By NATARIO McKENZIE
Tribune Business Reporter
AN advocacy group is blasting what it describes as a “disconnect” between the Canadian commercial banks and the needs of their customers, while urging the Central Bank to facilitate a system which addresses the needs of both sides.
Dr Denotrah Archer-Cartwright, lead organiser of Citizens Against Bank Exploitation (CABE) told Tribune Business the group has long advocated for an impartial committee to address the needs of bank customers.
“We have the Central Bank that is supposed to be regulating the banking system but doesn’t look at the needs of the people in the country. They are regulating through a lens of what the banks need to survive rather than how they need to behave in this climate,” said Dr Archer-Cartwright.
Her comments come as Scotia Bank will today implement a policy under which tellers will only be able to process withdrawals exceeding $1500 with customers having cash requests for $1500 or less to be directed to an ATM. The move has caused some to question if any consideration was given to the elderly who may not be familiar with the use of ATMs.
“What you have is this disconnect between the banking system and the Bahamian people where you wake up one day and you have these drastic changes,” said Dr Archer-Cartwright.
“We have asked for some time for a board or committee that is gong to be impartial and look at the concerns of the consumers as well. We need more dialogue between the consumers and the banks. We need Central Bank to stand and decide if they are there to just keep the banks going or create a banking system that works for both for the Bahamian consumers and the banks.
“All of the things the banks have done including this could have been dealt with much better. We have elderly who do not use or know how to use the ATM. There’s just a lack of communication and there needs to be more respect shown to the Bahamian people in the way the handle policy changes.”