Categorized | National News

Protesters Berate Banks Over Fees

Protestors have joined together to peacefully voice their concern over the rise in bank fees over the last five years.


During a protest last Friday held in front of Scotia Bank and Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) Bay Street, protest organizer Dr. Denotrah Archer-Cartwright told The Journal she has an issue with all the commercial banks.


“I have an issue with most of the commercial banks, in particular the foreign commercial banks. There’s been an increase in rates of 187 per cent in their fees.


“Some of their loan practices are very predatory and very difficult for Bahamians; Scotia Bank in particular.”


Aside from regular banking fees, Dr. Archer-Cartwright also stated that the approval of loan mortgages have become almost impossible for the average Bahamian.


Expanding on Scotia Bank rates, Dr. Archer-Cartwright stated, “they start at 30 per cent down for their mortgages and then you have to qualify to get 15 per cent or 20 percent.


“These are extremely high barriers for Bahamians seeking to do something. We know that they don’t lend money for start-up businesses, so Bahamians are struggling with looking for capital for start-ups.”


Additionally, Dr. Archer-Cartwright chastised the government for seemingly favouring foreign investments.


“If you look at the Central Bank regulations and rules, you will find that they favour the foreign banks.”


Although Credit Unions appear to be a better banking choice for Bahamians, they are also limited in their capacity to truly assist Bahamians in their banking endeavours.


“It’s also very difficult for our credit unions, as they don’t have access to a lot of things that would make them easier for Bahamians to use them solely; so you’re forced to use these banks with their rising fees and taxes.” Dr. Archer-Cartwright emphatically articulated.


Protestor, Celi Moss also shared his views behind the hike in banking fees stating that shareholders want more money.


“The shareholders of the banks want more dividends. They want to buy another jet, they want to buy another town house in the Bahamas; its money, money, money; so you try and nickel and dime and squeeze wherever you can get a dollar from.” Mr. Moss told the Journal.


Suggesting that crime is a symptom of the increase in bank fees, Mr. Moss said, “this is a National Security risk. When you allow the bank to arbitrarily raise fees, you are raising inflation in the Bahamas.


“So, that guy who only could’ve afforded one tin of tuna, today, he can’t afford any. So he resorts to robbing. Therefore crime goes through the roof.”


Mr. Moss strongly feels this is a major priority for the government and they need to take a serious look at the banking practices in the Bahamas.


Another protestor compared banks in the Bahamas to Cartels in respect to the money they make off Bahamians.



Written by Jones Bahamas

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