0

Anger At Rbc $10 Charge

photo

K Peter Turnquest

By NICO SCAVELLA

Tribune Staff Reporter

nscavella@tribunemedia.net

FNM Deputy Leader Peter Turnquest yesterday criticised Royal Bank of Canada Bahamas for its “ridiculous” new $10 charge for non-RBC account holders, and called on the government to ensure that the Toronto-based bank was not seeking to “take advantage” of Bahamians.

Mr Turnquest, the Free National Movement’s shadow minister for finance, said it was “highly unfair” and “out of order” for RBC to impose the new fee on Bahamians “who can’t afford these additional costs.”

He said rather than encourage people to open bank accounts and promote better saving habits, all RBC’s new fee does is serve “as a tremendous disincentive for people to utilise proper bank accounts.”

“Honestly, it’s getting to the point where it’s better to put your money under the darn rug,” Mr Turnquest said when contacted for comment.

Recently the bank announced that on November 2, non-RBC account holders would be charged $10 for every transaction they complete at the bank. At the bottom of a flier announcing the change is the company’s “It’s all about you” slogan.

However, the move drew ire from residents, with some suggesting that they would now deposit their cheques at their bank of preference and just wait for the cheque to clear instead of paying RBC’s $10 fee.

“It’s ridiculous, absolutely ridiculous,” Mr Turnquest told The Tribune yesterday. “And unless somebody can explain to us what is the administrative cost in having that happen that is different than the past, it is ridiculous and I believe that somehow either the Central Bank or the government has to get involved in the situation because these banks are taking advantage of people at this stage.

“I understand that their cost of doing business may be going up, I understand all of the technicalities in that business nowadays, but that kind of fee is just ridiculous in terms of the cost it’s putting on Bahamian people. You’ve got people who are only making a couple of dollars – they might go to the bank with a cheque for $50 and $10 of it they have to give to the bank. That’s ridiculous. How are people supposed to survive like that?”

He added: “I said before that we need to have a look at all of these banks and the way that they operate to ensure that the operations are consistent with international best practices, that we’re not just being taken advantage of as a country, as a people because of our location, because of our dependence on these banks to facilitate our financial transactions.”

Mr Turnquest added that as an RBC account holder, he has never had the “unfortunate instance” to have to pay the fee; however, he said an employee of his has experienced the very same problem when trying to cash cheques at RBC.

“What I’ve had to do is increase the wage that I pay my employee by $10 to cover it, because it’s unfair for her to bear that cost,” Mr Turnquest said. “So I’ve had to bear the cost as an employer. And again, what are we trying to accomplish here? I’m a customer, both a personal and a commercial customer, and you’re charging me just to facilitate my employee. This is just nonsense.

“The ideal way to assist our citizens is to encourage them to go to the bank and to operate bank accounts, teach them how to operate a bank account. As these financial institutions - and it’s just not RBC, all the banks are doing this nowadays - as they increase the fees for doing that, it serves as a tremendous disincentive for people to utilise proper bank accounts.”

Mr Turnquest said he predicted earlier that banks would seek to recover costs after the government increased taxes on the sector.

He added: “I indicated then that the banks are going to attempt to pass this cost on to its customers, ordinary Bahamians. And that if we’re going to increase the taxes, we must at the same time put in some regulation to ensure that it is not passed on.”

Various disgruntled residents also took to social media to vent their frustrations at the new charge.

“It’s stupid, if someone gives you a RBC cheque you have to pay $10 to cash it at any of RBC’s branches . . . these people going to hell in a hand basket,” one user said.

“Well I will just deposit RBC cheques on my other bank account and wait two days for it to be cleared…they got to be joking,” another person said.

Attempts to reach an RBC spokesperson for comment were unsuccessful up to press time.

Comments

ohdrap4 3 years, 9 months ago

well , years ago when i was hired by my present job, the payroll is done by RBC.

they said they could post the salary to another bank at a cost of $25.00 per month.

