Friday, April 12, 2024

Banks playing by ‘Central Bank rules’

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Local commercial banks are not engaging in anti-competitive charge-fixing, insists acting president of the Barbados Bankers Association, Lloyd Wiggins.Wiggins told Starcom Network Incorporated yesterday that “all the banks” were following regulations on customer charges as laid down by the Central Bank of Barbados.He was reacting to comments by chairman of the Fair Trading Commission, Sir Neville Nicholls.Sir Neville had said the regulatory body wanted to know whether banks were coming up with these charges “through agreement”. Wiggins, who is also the managing director of Butterfield Bank, pointed out that the Central Bank, in August 2008 correspondence, established guidelines on charges to be made by the commercial banks.“Those charges also came into effect in August 2008,” he noted. “In that correspondence, in those guidelines, the Central Bank established limits on a number of areas for bank charges and all the banks are subscribing to this.”Addressing an FTC workshop on Wednesday on Detecting, Mitigating And Fighting Bid-Rigging In Public Procurement, Sir Neville spoke of a study requiring “a comprehensive review” of charges over an extended period. “This would allow the commission to identify any particular trends or changes in the rates in order to determine whether they were arrived at through agreement,” he said. (TY

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