FEES, FUND and BANKRUPTCIES


 We are waiting this afternoon for Parliament’s decision to allow/or rescind the increases in Bank’s charges, and also to decide on Taxation on withdrawal fees paid by individuals and Companies to the Government routed through the banking system; a most unhappy state of affairs, considering that so many other charges arise from the same source, and are considered fees and charges.

I am not sure that Bankers’ read their own financial statements; in reviewing their financial status I notice that their profits have increased substantially this year over last year. One interpretation of their financial statements must be clearly a work of fiction. I wonder which Jamaican Audit Company verifies the untruths when they all clearly understand that if they breach fidelity in Jamaica, they may be subject to sanctions.

It is my opinion, Banks in Jamaica are not in competition with each other, and they charge what they wish; for they are not regulated by any authority, when it comes to the amount of their income or expenditure meaning fees and charges. So when they send foreign funds back overseas to repatriate dividends they are using money they did not earn, and this foreign exchange leakage will help to demolish the Country’s resources. At least, they must spend to upgrade plant and people, and I still notice complaints on rest room facilities when I visit a branch of any bank.  It is unseemly that this problem has been created by a lack of planning especially taken hand in hand with ATM problems, which lead clients back to their branch.

Any tax earned by the Government when diminished, will cause further taxation to meet the income needed. The constant economic anguish causes our dollar to decline, increasing the cost of basic foods. So what the consumer, rich or poor accepts, is virtually a three-fold burden on their costs. On-going devaluation reduces pension payments, and other interest income needed in retirement.

The two main banks earn more than $20 billion dollars a year from Jamaica and the amount increases every year. Shortly the Government will find on this downward spiral staircase there is no more tax revenue, and a default situation has been created. Only Jamaicans then will donate more money to save the economy, for debt over GDP will exceed 150%.

Now the IMF has set the stage to target $15 billion for the next year to resolve the debt issues; and it is doubtful for the productive and private sectors to earn this much in the near future; and the Government has to tackle the problem at the source; most likely to recover all this pseudo charges being levied by the banks.

In the Interim, it seems we all must follow the slings and arrows of this misfortune, at the behest of our bankers, into poverty and bankruptcy, reminiscent of the FINSAC debacle, the culprits of which are yet to be exposed. (499 Words)


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