Banks’ fees up
FROM JANUARY 1 this year, First Caribbean International Bank customers started paying more for their personal banking, small business and corporate banking services under the newly revised prices for products and services.
The changes were outlined in an important notice to all customers. The seven services for which fees have been changed are in-branch/over the counter withdrawals/debits/cheques, automatic banking machine (ABM) withdrawals at other banks, printing of ABM mini-statements, standing orders, night depository, overdrafts, safekeeping and securities, and early redemption of fixed deposits. Changes to the credit card fees will take effect from February 1, 2011.
The notice outlined an increase from $1 to $1.05 for over the counter withdrawals/cheques and regular chequing accounts while for regular savings accounts over the counter withdrawals move from $2 to $2.10. The fees
for withdrawals from a non-First Caribbean ABM increased from $1.00 to $1.25, while for direct banking the $5 fee for over the counter withdrawals/cheques and over the counter deposits will now apply.
These increases in fees were not matched by other commercial banks across the island. When asked if Barbados National Bank (BNB) would be adjusting its fees as well, BNB’s general manager, retail banking, Margaret Pile said that every two or three years the bank reviewed its fees, which were currently up for review.
“We don’t up our fees based on other banks, but based on the customer value. Our fees stay put for the meantime and will change based on our customer activity and our strategic direction for this year.”
RBTT bank’s head of marketing Joseph Charles said that bank’s fees would change slightly this year but the changes would be based on the Government’s Budgetary Proposals last year.
“We have posted a general notice in the banks which states that due to the increase in Value Added Tax there will be some increases in the fees we charge,” he said. These increases are set to take effect from January 17 this year.
Outgoing president of the Barbados Bankers’ Association and former managing director of BNB, Robert Le Hunte, explained that just because First Caribbean has increased its fees it did not mean that other banks would or would not.
Personal decision He further explained that the determination of fees was the personal decision of the bank based on its individual circumstances.
“Fees are at the discretion of the individual banks, and such information is not discussed with the Bankers’ Association. Each bank determines [its] income structure and what fees are applicable for [its] services,” he said.
Efforts to reach Daniel Farmer, managing director of First Caribbean Barbados, for comment were unsuccessful.