Banking woes

Dear Editor,

As we enter the second month of curfew and lockdown due to COVID-19, I am led to put pen to paper once again to highlight the banking institutions in this country that continue to hold us, their customers, hostage by imposing onerous rules, fees and processes that discourage and frustrate us, private and corporate customers alike, as opposed to making the “ease of doing business” a reality!

I implore the government to impose some stringent orders to protect us, the people of this country, from these unfair practices that act against our best interests.

The maxim “the customer is king” has been MIA for decades. Where is the customer service and ease of doing business attitude to be found within these establishments?

Here we are in the middle of a pandemic with lockdown and social distancing enforcements in place at a time when we are being encouraged to exercise a digital way of life on the one hand, but not receiving the customer service to do so on the next!

If you have ever been at the receiving end of trying to establish an online account (I have friends who are still waiting for implementation for over a year!), or to transfer money safely online between local banks right here in Nassau, or as a business person trying to establish credit card facilities for export purposes, or simply trying to get a human banking representative (with a Bahamian accent even!) to answer the phone and respond to a query in a timely manner, you know exactly what I am talking about!

This is totally unacceptable in the 21st Century!

Mr. Prime Minister, since the government is beginning to make preparations towards reopening the economy post-COVID-19, please place the review of banking institutions high on the list, and be prepared to impose restrictions on these mostly out-of-country-based banks to do the right thing, and put the customer first!

Stay safe everyone!

Pam Burnside

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