Consumers Association urges citizens to use Credit Unions

The National Consumers Association (NCA) is urging consumers to use credit unions instead of banks to save their money.

NCA President, Trevor Albert, told the Times that is one way that commercial banks can be pressured to reduce the new banking fees they have introduced.

He disclosed that pressure can also be applied to government leaders, the Chamber of Commerce and others to get redress.

Albert said the NCA has been appealing to organizations such as the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), the Caribbean Association of Bankers and the Chamber of Commerce to get the matter of the increased fees addressed.

But he asserted that the ECCB has indicated that it has no control over the fees that commercial banks impose.

The ECCB just recently announced the appointment of an eight-member working group, chaired by Saint Lucian, Shelton Daniel, to conduct a comprehensive analysis and assessment of the suitability of fees levied by the commercial banks.

The NCA has welcomed the initiative.

Trevor Albert said:

“We are pleased that we are seeing some kind of action – It may be small for now but it is a move in the right direction.”

According to the ECCB, the working group convened its first meeting via video conference on June 30.

The ECCB said the group’s mandate includes a review of the fees and charges in other CARICOM member countries and consultations with key stakeholders, including the ECCU Bankers Association.

The Working Group is expected to present a preliminary report on its work to the ECCB Monetary Council at the Council meeting in October.

Recently RBC Royal Bank imposed a monthly charge of $25.00 on persons holding bank accounts.