The Commercial Banks Interest & Fees Gouging in T&T
While the entire nation seems to be reeling under the economic downturn, commercial banks view this as a situation to line their pockets and to fatten themselves.
Here is a Transaction Record from RBC Royal Bank. This is in respect to a payment of a WASA Bill. If you look carefully at it, you will see that this bank is now charging TT$6.00 as a commission to process this simple transaction. No doubt, they are also charging WASA at the other end for doing the same transaction. These types of fees are not only unethical, they are also immoral. This is because they are charging twice for the same job, and taking an unfair advantage over their customers. A few years ago the banks tried a similar tactic, and it had to reach Parliament in order for them to put a stop to it.
So, now in the recession, when they thought that everyone forgot about that, they are bringing it back in through the back door. I hope that the Central Bank and other Government officials will take note of this and put a stop to this racketeering immediately.
Some may say that $6.00 dollars is small money, but if you have several utility bills to pay it racks up to a tidy sum every month. With unemployment increasing, extra fees is the last thing that households would like to see. When these charges are applied to all of their customers, you can understand why the banks are showing record profits in these hard times.
Another mind-blowing aspect about our commercial banks is the interest rates that they charge on their overdraft facilities. Up to recent times, I was under the mistaken impression that Credit Cards carried the highest interest rate at 2% per month (effectively 24% per annum). But the reality is that some of these same banks charge as much as 5% per month for their overdraft facilities, that is a whopping 60% per annum. Do these banks really care about the business community in this country?
While depositors can barely get 1% out of the banks, they are raking in a cool 60% on your funds when they lend them out. These people can make a loan shark blush.
The commercial banking community needs to be ashamed of itself, in the midst of a recession, their main focus is the exploitation of their customers.