So i opened a bank account at RBC, the savings only charges $4 per month, so I save $21 and the worry that the salary may be delayed been sent to another bank.

People have to stop living in 1950.

1

newcitizen 3 years, 9 months ago

Hey look, here we have a reasonable person who saw that they could save some money and make their life easier instead of complaining. I wish there were far more comments like yours on this article.

0

DonAnthony 3 years, 9 months ago

The new fees of these Canadian banks are evil. They fall disproportionately on the poor. Do you think for one moment that RBC charges these fees in Canada? Of course not. The central bank is failing in their fiduciary duty to regulate these fees. They should mandate that these Canadian banks can not charge any fee that is not also charged in Canada. Why gouge us as second class clients? It is simple, every fee is 100% profit and in an environment of a huge portfolio of non performing loans, increased taxes, and no oversight by the central bank to protect vulnerable Bahamians it will get worse. Central bank get your act together and regulate these rapacious, predatory banks.

0

becks 3 years, 9 months ago

They have the same kind of rubbish nasty charges in Canada.

0

newcitizen 3 years, 9 months ago

Guess what, in Canada, if you don't have an account, they will tell you to take a hike. They will only perform transactions for account holders and they still charge fees to them. Do a little research and you'll find far less bank fees here than you do in Canada.

1

DonAnthony 3 years, 9 months ago

You appear to be uniformed. I did some research and for RBC they do process cheques for non- clients and the fee is $5. Double what it is in the Bahamas. So yes we are being charged 100 % more for the same service in the Bahamas as in Canada.

http://www.rbcroyalbank.com/products/...">http://www.rbcroyalbank.com/products/...

0

shortpants 3 years, 9 months ago

Worst Bank in the Bahamas and RBC is the elders bank and this is what they are doing to the elderly .SHAME on you'll hungry greedy banks no love for the elderly .

0

John 3 years, 9 months ago

RBC is operating out of the Bahamas and the Caribbean with a half packed suitcase. After 100 plus years in these markets they are not use to operating at a loss. So they are not sure if to run to the hills or stay and fight it out. Many long time business operators have had the the experience of being snubbed by RBC or having services that were extended to them for many years terminated. The fact is that despite the tough economic climate, there is much money (liquidity) in the market. While other banks have eased their lending policies and are taking chances in the market RBC seems to want to hold firm to theirs and rather not loan money that is not well secured. This puts them in a position where they are virtually telling high value customers basically, 'we don't care if you take your money and run with it.' And for those who keep large amounts of cash on deposit at RBC, they are virtually paying the bank to keep it for them. This has given local banks, like CB and Fidelity, and unprecedented presence and advantage in the market. Unfortunately BoB screwed up their opportunity. its no longer about loyalty. RBC is trying to make up for some of its loss loans by high service fees. Support the banks that best cater to your needs and are lest costly

0

lionfish 3 years, 9 months ago

RBC also pulled a classic 'bait & switch' con on all of it's checking account customers in September. RBC changed all checking account customers to High Interest Bearing eSavings without asking the customers. They sent a letter saying that the eSavings would have the same features of your previous checking account plus some new positive extras (they did not mention any negative charges associated with this account). RBC did not mention AT ALL that this account charges $5 per check written (so RBC would actually be making $15 per check if written to a non RBC customer)! The letter said the change would happen Sept. 21& on Sept. 30th I was charged $45 for 1 week of this "new/better" account. Of course I changed my account back after seeing this charge, but I have to ask; Why would an honest institution try to con it's customers? Why would an honest institution create even a hint of dishonesty?

0

jackbnimble 3 years, 9 months ago

I had a similar experience with FirstCaribbean today. Got a cheque from an insurance company which was drawn at that bank. When I presented the cheque for cashing, the teller asked me if I had an account with them. I asked, "Why?" She said, "Because if you don't, there will be a charge of $5.38 to cash the cheque." I said, "Why are you charging me and I am not the person who wrote the cheque? If anything, you should be charging YOUR customer." She couldn't even respond. Mercifully I have an account with FC and didn't have to pay but it was still beyond annoying! What if I didn't have an account?

