Mon | Dec 18, 2017

BNS's unconscionable banking practice

Published:Thursday | August 31, 2017 | 12:09 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

On Tuesday, August 28, I went to the BNS Knutsford Boulevard branch to carry out a cash deposit. I was advised by the teller that if I were to do this in line, it attracts a fee of $385, whereas if I did the transaction using the ATM, there was no charge. Not wishing to pay anyone to take my money, I proceeded to use the machine to make the lodgment at 1:42 p.m. Approximately nine that evening, I attempted to access the funds and realised that there was a hold on the account; I tried again the next morning and found that the funds still hasn't been released. At this point, I called the Customer Care Centre and was told that cash deposits made using the ATMs are held for two-three working days.

If this isn't an unconscionable, incorrigible and unscrupulous banking practice, I don't know what is. It was the bank's policy to reduce the crowd in the banking hall and drive persons to automated banking, and when customers avail themselves of this avenue, they are inconvenienced for two to three days while the bank has use of this money to on-lend or place on overnight deposit? Is it the bank's message to its customers to "pay the inequitable, unjust bank charges or suffer the inconvenience?"

Is this what banks have been reduced to?

It is noteworthy that when I use NCB ATMs to deposit cheques drawn on NCB branches to my NCB account, these are cleared on the same business day and BNS is holding cash for two to three days? Further, cash deposited using NCB ATMs are available to the account holders IMMEDIATELY! In an effort to evoke some kind of sympathy or empathy from me, the customer care agent sought to explain that NCB ATMs are different from BNS' as if I should care! I am not responsible for neither BNS' banking policies nor the acquisition of machines.

I keep remarking that in every other society the citizens rob the banks, in Jamaica it's quite the reverse. And it only begs the question: How long will the minister of finance, Consumer Affairs Commission and/or the Jamaica Bankers Association allow this unconscionable, incorrigible and unscrupulous banking practice to continue?

Devon Deslandes