Sunday, September 25, 2022

“We Need To Protect People From The Banks!”

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Former Saint Lucia Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony feels the time has come for domestic banking legislation to protect consumers.

“We need to protest people from the banks,” the Vieux Fort South MP and former Finance Minister asserted during this week’s debate on the 2022 Appropriation Bill.

He told parliament that consumers had experienced an unprecedented increase in bank charges in the past few years.

“Apart from the occasional complaints by irritated consumers no one seems to summon the courage to hold the banks to account,” Anthony declared.

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“I have an account for my firm for which I couldn’t get a cheque book from the same bank. So I couldn’t get the cheque book to issue cheques and you know Mr. Speaker, every month they put a charge on the balance until I had to pay a thousand and something dollars in fees,” Anthony, an Attorney at Law by profession, told the house.

He also pointed out that banks charge for letters to confirm account balances, implement a service charge for issued cheques and apply charges for balances below a certain sum.

And he explained that consumers could not rely on the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) to protect them.

“The Central Bank is not known to treat the protection of consumers as a priority. It’s not concerned about that. What it is concerned about is the stability of the currency. It has no time for the users of banking services,” Anthony stated.

According to the former Prime Minister, complaints about the banking sector are not unique to Saint Lucia but have occurred throughout the region.

He recalled that only recently, Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley indicated that the local banking services would come under review to protect consumers.

“It is time to stop pretending that real problems do not exist in the banking sector.” Anthony told parliament.

In this regard, he expressed that moral suasion can no longer work.

“How many times in this chamber we plead and beg and say ‘Do this. Do that?’ They never do it,” the Vieux Fort South MP said.

In the meantime, he disclosed that consumers are suffering.

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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.

46 COMMENTS

  1. Get them Trini companies out of st lucia with their crap currency trying squeeze lucians? Especially massy get them out get them out…. Trini go go get out!!

  2. The banks only care about profit and they will try to get as much money as they can out of you. Most banks have a maintenance fee, even if I only use the ATM, they charge a monthly maintenance fee. If there’s no activity on the account, the maintenance fee is charged. Why do people have to pay as much as $25 to get documents for taxes from the bank? Shouldn’t this be covered by the maintenance fee? You get similar information from the insurance companies for free yet the banks charge $25. For what exactly? Going into your account and hitting print? For the paper? The ink? Shouldn’t they be mailing a free copy to us every year? There’s no winning with the banks in this countrt and region.

  3. The shoe is on the other foot now you complain we need to take control! It is too late, for too long now consumers have been suffering even under your time in office. What if you didn’t own a business and experience what you experienced!? I’m sure this would not have been a topic! Who feels it knows!

  4. Re Article and comments..Try the simple solution. Credit Union Banking system.,or a national strike we should all stay home until the problems are resolved.. It’s about time for St Lucian to unite.. My thoughts..

  5. If the ECCB is so concerned about the stability of the currency then how do you explain the rampant inflation which is consuming and gradually annihilating our meagre economy?

    The EC currency is losing its value. The inevitable result is inflation. That is their goal, an insidious tool with which the government, central banks and commercial banks steal the wealth of the people.

    We are being lead on the road to poverty.

    The banks continue to exploit the people because the laws and regulations are set up to protect them against you, to guarantee profits for the banks. So why should they care about the consumer? I’ll let you answer that for yourself.

    Meanwhile, PJP’s administration has announced “The Peoples Budget” for 2022/23 the biggest of all time to the tune $1.8 billion. That is a staggering sum considering the fact that St. Lucia is a net importer.

    $1.8 billion, my god, the number makes me dizzy. How many zeros are there in a billion? Please forgive me, my preoccupation with high prices and the cost of living has been too traumatic to accurately compute the figures and intricacies of this budget.

    Indeed the people’s budget. How else will this be paid back except by increased taxes, import charges, fees, and worst of all triple digit inflation rates. If you think life is hard now wait until the government starts spending this money into the economy.

    You cannot spend your way into prosperity Mr. Prime Minister! You must produce, save, build capital and create income producing investments that will form the basis to build even more capital, thus creating a multiplier effect to give the nation a chance at the prosperity it seeks.

