0

Banks Backing Down On Fees

Central Bank of the Bahamas.

Central Bank of the Bahamas.

By KHRISNA RUSSELL

Deputy Chief Reporter

krussell@tribunemedia.net

SOME local clearing banks have agreed to lower various banking administrative fees and consider changes to cheque cashing procedures following discussions with the government and other officials, Labour Minister Dion Foulkes said yesterday.

The Central Bank of The Bahamas and the Clearing Banks Association will also list fees consumers are likely to pay, similar to the published gas tracker, so consumers are able to regularly compare fees across local banks.

The changes are in response to consumer concerns about surmounting banking fees and come after three meetings between various representatives.

Mr Foulkes explained banks had raised certain fees to recoup losses where loans were on the decline. He would not reveal specifically which banks lowered fees, but told reporters some institutions had already started to do so.

“As you know we started talks with the Clearing Banks Association last October and we had a meeting with them in November and we had a meeting again with them yesterday.

“I am very pleased to announce that some of the banks had lowered their administrative fees for their various services. Also all of the banks have embarked upon an educational programme with respect to their services. Additionally the Central Bank and the Clearing Banks Association, they have agreed to embark upon a listing of all of the bank fees or at the minimum the main fees that the banks charge us.

“Just like the gas stations do when you open the business sections of the dailies, you see the various price per gallon of gas - we intend to do the same thing with the clearing banks so that consumers can know exactly which bank is charging which fees so that consumers can make a decision as to which bank to do business with.”

He continued: “We are very pleased that the Central Bank has embarked upon a literacy programme called Get Money Smart Bahamas and we encourage persons to go to the Central Bank website to take a look at that programme.”

Concerning cheque cashing he said: “Each bank has addressed that specific issue with respect to the cashing of cheques.”

Now that the government has intervened with favourable results, the minister said consumers must also do their part.

He said customers must be smart in examining banks to make a decision on which one suits their needs.

“I would encourage consumers, and that’s practically most Bahamians who deal with commercial banks, to go in and talk to your banks and make comparisons and make a judgment call as to which bank you wish to bank at.

“But at the end of the day the consumer has to be smart and the consumer has to examine each bank. Each bank has different fees and different schedules for their services. I encourage people, you are not married to a particular bank and if you are get a divorce go to the bank that offers you the best possible arrangement,” Mr Foulkes said.

Comments

joeblow 1 week, 5 days ago

This is only good news if the changes cause substantial savings to customers.

0

ohdrap4 1 week, 5 days ago

It depends on what services you get. I considered changes banks, but the total in fees I would pay averaged out to be the same, so I chose the bank with the better credit cards.

0

TalRussell 1 week, 5 days ago

Ma Comrades, just curious about various banking administrative fees over at government managed Bank of Bamaland (BOM} - lower or higher compared other banks.... and are they regularly peoplepublic published... On other hand, we do know that unlike other banks - Government Day - rarely makes serious Bad Loans collection attempts - that us against they own colours t-shirts politically connected.

0

John 1 week, 5 days ago

Customers always get caught with credit card payments when the end-of-month comes on the weekend. Even if you make a payment through the ATM, it is not processed until the following Monday, and by then they hit you with a $40.00 late fee plus interest @ 18*%. So if you miss the deadline on your card payment and your balance is $5,000, your interest will be $90.00 plus $40.00 which is $130.00. But not only that,but rather than wait until the end of the month to pay, we rush in and pay the next day even though the interest charged is for the entire month. So the bank makes $90.00 on us for just one or two days, plus a $40.00 late fee.

0

John 1 week, 5 days ago

So when you add the interest fee to the late fee, the bank is actually getting 30 percent interest on your credit card.!.

0

ohdrap4 1 week, 5 days ago

my bank offers a standing order where the credit card minimum payment is made at the appointed date,, on friday or the business day before a holiday.

the late fee is avoided altogether.

but RBC made tha go away.

