Wed | Sep 20, 2017

Bank charges unjust, excessive

Published:Saturday | January 28, 2017 | 1:00 AM
Paul Scott
Fitz Jackson
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OREN COUSINS

ahtonero@gmail.com

South St Catherine Member of Parliament Fitz Jackson, who tabled a bill for laws to be passed to regulate bank charges, is to be commended and supported. I earnestly hope that Parliament will pass this bill.

The argument of the president of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica, Paul Scott, in objecting to the bill, is absolute nonsense.

I have been charged for transactions which I later learnt I should have been exempted from. I am thus contemplating demanding a refund of those charges.

Last December, I was charged a whopping $1,368 to transfer a small sum from my little savings in a certain bank to my current account in the same bank!

Some time last year, an aged couple came to me in distress. They discovered that that their bank had been deducting from their life savings without informing them that their account had been declared dormant. They were told that they had to pay to reactivate their account.

I advised them, as their savings was a great deal of money, to put some in a fixed deposit and to withdraw from the balance and redeposit in order to avoid their savings account becoming dormant. It is unfair for a bank to declare a client's savings dormant without advising said client beforehand.

The bank funds of my community's defunct citizens' association disappeared some years ago having been declared dormant without notifying the three custodians of the defunct association's savings. How could that be?

 

PROTECT THE PEOPLE

 

What is the president of the PSOJ griping about? A primary function of good government is to protect the people against injustices.

If banks are allowed to do what they are currently doing to their clients, we, poor sufferers at their mercy, will have to put our little bit under di mattress or keep it inna thread bag.

My dad kept his savings in a small box on which were some Chinese hieroglyphics. He kept that box atop the old wardrobe in his bedroom, and being a short man, he had to climb on a chair to reach it. I once heard of a young man who, on pulling down the thatch-and-wattle house of his departed Indian grandfather, found thousands of pounds hidden in the thatch.

Those men did not have to pay bank penalties for their savings. I am not suggesting, Mr Editor, that we should resort to the ways of thrifty people of olden days, but for our own protection, we ought to cease from grumbling, but to protest loud and clear.