    St. Lucia needs to become a NET PRODUCER in order to prosper. Why not use some of this money to incentivise our budding entrepreneurs to build factories, to develop our agriculture, to start businesses owned and controlled by St. Lucians? Why not St. Lucians, for St. Lucians?

    • It is called the great reset. You will own nothing and be happy. All part of the grand plan unleashed under the guise of a pandemic. Maybe, just maybe, when we are all starving to death the rest will come to that realisation.

  6. Trinidadians have bought St Lucia’s banking sector to the STONE AGE. These people only have a little money because they sell oil. They know nothing about services because they only sell commodities. Their financial and service industry is backward. Trinis should not be managing the services sector here. They know nothing. And better put more stringent laws to prevent backward people from destroying our service economy which is far ahead of theirs.

  7. AA. KEHKEN YOU FINISHING. You had to wait for Mia to say it so you can repeat it.

    Fix the clowns in cabinet you advising

  8. It is a true fact that the banks are killing us with all sorts of bank charges and this came about with the advent of The backwards Trinidadian banks that operate here especially the one which took over from Scotiabank which have our people burning in the sun without any remorse. Where are the tents.
    Interest rates on fixed deposits are at the lowest compared to the rates on loans. When you comment, the answer is CDB regulations, but I am sure that the surmountable bank charges did not come from regulations by CDB. We need to now put the banks under some heavy nanners or advantage they take on our people will be worse.
    Now going back to tge Trini banks which operate here. Do you know that our local employees cannot even speak to loud because the Trinidadians feel that they know all.

    • To all who are saying Credit Union (CU) is the way to go, I concur with you. However, if we are not vigilant, the banking system are agitating for Credit Union regulations that will force CUs to act like banks and to be treated like banks. Then the CUs will be forced to nickel and dime us out of our money. And so, I am with you Honourable KDA.

  9. I’m curious, cause most of these ridiculous charges came into effect during your 1997 to 2006 and again under your leadership in 2011 to 2016. Is it that you have finally realized the wrong you did to St Lucians or you have a hidden agenda to embarrass Pierre’s administration. Your address on the decriminalization of small quantities of marijuana left me baffled. So to your last address on the neglect of Vieux Fort South. We know you stated categorically that you would never work in a Cabinet with that criminal, murderer, drug and money launderer but at least you need to give better support to Pierre who was so loyal to you over the last two decades. I totally respect your decision cause I’m still very bitter with Pierre for allowing this kind of character into the party.

  10. It pisses me off that the Doctor of economics and a leader in the Caribbean the last 30 years acts like he has no idea what is going on. He has been well positioned to understand and to ensure these things are happening to us now does not happen. Don’t let these people fool you they are part of the problem.

  11. Here’s a secret. Want banks to behave? Everyone go withdraw their money at the same time.

    • You forgot to add “ALL” before “their money” lol. Better yet, ask everyone with less than $1000 to close their accounts.

  12. What have you guys got against green Figs? its healthier than fried Chips; I wish I could get some. Today Sunday, try St. John 3:16.

  13. Now alone you guys can see that and know that? Where was that sentiment half a century ago? Banks didnt start doing business in Saint Lucia this year, so as usual you didnt care till now, cause it didnt affect you and your pockets and belly were filled hence the *boudehn rubba*. Now I hearing you idiots bla bla bla ing like digicel with nuff sh/t talk. Only now you phocking politicians can realize that your dirty ways of stopping development which didnt begin in your administration is detrimental to the development of little Lucia? You guys are so disgusting all of you. Red, yellow, white, brown, black, green, orange you all are a serious waste.

  14. Too many injustices in this country. I am happy you addressed the issues lawyers face with the different offices in getting their documents processed … that high court office upstairs la place carenage is a cesspool of corruption ….there is a particular woman and her crew who only does the work that she is hired and paid by tax payers to do, if some dishonest people pay her on the side to do it…..greedy ugly woman inside and out…remove that bad smelling fragrance and purple flower from there…..too corrupt. There us need for reform.8n that department…….fix it please

    • Same as Inland revenue. you only get your refund if you give them something on the side. These places need to be purged.

