Minister of Trade, Industry and Commerce, George Hutson
A Minister of Government has voiced strong concern about the high interest rates and some fees commercial banks charged customers here, comparing them to price gouging.
Minister of Trade, Industry and Commerce, George Hutson, made this known today as he officially opened the Emerald City, Six Roads, St. Philip, branch of the Barbados Public Workers’ Cooperative Credit Union Limited (BPWCCUL). He charged that “credit card interest rates of 20 – 22% per annum, late payment fees and annual fees are some of the most glaring examples of price gouging.”
The Minister, who lauded the BPWCCUL’s directors for establishing the branch in a strategic part of the island, urged the credit unions to consider the introduction of credit cards with more reasonable rates.
“The continuous improvement in the services and products offered to members is especially critical to establishing your market share in the financial sector, at a time when competition among banks and other financial institutions is so prevalent,” he stressed.
President of the Board of Directors of BPWCCUL, Paul Maxwell, in welcoming the Minister’s suggestion assured that it had “not fallen on deaf ears”.
“I’m 100% behind the idea…We will be looking at how this can be achieved,” Mr. Maxwell said.
The opening marked the introduction of the BPWCCUL’s third branch. The first branch at the Keith Bourne Complex, Belmont Road, St. Michael was established in 1995, while the Broad Street office opened it doors to the public in 2002.