My recent bank statement indicates that GBTI has been deducting $100.00 as a “Ledger Fees” charge, each time an in-branch transaction is done. Upon investigation I was informed that this is a new charge implemented by the bank since June 2011. I was further informed that the bank has no obligation to inform customers of any new charges.
While I do agree that it is safer to use plastics (debit or credit card), Guyana does not currently have the infrastructure to support the full use of plastics. Many small stores and market vendors do not have the facilities to accept payment by plastics. Additionally, withdrawing cash from an ATM can attract unwanted attention not to mention the fee for the ATM card and fee charged for each ATM transaction.
While it is understandable that there is a cost attached to moving cash around, the bank should be a bit more realistic and only charge customers who perform more than 5 in-branch transactions per month. This would make customers plan more effectively.
The fact that the banks can do what they feel like with customers‘ hard-earned money seems wrong. They should at least inform customers of new impending charges. This would give customers the choice of moving the account to another bank in the highly competitive banking industry.
I would like to appeal to the GBTI’s management, the Guyana Consumers Association and the Banking Regulators to consider the above points with a view to protecting the interests of the average Guyanese.
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