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The Central Bank of Barbados in the country's capital, Bridgetown. (File photo)

Central Bank of Barbados lists commercial banks’ fees on website

The Central Bank of Barbados in the country's capital, Bridgetown. (File photo)

The Central Bank of Barbados yesterday published a list of select fees for all five of the island’s commercial banks on its website as part of efforts to enhance financial inclusion on the island.

The bank has indicated it will update the list on a semi-annual basis.

Scotiabank Barbados (Photo: Twitter @KevzPolitics)

According to Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados Cleviston Haynes, “While the list does not include the full range of fees, the bank has captured some of the most common ones that institutions charge on traditional products, so that persons in the market for personal/retail banking services can compare what various entities are imposing when making their banking decisions.”

Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados Cleviston Haynes (Photo: Barbados Advocate)

Among the fees the central bank will publish are those related to minimum balances for savings and chequing accounts, monthly fees, charges for deposits and withdrawals, and some credit card-related fees.

However, the bank explained that while it has tried to compare fees for similar services across institutions, there may be nuanced differences between the products listed in the same category.

“It is also worth noting that the list is not exhaustive and therefore members of the public are encouraged to use the schedule as a guide as they undertake their own due diligence.”

— Central Bank of Barbados

Even so, the aim of the Central Bank of Barbados introducing this initiative is to prevent savers with minimal balances from seeing fees as a disincentive for saving and thereby feeling financially excluded.

And although the standard publishing cycle will be every six months, the bank informed that it may update the listing within that period if there are any material changes to the structure of the select fees it published prior.

RBC Royal Bank in National Heroes Square, Bridgetown, Barbados (Photo: CE Intelligence)

“It is also worth noting that the list is not exhaustive and therefore members of the public are encouraged to use the schedule as a guide as they undertake their own due diligence,” stated in a release.

The bank also advised that it has updated its guidance to the industry on bank charges as set out in an appendix to the release. Furthermore, the Central Bank of Barbados requires that commercial banks:

CIBC FirstCaribbean’s regional headquarters in Bridgetown, Barbados. (File photo)
  • Strengthen their efforts related to public education programmes in order to increase awareness of low and no-cost alternatives to in-branch transactions, such as online payments
  • Ensure that all fees are easily accessible online, preferably through a clearly visible link on their home page
  • Inform it at least 30 days prior to the notification to customers of any new charges
  • Notify customers of any changes in fees or new charges via email and other social media platforms at least 30 days before they come into effect