Clarification from Source
National Commercial Bank Jamaica has clarified information previously supplied by the bank to say that cheques presented at the bank’s teller lines will attract no fee. The fee of J$128.15, inclusive of GCT, will be applied to encashments at teller lines but not deposits as reported on Friday.
National Commercial Bank Jamaica (NCB) has introduced a first-time fee of J$128.15 for all cheques brought to its counters for lodgement or conversion to cash.
The fee is meant to dissuade in-branch teller transactions, and lead to increased use of alternative channels, including direct lodgement to individual accounts through NCB Online, Automated Clearing House (ACH) or Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS).
"We are striving to improve our operational efficiency and mitigate the steadily increasing costs associated with the processing of manual transactions," said Audrey Tugwell Henry, senior general manager in charge of the Retail Banking Division, in a company statement.
The fee includes GCT. It will be automatically deducted from the proceeds of the cheque tendered, starting today, November 1.
NCB is prodding clients to either use its ATMs and in-branch express deposit drop box or make arrangements with the cheque issuer to pay the funds directly to the payee's accounts instead.
Through its electronic banking network, Midas, NCB customers bank free online and are allowed 100 free transactions monthly at its ATMs.
ACH and RTGS transactions attract some costs, depending on retail volume.
"We do special arrangements with employers, offering different packages for payment," said Corporate Communications Manager Belinda Williams.
The NCB banking group last year grossed J$8.3 billion in fees and commissions, but netted J$7.1 billion after expenses.
Williams told the Financial Gleaner that the bank currently subsidises those fees.
"Please note also that when assessing our operations, the fees charged take into account operating expenses, depreciation and staff costs among other related expenses," she said via email.
"Fees are not being used to offset costs to do business with the bank. Fees are tied to the operation of the bank and some are subsidised, as the brick-and-mortar expenses, if and when taken into consideration, would outweigh the actual cost to do business."
The new fee structure published by NCB on September 13, lists a J$248 charge in-branch for funds transferred between accounts and account enquiries, both of which are free online; savings account withdrawals attract a fee of J$198 in-branch, but costs J$30 at the ATM.
Fees are not being used to offset costs to do business with the bank. Fees are tied to the operation of the bank and some are subsidised.