0

TheMadHatter 1 week, 4 days ago

Exactly - and this is contrary to Law which says that no interest rate can be charged to exceed 20% per annum (no matter if you call it a late fee or a bunny rabbit fee). You can't invent and create all kinds of silly named fees and add them all up on a customer so that he/she is paying effectively 30% and claim that your rate is 18.5% and the rest are "fees".

Lawmakers are well aware of this. Wonder why they allow this to continue? What would be their incentive to sit quiet?

What would happen if food stores put ALL breadbasket items on ONE aisle in the store and roped it off and charged a $5 "entrance" fee to that aisle where no other aisle has such a charge. If you go in to buy 2 bags of flour at $3.40 each which should be $6.80 - you would instead pay $11.80 when you include the entrance fee - making your effective cost per bag to be $5.90 which I am sure is in excess of the maximum price for that weight bag of flour.

Would Price Control pounce on the food store that did this???? You bet they would!!!! Big time !!!!

But banks do effectively the same thing and nobody says a word.

0

BahamaRed 1 week, 5 days ago

I'd like to see better online banking. When they get that right then I'll give them kudos.

0

TalRussell 1 week, 5 days ago

Some comrades might argue that as banking sheds itself physical branches to becomes increasingly digital - one question continues to plague they customers. Why even though shedding costs paying wages warm body bank employees - we still are being charged even higher fees conduct we banking business online? No wonder Numbers Houses becoming Banker of choice increasingly greater number they own in-house gamblers... not talk about their massive banking expansion throughout Out Islands, including Grand Bahamaland and Abacoland.

0

bogart 1 week, 5 days ago

INSTEAD OF THE AUTHORITIES BEATING AROUND DA BUSH......JUST CREATE AS..... IN THE UK...A FINANCIAL CONDUCT AUTHORITY which os the regulator of some 58,000 financial services and firms....OR as in the USA ....CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION BUREAU...FTC Bureau of Consuner Protection..............REMEMBER THIS BAHAMIAN CONSUMER CHALLENGES started way back see Trib October 3, 2017....and before when Consumer complained on huge hike in fees people even marched snd protested in front of Central Bank.....and their ONLY...Bahamian person the Governor told then he cant use 'draconian mrasures' to get them to lower fees......and now come to find out DA BANKS THEMSELVES now reducing fees one year later....!!!!!!!......pore people needs protection....an not to date.....not one single.....Financial Ombudsman.....mudda tek sic...!!!

0

gbgal 1 week, 4 days ago

And why do they charge $5 to cash a cheque if you don't have an account there? Poor people without accounts cannot afford to lose money for foolishness!

1

bogart 1 week, 4 days ago

@gbgal....see dis ting go wid sense.....dem banks gon play wid ya head if ya lets dem......see what you doi g is accepting their own customer who they charging bank fees for using his checking account....they charging him overdraft fees if he has one...plus they advertising their bank when he pass you that cheque.......an to now charge you the payee recepitient fer assepting ttheir own cheque is too much.....they actually causing bad business for their customer passing you their chech specially if you tell him to pay uou cash stead of the cheque...you aint gon waste ya gas, time and pay $5 to wind up short......talk to ya MP....let him know you hav 10 voters in ya family catchin hell calling it good times....he better fetch heself an try legislate a proper FINANCIAL CONDUCT AUTHORITY ...like they have in the UK...to deal woth financial complaints of Bahamian cosumers....

0

John 1 week, 4 days ago

Exactly - and this is contrary to Law which says that no interest rate can be charged to exceed 20% per annum (no matter if you call it a late fee or a bunny rabbit fee). You can't invent and create all kinds of silly named fees and add them all up on a customer so that he/she is paying effectively 30% and claim that your rate is 18.5% and the rest are "fees".

I will deal with them tomorrow. They charged 30% interest PLUS the $40.00 late fee. And the payment was only one day late because of the weekend.

