Check Cashing Barbados,
    No overnight moving laundering money in people accounts without their Knowledge, Inside crimes with no enforcement of banking laws, White collar crime what all is a crime for you seek to make non-victim after all the people these nasty dogs rob and still robbing,

    Like

  • What get is me is that the bank staff are largely Bajans from the same social backgrounds as their customers. Their behaviour is not only unethical, but immoral.

    Like

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ Hal at 11:14 AM

    Bank staff are Bajans ,but they do not own the banks. They are mere employees selling their skills for a wage. They do not set policies. Their social background is irrelevant to solving this particular problem.

    Like

  • SirSimpleSimonPresidentForLife

    Economics 101: Lesson in micro-economics: or how real-real people live

    Because sometimes the political/economic classes, and the “boys of BU” are so busy in the macro-economics classroom that they cannot distinguish the individual drought stricken trees from the big green woods.

    My property tax has gone up by 8%.

    For the five month period January to May 2019 my income has gone up by a total of $136.80 BDS.

    My water bill including the sewage and garbage tax has gone up by a total of $174.00 for the same period.

    I haven’t checked the food cost, because I am afraid to do so.

    What effect is this having?

    Cutting back on food.

    Cutting back on appliance repairs.

    Cutting back on health and dental care.

    Cutting back on necessary appliance repairs.

    What happens if a stove goes unrepaired for too long?

    What happens if a fridge is not cooling properly?

    O! The things they never taught you in economics class.

    Like

  • @ Vincent

    Ethical behaviour has nothing to do with bank ownership. Here is an example, as a black journalist working on national newspapers one is always confronted with racist reports. At some point the individual conscience must kick in. You cannot claim you have a mortgage to pay, or a lifestyle to maintain. Bank staff have a moral duty to their customers.
    Sending letters to customers months late is a moral issue, not one of company loyalty. Banks in Barbados, or at least Republic Bank, has done that. Where is the regulator? Where are the whistleblowers?

    Like

  • @Hal A
    What get is me is that the bank staff are largely Bajans from the same social backgrounds as their customers. Their behaviour is not only unethical, but immoral

    +++++++++++++
    The nationality of the Bank Staff has nothing to do with its policies, the rates are determined by HO and higher ups, if the locals disagree with the Banks objectives they are free to take up their “Georgie bundle” and quit.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ Sargeant,

    No legitimate bank would have a policy of illegality, or even of treating customers unfairly. If that happens, then staff are free, and expectedly so, to complain. Failure to act is an ethical issue. This is not uncommon in the wider world. There is no moral conflict.
    I worked for 14 years for the Daily Mail, the most racist newspaper in the UK, and if they sent me out on a story and I was unhappy I would refuse. I was not sacked for that. They just got someone else to do it. Maybe the Canadian experience is different.

    Like

  • @Hal A
    No legitimate bank would have a policy of illegality, or even of treating customers unfairly

    +++++++++++++++++++
    Perhaps you could direct me to the “illegality” and “unfairly” is an opinion. As it pertains to Canadian Banks, when customers believe they are being gouged by Banks they complain to their MPs and/or they get the various consumers Associations to take up the issue on their behalf. If all else fails they move their accounts to a competing Institution. I can’t speak to what Canadian newspapers do when employees refuse to carry out assignments, but Britain has always been a special case.

    BTW Banks have an unerring ability of responding positively to bad press

    Like

  • @ Sargeant,

    I will give one example, if not of illegality, certainly of treating a customer unfairly. The instance by Republic Bank of sending out a letter months late (after the date on the missive) notifying the customer the account had become dormant. No prior notice was given. That is dishonest. Where is the voluntary banking code? Where is the regulator? Where are the consumer advocates? Ii do not know anything about Canadian banks. What I can tell you is that could not happen n the UK.

    Liked by 1 person

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