Republic Bank policy on proof of address is draconian

Dear Editor,

I experienced some of the same anger and pain as was inflicted on Freddie Kissoon when he recently attempted to conduct a business transaction at a city bank. Here is my episode. On April 20, 2018 myself and an overseas business partner went to the Republic Bank at Camp Street to conduct a significant business transaction. After waiting for more than one hour we received attention from two bank employees, a male and a female as the bank was approaching its closing time. They asked for among other things proof of address. I tendered a letter addressed to me with the Commissioner of Police’s letterhead and signed by David Ramnarine DSM, Assistant Commissioner of Police in his capacity as Commissioner of Police (ag). The banking officials asked for the envelope. I explained to  them that a policeman in uniform delivered the document to me by hand and that i did not have the envelope. They said that i must produce an envelope that came from a post office as proof of address and that is the bank policy. They blatantly refused to accept the letter in question. They had moments before accepted from me a letter purportedly signed by the deputy head of the Human Resource Department of the company I worked for as proof of my employment, but refused to accept one signed by the Commissioner of Police (ag) as proof of address. Is it that they do not trust the police? The female stated that some private persons do produce their own documents as official ones. I then offered a copy of my TIN certificate as a proof of address, as my address was stated on that document. They agreed that it can work as proof of address but asked for the original of my TIN. I told them that i did not have it on my person. It was at my home. They refused to accept the copy as proof of address. However, they had accepted the same copy as proof that I was registered as a taxpayer. Perhaps, what is good for the goose is not good for the gander according to banking policy and procedure. I must mention that the employees were extremely courteous but they stuck slavishly to their unjust policy. I was perturbed. I left the bank without doing any business. I vowed never to do any more business there or with any other branch of that bank. My hard-earned money will now go elsewhere.

As I was leaving the bank I wondered how many more like me, Freddie Kissoon, retirees, pensioners and others will have to suffer in the name of anti-money laundering policy – Republic Bank style – as that bank unjustly enforces its unnecessary and draconian policies on persons wanting to do legal business with that entity. I also wonder: Why certain things in Guyana are so inherently incredible.

Yours faithfully,

Clinton Conway

Assistant Commissioner of Police



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