Obviously this is the route that the commercial banks are now taking but it reeks of unfairness to customers.

What the hell does this mean? That I now have to open an account with EVERY commercial bank just to make sure I don't have to pay to use a service they are charging their customers for?

Who is responsible for monitoring what these crooks are doing? Someone needs to look into this immediately!!

0

newcitizen 3 years, 9 months ago

Why didn't you just cash the cheque at your own bank?

0

jackbnimble 3 years, 9 months ago

Read my post again. I said mercifully I had an account with them.

0

DonAnthony 3 years, 9 months ago

Customers need to be proactive and assertive it is the only language the banks understand. There is a price war going on between local banks for very well qualified mortgage holders. This is especially true with firstcaribbean, scotia bank, and finco. I recently went to firstcaribbean and told them I wanted my mortgage reduced otherwise I was moving it to another bank. There was no argument or hard sell, two days later they confirmed that they would reduce the mortgage 2%. Did not even have to go to another bank and present them with a counteroffer. Saved several tens of thousands over the lifetime of the mortgage! If you are a great customer you have a lot of leverage, threaten the banks and save thousands.

0

observer2 3 years, 9 months ago

My checking account fees jumped from $15 per month to $65 per month. I was out of the Country and I spent 2 hours trying to speak with someone at my branch and could not get past the receptionist. They said the Account Officer was not available and the Manager had to manage 2 branches at the same time.

When I got back to the Bahamas I waited 2 hours in the line at my branch to speak with someone who did not even understand that the Schedule of Fees had changed and the bank had illegally switched the fees without informing their clients. I told them that I was an international banker and they would not get away with this fraud anywhere else in the developed world.

I was about to close my account with RBC when my wife told me not to close the account with a bank and that we had banked with RBC for 40 years. She said this is a Canadian bank which is headquartered in a developed country which had rules and regulations and it was not a banana republic bank like the Bahamas.

So I called Canada and told them about the outrageous fees, the long lines, the lack of proper ACH online banking facilities which makes banking in the Bahamas backwards (you can't even transfer money online to someone in another bank - 19th century banking - if we could transfer money to someone else in another bank online then the time, car gas and energy wasted by waiting in lines at a bank branch would be eliminated but neither the Canadian banks, the bay street boys, the east street boys or the government thinks that the time of its citizens is worth anything so we wait in lines for hours each week). Canada seemed amazed that their local wholly owned subsidiary would be associated with such dreadful third world backward practices and directed me to their website to make a complaint and told me to call their headquarters in Nassau. I told them that the complaints website in the Bahamas was not working. I told them that I was a shareholder in RBC globally for decades and I found them to be a very ethical institution over the decades. However in the Bahamas, customer were being ripped off.

The Central Bank of the Bahamas does not care, the government of the Bahamas does not care and neither is their any consumer protection agency to stop institutional theft from poor people.

I then called the head office in Nassau, as directed by Toronto, in Nassau they tried to put me to the voicemail of their regional head. I told the receptionist please don't put me to voice mail of the regional head because no one at this institution returns calls.

After 6 hours of perseverance they reversed the illegal $65 of charges. I was determined not to let bad customer service run me. If I keep running where would I end up?

All RBC customers need to check their bank accounts for the last 2 months and see just how much their fees have increased.

Lord have mercy. Christ have mercy.

