THE BANKS REFUSE THE MONEY

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Bruce Raine was a letter writer to The Tribune. In his letter, he explained that the service of his bank the Royal Bank of Canada was poor. He is one of many Bahamian consumers who are daily vexed by the poor service of Bahamian banks and who seem to have no recompense for the sheer incompetence or negligence of the Banking institutions.  There is no one to whom you can appeal for a series of small but annoying instances of bad service.

The Bank’s using technology as the excuse have cut back on services. You cannot get a human being on the phone. When you get a human being on the phone, that human being is not in The Bahamas. So get this, if you call Scotiabank in The Bahamas and you want to speak to the manager of your local Branch, the call answers in Jamaica and you have to leave a message and they will get back to you.

That is the service model which we now have. The Central Bank which is supposed to be looking after Bank supervision has been unable to do anything to deal with these kinds of decisions.  They simply accept them as the way business is done. As a matter of fact, the Central Bank itself in the name of going paperless does not want you to write them anything on paper. Send it by email.

The service model now has each customer being charged for putting money into their own account. So if you deposit a cheque look to banks to take anywhere from three to five dollars out of your own money to deposit the cheque. They say this is because there is so much money in the bank and no lenders so they cannot make any money off interest so they have to hike the charges. There is a fee for everything and don’t be surprised if one day you have to pay to walk into the bank, like paying to go to the movies.

Mr. Raine told the story of his debit card not being ready and him having to wait a week to get it replaced. No apology. That was his personal card so he was in the branch and he decided let me get the business card.  That one was ready but guess what you have to go to the business centre to pick it up.  He did that but found out that he had to go back the branch to have the card pinned. The business centre could not do it.  So somethings still require human contact after all but what about the inconvenience.

He reminded us, this columnist, of an earlier letter about the Royal Bank’s incompetence in renewing the annual overdraft of Coleen Dunkley, another letter writer.

The latest in silliness is Finco accepting a deposit for the payment of a mortgage since 1988 and suddenly they decided not to accept the payment last month.  The reason, they claimed is that the account had to be updated, except that their collections department had demanded and got an updated statement of affairs  within the last year. Someone forgot to tell the main branch. Except that turned out not be it either. The account had a joint owner .  Get this: the joint owner died way back in the 1990s.  They wanted to have the statement of affairs of that joint owner explained before they should accept the deposit to pay the mortgage.

This is done in the name of compliance issues. Except, someone needs to take a bank to court to figure out if you present your money to them to pay your mortgage according to its terms, and they refuse to accept it, does it in fact extinguish the payment if they refuse.

What we know is, it is annoying and stupid .  It happens to customers of every bank in the Bahamas every day and no one is doing a damn thing about it. So we complain here.


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