PM Harris makes statement on bank fees issue

(ZIZ News) — Prime Minister and Minister Of Finance Dr. Hon. Timothy Harris has issued a statement responding to the issue of increased banking fees.

The statement underscored the fact that the government has no authority over bank charges and fees, stating, By law, it is the role of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) to supervise and regulate all banking activity within the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU), and the Governments within the region do not have any authority to regulate bank charges and fees.”

It was also stated that it is unfortunate that the increase in fees has been politicized.

The politicization of this matter is therefore regrettable, and must be seen as a desperate and irresponsible attempt to undermine public confidence in the country’s banking system, which the International Monetary Fund (IMF) just last week commended as being stable,” said the release.

The Prime Minister is urging citizens and residents to remain calm and be cautious when dealing with their banking affairs.

He said “My Government regrets any inconvenience or hardship caused to our public by any new or increased fees at commercial banks and urges the recently established ECCB Committee to expedite its consideration and report on this important issue.

The statement continued “Whilst we await the work of the ECCB Committee, I appeal to our citizenry to remain calm and to exercise prudence in dealing with their private banking affairs. All banks operating within St. Kitts and Nevis are financially strong and are well regulated by the ECCB. The people of St. Kitts and Nevis can be assured that the health of our banking sector is good…”