      • Inland revenue is a problem child. U need to report them directly to the Ministry responsible for them. So head to the Ministry of Finance and let them know that you were not aware you had to give a “cut” to the staff for the work they are being paid to do. Just identify the Ministry responsible for them and make it clear by going directly to them. I had to report one guy and his staff who was treating a govt department like his own kingdom. turned out, i was not the only one affected. these people are being paid more than most lucians. let their bad habits be killed on the spot.

  15. CIBC now introduce a policy where account users use deposits in the drop box . So you have to drop your deposit then return the next day to retrieve your deposit book / bag . Thus 2 trips for one transaction because they refuse to employ more St. Lucian as Bank Tellers . This only happens in St. Lucia ….nowhere else in the World …. but I guess I should just shut up and eat more green figs like one of the iQ62s.

  16. If you have money or do business with the banks in St Lucia the fees are ridiculous OMG. Some already (Not the least bit suprise they have nothing to do) TRYING TO MAKE THIS ” A Kenny issue” I feel sorry for them he does not own the banks…..that Republic Bank is the worst …..they are predators upon the people, The Bank of St Lucia is not owned by St Lucia their interest rate for a star up loan is in the double digits, foreign transaction double digits, low balance is a death sentence, don’t even ask about credit card even when it’s link to your own account double digits. The people need to rise up against them, Chastanet like to chat about the economic disadvantage St Lucian’s are facing, high banking fees affects St Lucian’s just the same , but it’s taboo for him .

  17. I wish the MP for Vieuxfort had made his concerns to the party or pre budget discussion,he has made the choice not to contribute to the current government, with some silly excuses, but on occasion tries come over as some wise elder statesman . The MP for Vieux South, should be loyal and supportive to the current administration or say nothing he is not leader of the opposition.
    I now it’s difficult for the mulato mafia and their cohorts to accept that the black boy from marchand is king of the hill.

    • And what a dynamic king he is , a powerhouse in the Region and so imprtant in the world that even Biden begged him to take a selfie with him ….so just eat more green figs …teach yur kids creole and stay ignorant .

      • It has been crucial for employees since after the violation of the labour code, which the goverment is not capable to handle such suitation like, letting foreigners putting their feet in the imployees behind,and are the ones responsable for bad treating, because they are the ones saying to foreigners welcome and St-Lucians out.

    • Lah Jet Ma Ma Ti Bway! Go serve with your own effing criminals like yourself! I hope he makes ZERO CONTRIBUTIONS to that SLP!

  18. Most of these charges were legislated under his administration and as Prime Minister. That was when the country was in a mess and the banks were loosing money through bad debts he, the then Pm, signed to for individual business personel.
    Now this is just an echo of Mia Mortley idea. It is not original, Kenny Anthony. You have always been short of ideas. You are lost.

  19. bank of saint lucia for almost 13 years stop giving shareholders any profit or returns on their shares. so for more than a decade the company has given zero dollars to people who invested in the business. no bank in no proper country could get away with this theft. but bank of st lucia has for more than a decade. why? because the banks here do what they want. they looking at the greedy canadian and american model. two countries fast going down the path of third world status because they have screwed to many of their own people and others. get some british people to overhaul the banking system in terms of the laws and put in some stiff fines for those banks when they cross the line. they cant mess with customers to that degree in England. this is one consultancy that should not be wasted but implemented for the good of this country.

  20. Now I’m hearing some good points in the house. Finally someone intelligent is speaking in the SLP government about the abuse by businesses and managers. As a lawyer Kenny I hope you start working on this. This has been going on for too long. Please do something about it ASAP. The banks are bleeding its customers. Imagine paying bank fees that is 10 times higher than the interest that you are given every six months. Sometimes the bank fees are even more than the 10 times that I have stated. Banks nowadays are not for the customers anymore. They use our money to make their profits and give little or nothing in return. Imagine there is a bank that do not give interest on savings. Banks charging you to change a check, charging you when you do face to face transactions and there is a bank who does not give bank books anymore. Just a receipt when you deposit or withdraw. An account is so sensitive and we have heard the stories of their employees and theft.