0

bogart 1 week, 4 days ago

In addition to date falling on weekend incurring late penalty......if you are looking at the date dropping on the weekend there is also the double holidays that fall befpre or after weeke ds....then there are banks that accept your card or binding loan payment on a Satirday....but.... will 'post' it on your account on the following Monday incurring the late payment charge......is like why bother to legally open your establishment for the Saturday....accept your payment on their bank account....and then post two days later..... and not .. reduce your loan interest charged on your loan balamce for the weekend......Once you open your doors to take my money ..dont hold on to it for two days........depriving me from reducjng the interest you charging me for those two days...!!!...Plenty wrongdoing but lawyers ..do not take on banks....for fear of not getting on the Approved Lawyers Bank list...to do business....Plus politicians except for one who told the banks about keeping Bahamians in slavery?..simply do not challenge them.....Plus there is the banks holding Govt Bills for hu dreds of $$$$ millons....Plus there is the Banks which act as govt bank with hundreds of millons in Overdraft $$$ interest charges to pay govt employees...DAS WHY TO THIS DAY THERE AINT ANY INSTITUTION...AGENCY TO REPRESENT COMPLAINTS OF THE PORE BAHAMIAN CONSUMER WHO IS WRONGED BY ANY FINANCIAL INSTITUTION....OR CAN CORREDT BAD UNFAIR FINANCIAL...PRACTICES.....sad...dead bad...dey dead wrong fer dat to pore people......aint nobody tp stand up for pore people against banks..!!!!...mudda sic dred...

0

Porcupine 1 week, 4 days ago

Why is banking a profit making enterprise? Banks produce nothing. They are merely there, by virtue of our permission, to grease the wheels of trade. Yet, they have managed to handsomely profit from doing exactly what? The banks lent money to people they knew had no intention of paying back. They skewed the business playing field by their unfair cronyism. They are ghastly inefficient, wasting their customers time, providing shitty online platforms. Banking is a public utility. Banking is a public utility. What has happened that we have allowed bankers to have more say in our society than the fire department? Look at what Bank of Bahamas alone has cost this country. Billions of dollars went into scoundrels pockets, while the average person is now paying these bills. Bankers dress up each day to go to work, because this is the only sense of decency they have for our society. Banks should exist for helping the development of our country. Not centers of profit akin to the web shops. Presently, the world's banks are sucking humanity dry. This is the reality we refuse to see. Banks here are no different. They are leaches.

0

ohdrap4 1 week, 4 days ago

So if you miss the deadline on your card payment and your balance is $5,000, your interest will be $90.00 plus $40.00 which is $130.00. But not only that,but rather than wait until the end of the month to pay, we rush in and pay the next day even though the interest charged is for the entire month. So the bank makes $90.00 on us for just one or two days, plus a $40.00 late fee.

John, you are really being reckless.
They are making 90.00 interest on the outstanding balance on the PAST 30 DAYS. They are making the 40.00 for being late one or two days. You would never get a late fee if you pay on time.

You will also pay ZERO interest if you pay off your credit card. and your math is wrong at 18% a year the interest on 5000 is 75.00. For a 90 charge you are being charged 21%, the rate for CASH ADVANCE.

Funny, the payday advance loan sharks charge 23=25% per annum plaus fees and you do not complain.

0

John 1 week, 4 days ago

Obviously you missed the jist of what was being said. The quarrel was not that the interest was being charged because the payment was late but the payment was late because the end of the month fell on the weekend. And even if the payment was put in the ATM, it wold not be credited until the following Monday and late fees plus interest would be added. And if you add the $90.00 interest to the $40.00 late fee that constitutes 30% of the outstanding amount, which is illegal since banks are only supposed to charge up to 18%. I am not being reckless and neither is may math off, you just misreading or not comprehending what you read. And since I don't feed loan sharks, i don't know what their bait or interest is.

0

SP 1 week, 4 days ago

Blah, blah, blah, too many geniuses with too many opinions! What's so dam hard to figure out?

Just have the crooked banks treat us like they treat their customers in Canada. That should be fair enough for everyone!

0

bogart 1 week, 3 days ago

......the banks cannot get away with all dis in Canada.....there is the...... FCAA FINANCIAL CONSUMER AGENCY OF CANADA.....ensures federally regulated financial entities comply with consumer protection measures, promotes financial education and raises consuners awareness of their rights."....plus there are other laws....google Canadian financial consumer protection

0

Sign in to comment