Monday 6 July, 2020

Governor: Bank fees way too high

The Central Bank of Barbados (CBB) is watching closely and plans to address the high fees being charged by some commercial banks.

Governor, Cleviston Haynes, told reporters during the CBB Economic Performance Review that the Bank has been receiving numerous complaints from persons about the rates of commercial bank fees and the CBB intends to hold discussions with the bankers to advocate for lower fees.

“We have received complaints. We too are concerned about the frequency and the levels of fees which we will discuss with the bankers.

Our legislative framework, at present, doesn’t really give us the authority to set fees. We have in the past discussed with the banks and we will again look at certain fees that they have. We do not believe we should have situations where our banking system, by the fees that it charges, generate a lack of inclusion for the ordinary citizen. The ordinary citizen ought to be able to open and maintain a banking account. This is a discussion we will be having with the banking sector when we meet with them.”

Haynes said the hope is that the CBB and the commercial banks can reach an agreement on the regulation of fees.

“There are so many fees that the notion of controlling all of them is not practical or realistic but we need to come to some understanding as to what is the minimum standard that we would want for the banking system.”

He also said in the past the Bank has had to address the issue of high banking fees and while he reiterated the CBB cannot instruct the commercial banks what fees to attach to its services, he noted it was time for a serious discussions to take place.

“More than a decade ago we had to address this situation with the banks and we will do it once more. We have heard the complaints, we have seen it as individuals on our accounts and therefore we are going to have that conversation with the banks and try to address this situation.”

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