    • I want to agree with you on one point and that is finally some form of intelligent debate in the house. However, I’m flabbergasted by the bearer of this. These ridiculous banking fees and charges have been there forever, all during his tenure as PM so I beg to ask. Why now Dr Anthony? Is it that he is trying to show up the current administration? He was critical of the ganga legislation, then he claimed that Vieux Fort was being neglected, now this. I think 15 years as PM was ample time for you to deal with it, but I will still urge Pierre to do so for the betterment of bank users.

  21. Bank of st Lucia is worst , you using your card locally and the Charing you $2 plus you have to pay the monthly of $3. You cannot save anything at bank of st Lucia

  22. Wow only when the donkey feel the pressure then he screams… i am amaze about such a narrative again. This atrocities Mr. Former PM was happening under your watch, chas and now pjp. The reality is that it won’t change because of the leverage the legislation give to the bankers. So bark all you want it won’t change

  23. Kenny is right. Banks just like lawyers are legalized thieves they need to be brought in touch with reality. They have our money and earn from so there should be no need to charge us for using our money

  24. How ironic! Former prime minister, Dr. Kenny Anthony, was at the helm of St. Lucia’s politics and PM for approximately 15 years and he never uttered a word about the ersatz ECCB. The vulturous commercial banks operating in St. Lucia have no respect for the people they serve. Moreover, the Kenny Anthony administration never examined the shortcomings of the banking system. All of a sudden, Dr. Anthony had an epiphany and wants an immediate land distribution system in Vieux Fort and an overhaul of the banking system in St. Lucia.

    While I am league with the changes, I am baffled as to the timing of his proposals. Won’t he have created a more meaningful impact if he had made those proposals during his terms as prime minister?

    Such inconsistency in the advocacy of Dr. Anthony doesn’t only border on cowardice but also hypocrisy. The logic of Dr. Anthony’s position is that the banks should just be nice to the customers and prime minister Pierre should miraculously give all Vieuxfortians land tiles. Such naive and parhaps quixotic projects don’t come without a struggle. Rather than offering platitudes, Dr. Anthony should convince the legislatures to implement fair banking laws in St. Lucia and a satisfactory land tenure system. If he can succeed in those undertakings his wasteful fifteen years as prime minister with not be viewed as a mix of trepidation and sarcasm.

  25. OH, how I feel for your pain in dealing for your stash in the Bank. There are some folks going through a different pain at that Stadium-cum-Hospital, and that half-AXX half-burnt junk called St. Jude. The people of V/Fort would be so much happier, if the Construction on the proposed Hospital was allowed to continue, but politics got into the mix, Hospital got nixed, but still no word from the Hon Doc. Knock knock, hello – still no word?
    Oh Good Lord – loose St. Jude to harass them in their dreams – we need a new modern Hospital in the South. Amen

  26. Whilst we at it with the banks, I think the insurance companies should have a look into also especially when it come to vehicle insurance. Waiting last minute to say the your insurance has been increased for no reason. No accident, no claim, nothing. Not willing to settle claims in a timely manner, etc etc

  27. I totally agree with Mr Anthony. Take for example the recent acquisition of RBC. How can former RBC clients now that number one back pay $25 every month while the original number one bank does not pay that fee. Can someone please clarify. So should I then close the RBC account at the bank and open a new account at the bank? Need some help. Can’t afford to be paying the fee all the time.

    • You had no problem paying the fee before the merger. You have the same rbc benefits you enjoyed before while the original bank’s customers don’t. What is the issue?

      • All I am saying. If an institution has acquired another should not the benefits be across the board. Don’t know if you are working at the bank but if you are could you give some clarification on the bank charges. Thanks

  28. I hope the government takes this seriously. These bank charges have gotten ridiculous. Just recently I posted about this. It’s out of control and no government seems to have the desire to address the unfair practices that these banks are engaged in. Even bank of saint Lucia which you would think would have the best interest of the local customers at heart has surprised me with their cruel charges. It’s sad really. A $2 charge every time you use your debit card and they add the charge as part of your transaction total I stead of separately, so most people probably don’t even notice. Very unethical

    • And they still charge $170 for a wire transfer whether it’s done through the online banking portal or in-person at the counter, whereas First Caribbean charges only $78 when this same transaction is done online and the full price of $170 when it’s done in-person at the counter. Daylight robbery being committed by BOSL I tell you folks!!

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