Wed | Dec 1, 2021

Left with torn currency notes

Published:Friday | April 30, 2021 | 12:13 AM


I am left with no alternative but to write this letter in the hope of highlighting an unfair policy of the banks in Jamaica. On April 26, 2021, I used the dual currency ATM at a bank in New Kingston to withdraw US dollars. Upon receiving the funds I realised that seven of the notes were torn.

I went to my bank to lodge the funds and was told that they do not accept torn US dollar notes. I told the teller that the notes were withdrawn from a nearby dual currency ATM. I was told that since that was the case I should go to that bank and have them exchange the notes. I went to the said bank and waited my turn and informed them that their ATM machine issued torn foreign currency notes and I wished to have them exchanged. I was told by bank personnel that they, too, do not accept torn US currency.

I was left in a state of shock and reiterated that it was their machine that issued the currency and I had the receipt to validate my claim. I produced all notes as well as proof. I was informed that it is unfortunate that I received torn notes, but they would not be accepting them as that’s their policy. If I wanted them changed I should go to the Bank of Jamaica.

The following day I went to the Bank of Jamaica and asked to have the notes changed and explained where I received them from, and showed them the receipt. I was shocked when I was informed by personnel at the Bank of Jamaica that they do not accept torn notes either. I asked if those notes could be changed into Jamaican currency as I realised I was getting nowhere. I was told they do not change notes that are damaged either for local currency.

At the time of writing this letter the torn notes are still with me. I do not have funds to conduct my business as the torn notes dispensed by the ATM have rendered my honestly earned money null and void.

This is an unscrupulous and unfair practice to anyone, whether a visitor to Jamaica, owner of a small business or even worker who may be saving their US dollars for personal use. It cannot be that banks can refuse to accept faulty currency that they issued and the unsuspecting customers are left with pieces of worthless paper.