A revolt is coming, Senator says about commercial banks

Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Chairman, Senator Fred Mitchell.

Reprehensible and unethical is how Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Senator Fred Mitchell described local commercial banks in the country, as he pledged to lead a revolt against their practices.

Senator Mitchell in his contribution to the Financial Transaction Reporting Bill 2018 in the upper chamber Monday, lambasted local banks for their apparent “lack of respect for their customers”.

The demands of the bill, he added, were discriminatory and if he had the funding to challenge it, Mitchell said he would do so.

“I don’t think or see the category of politically disposed persons should differ on how one is treated if they are a politician or related to one,” Mitchell said.

“… There is coming a revolt on the way banks are doing business in The Bahamas, it is reprehensible. I can think of no other word. They have no regard or respect for the people who are their customers, no respect.”

Mitchell added that banks are now refusing to set payments on the basis that consumers have failed to fill out a know your customer (KYC) form.

“They can shut the bank account down and refuse to accept payments. Does that extinguish the debt,” Mitchell questioned?

“You give the bank your good money and they make you feel like a criminal.”

He suggested that it is also burdensome to reach any local bank official and as it relates to mortgages, banks he said, are unethical.

“If you miss a payment, your house is gone … the banks never loose, even when you negotiate, the interest is still adding up,” he said.

“I don’t understand the moral responsibility of the bank and I that there is something completely off and unethical about it.”

Mitchell argued that real change won’t happen until Bahamians unite against their practices.