JIS News

Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding is urging bankers to find innovative ways of earning profits or recovering losses, instead of imposing exorbitant banking fees and interest rates on customers.
Mr. Golding said he was not suggesting that charges be reduced arbitrarily, but “it is not going to be acceptable to the consumers of banking services simply for banks to seek to recover what they are losing on interest earnings from government paper, through fees and charges imposed on the customer,” he said, and expressed alarm that banks are now charging fees to accept deposits.
“I don’t understand that kind of business..I thought banks were glad to get your money,” the Prime Minister said.
Mr. Golding was speaking at the official handing over of $4 billion in budget support by the European Union, for the government’s debt reduction programme, and the sugar industry, at Jamaica House, on August 26.
The Prime Minister said he has indicated to the Minister of Finance that the Central Bank should look into the matter, and that he had asked the Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, through the Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC) to examine the possibility of publishing the various bank charges, to make consumers aware.
“We are in a market situation and banks must be subject to competition like everybody else, and the most important tool of competition is information,” Mr. Golding noted.
The Prime Minister emphasised that quality banking required a new, creative approach. “The money that you’re taking from depositors cannot be locked up in a vault. It is not going to be sufficient to place it in government paper, because over the immediate term, going into next year, there is going to be increasingly less and less government paper being offered and the rate of interest being paid on that is not what it used to be,” he said.

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