Port of Spain: The Bankers Association of Trinidad & Tobago (BATT) met today with the Joint Select Committee on Finance and Legal Affairs (JSC) to provide information related to bank fees and service charges in the commercial banking industry. BATT welcomed the opportunity of the public hearing to provide information to the Committee on a matter which has garnered much public debate. We recognize the need to provide factual information to the public and in this regard BATT shared with the JSC information based on a comprehensive, independent review on the Operations of the Banking Industry over the past decade, compiled by an international accounting firm.
Some of the key highlights which BATT shared with the JSC confirmed that bank fees and charges in Trinidad and Tobago are in most instances lower than other regional banks, represent 7-11% of total bank revenue and represent a cost recovery for services provided. The review also revealed that given the competitive nature of T&T’s banking sector, fees and service charges were adjusted only three times over the last 10 years, occurred at different times among the banks and independently of each other.
The range of fees and service charges pointed to the shifts made by banks over the last decade in the area of technology, which has provided expanded infrastructure, access and capabilities for new products and services (e-banking) at a lower cost or free. The review showed that in addition to TT$900 million invested in technology over the past 10 years, banks had also invested significant capital to expand their branch and ATM network, enhance their compliance and regulatory processes and provide new and expanded products and channels for client access.
BATT shared with the JSC its commitment to providing access to banking services for the most vulnerable in society and renewed our commitment to enhancing our public education campaign in the area of financial literacy and sharing more information to empower our customers and stakeholders with the knowledge they need to achieve their individual financial goals.
BATT advised the JSC that the entire value proposition and core purpose of its members are to provide our customers with financial advice and options to suit their individual needs. We collectively recognize and embrace our role in society, a role we have played in some cases for well over a century and we look forward to continuing to work with our customers to grow and develop this beautiful twin island state.
About The Bankers’ Association of Trinidad & Tobago
The Bankers Association of Trinidad & Tobago, BATT, was formed in 1997. The eight (8) member banks of BATT include the Bank of Baroda (Trinidad & Tobago) Limited, Citibank (Trinidad & Tobago) Limited, First Caribbean International Bank (Trinidad & Tobago) Limited, First Citizens Bank Limited, JMMB Bank (Trinidad & Tobago) Limited, Republic Bank Limited, Scotiabank Trinidad and Tobago Limited and RBC Royal Bank (Trinidad & Tobago) Limited. The association brings together these member banks under a common platform to address issues facing the commercial banking sector.