NCA Wants Banks To Address Security Issues, Fees

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The National Consumer Association (NCA) voiced its concerns on the pressing issues faced by consumers in this digital age, and on the burning issue of bank charges in a joint forum with the Department of Consumer Affairs and the Bankers Association.

The discussion was held on March 15th , in commemoration of World Consumer Rights Day and was dubbed, “Consumer Education on Digital Finance”.

Banks and their customers are moving away from traditional, face-to-face banking to digital platforms and with that comes issues that must be addressed.

These issues relate to digital security concerns which include cyberattacks, systems failures or data breaches, as well as online scams and frauds targeting financial consumers directly.

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According to the NCA, statistics are not readily available to indicate how big the move is in Saint Lucia from traditional to digital banking. Nevertheless, these consumer concerns must be addressed swiftly and through a coordinated education and sensitisation drive reaching every customer across the various communities.

“Security is a huge challenge and consumers are open to cyberattacks and fraudulent activity online, but they often don’t realise that their online habits may be putting them at risk,” says Vina Frederick, a representative from the NCA.

“Fraudsters prey on poor privacy habits on the part of the user. Issues like weak passwords and using unsecured networks make people vulnerable to online attacks, like login
credential theft and phishing, which could result in fraudulent bank transactions. Banks need to demonstrate the security of their systems to their customers. They also need to educate them on improving their privacy and security habits to avoid online attacks like login credential theft and phishing.”

On the burning issue of the bank charges, the NCA notes that banks utilize customers’ savings to make a profit which is the fundamental understanding that customers have about their banks.

“It is a tacit arrangement that customers have no problem with because it is understood that a bank’s basic role is to secure consumers finances, in return for reasonable dividends,” says Frederick.

“Customers expect however, that banks will be more innovative with the management of their finances and show skill and productive actions in that regard.”

According to the NCA representative, customers detest banks simply resorting to the extremely parasitic act of ATM and other seemingly arbitrary service fees, and there is absolutely nothing positive and redeeming in simply grabbing customers’ monies from their bank accounts.

Frederick says, “such parasitism runs contrary to the very essence of financial management, which assumes profitable but productive innovations”.

The NCA is committed to advocating on behalf of consumers as it plays a vital role in educating, advising, representing, and counselling consumers to protect their rights. One of the primary responsibilities of the NCA is to help reduce the imbalances between business and consumers by empowering consumers and giving them the confidence to make informed decisions.

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Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Our Editorial Staff at St. Lucia Times is a team publishing news and other articles to over 200,000 regular monthly readers in Saint Lucia and in over 150 other countries worldwide.

8 COMMENTS

  1. The banks are not working on our interests. They’re working to make a profit and will get money from us any way they can.

  2. Those banksters are simply following the American trend. There is fee for almost everything under the sun. A fee for entering the bank. A fee for entering the bank too many times (per their judgement). Some people joke that there is a fee just for looking at the bank building. How it got that way is simple. The American bank lobby poured some money into the political campaigns of Congress. The upper echelon of banksters are crooks wearing ties.

  3. Bank of st Lucia literally took all the money off customers account to pay processing fees and closed off their accounts after the money was done. All my loan history with the bank on that account was erased. They learnt these predatory habits from the Canadians a pretentious and absolute greedy place who take money from customers account as fees. British banks do not do this. It is time we pass laws preventing this and ask bank of saint Lucia and the others to restore all accounts they closed after bleeding it dry. I have a right to information on all pians paid to the bank using a particular account. It is wrong thatbthe bank was allowed to get away with a fraud like this.

  4. Some systems are inherently corrupt and cannot be fixed. Here is what to do to teach them a lesson. Everyone just go and withdraw their money from the banks. Like all at once.

  5. Yes. Bank of Saint Lucia and their $2 charge every time you use your visa debit card at a point of sale or online. This is ridiculous. How is this even right. I suspect a lot of people don’t even realize this charge exists. Mainly because bank of saint lucia does not show the charge separately. They just include it as part of your payment. So if you use your bosl card to buy $10 credit on digicel online, you will see a charge on bosl for $13.25 in total. which is 11.25 after Vat + bosl’s $2 charge.

    I think this is very sneaky and unethical on the bank’s part. Why not show this charge separately? Not sure if the other banks do this also.

    It would be very interesting to see a side by side comparison of all these local banks’ charges so we can make the best decisions when choosing a bank.

    • I only recently found out about this $2 charge at BOSL. I had been making payments using a card first policy thinking that there was no local charge for this. I must have lost so much money because of this. The thing is they never informed us about this and it IS implemented in a sneaky unethical way. This is equivalent to stealing. One day, just decide we will take $2 dollars from every purchase and do it in a sneaky way so that they will not notice right away. How is that ethical?

    • i also heard that for the point of sale machine if the particular machine is from another bank for example you have a bosl card and you go by a bar that uses a point of sale machine that is not from Bosl the fees will also be way higher. its true they dont tell you those things. first national self taking a whole twenty dollars from you if you transfer monies from one account to the other

      • Folks, this is not correct. If you have a BOSL card and use a BOSL swipe machine you pay nothing. $2 is only charged if you use another banks machine. This charge will depend on which bank as each bank charges their own fee.

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