1

lionfish 3 years, 9 months ago

I think this is what happened to me (see lionfish above)

0

observer2 3 years, 9 months ago

Thanks Lionfish

I just read your earlier post which reflects precisely what occurred to thousands of RBC current account clients in the Bahamas. But after banking at RBC for 40 years and having owned their Canadian stock which trades on the Toronto stock exchange I was determined to not allow them to run me out of this globally reputable institution because no one could be bothered to act ethically or efficiently. You should have stayed with RBC and fought the bad customer service and their senior management which need to be fired. If we as Bahamian keep running we will soon be driven into the sea by foreigners and our government. When the sun goes down ya better be locked up in ya house, the middle class is now endangered.

Canadians have joined the Chinese and other foreign investors to rape Bahamians - facilitated by Bahamian lawyers and politicians. Baha Mar closed down, Airport fees are so high that Jet Blues has expressed concern to our government that their routs to Ft Lauderdale. Cable and Wireless say they are going to layoff Bahamians - can't wait for Cable Bahamas cell phone service so I can drop my BTC cell phone, PowerCorp - a third rate US corporation taking over BEC - what a joke.

0

VDSheep 3 years, 9 months ago

Banks, insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies are some of the root problem of legal exploitation of the masses (99%) an unnecessary evil the prevails in society ' coupled by their servants of lawyers and politicians that parrots their agenda. We the people know the problem ' we complain about it all our lives ' we grow old, or mostly not ' because of it; and die - the generation that follows - follows the same. There is something terribly wrong with this county! They know we are sheep ' and we are! The real question is: what do we do now? Ought we continue on as sheep? Or, do we change our profile from sheepism[sic]?

0

observer2 3 years, 9 months ago

Mr. Turnquest

If and when the FNM become the government you will need to shut your mouth because RBC are the main bankers and primary lenders to the Government of the Bahamas.

We have sold our souls to them so they feel entitled to rape thousands of Bahamian with outrageous bank charges. Lol...besides Bahamians don't complain, no one is reading the Tribune blogs, you can do whatever you like with them.

In the last 18 months our national debt has increased from $5.5b to $6.3b (70% GDP). The government will need the full corporation of RBC when every last Bahamian citizen wakes up one morning to find their money worth 0.70US$. Please don't expect any warning.

Majority rule? What a joke.

0

Well_mudda_take_sic 3 years, 9 months ago

Forget the Canadian banks.....their fees are nothing compared to the exorbitant fees being charged by Commonwealth Bank! Of all the banks in the Bahamas, Commonwealth Bank is by far the biggest rip off when it comes to fees and interest rates whether you are depositing funds with them or borrowing funds from them. If you are banking with Commonwealth Bank, make sure you get someone who knows how to check (recalculate) the amounts of interest being paid to you on your term deposit or savings accounts or being charged to you on your consumer loans or mortgages because 9 times out of 10 you are being ripped off big time based on what they represented your terms would be at the time you made your deposit or obtained your loan. This is a simple fact for those who know how to recalculate the interest amounts that should be earned on their deposits or savings accounts, or paid on their consumer loans or mortgage loans. Small wonder so many Bahamians have switched in recent years from banking with Commonwealth Bank to banking with Fidelity Bank!

0

Reality_Check 3 years, 9 months ago

You are so right about Commonwealth Bank. Unless you are Rupert Roberts or a member of the Symonette family and their close friends, you are being ripped off big time by Commonwealth Bank!

0

lookingon 3 years, 9 months ago

I bank with RBC and the lines are too long. Whenever you go in there they have 9 booths for tellers and only two tellers working. They have no respect for people's time. Oftentimes there is no one at the booth for senior citizens. The customers resent it when I walk up front and jump in front of them for service...When I stand on line, my legs nearly drop off from fatigue due to the long wait. I have often opened my mouth and demanded that the manager come out and take control of the situation but all he/she does is stay in the back and duck the customers...RBC your customer service is awful....shape up....and its not the poor, little overworked tellers to blame but somebody higher up who is responsible for this mess.....the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. Bahamians do you know what is happening? well you put your money in the bank for safe keeping but instead of your money growing in the bank, it is evaporating.

0

Sign in to comment