A Government Senator is urging Barbadians to remove their savings from commercial banks and deposit them in credit unions.

Lynette Holder, who heads the Barbados Small Business Association (SBA), is upset over the latest banking fees announced by CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank.

“I would advocate that persons who own savings accounts at these commercial banks consider transferring those savings to the credit unions. I really would advocate that,” Holder told journalists yesterday on the fringes of a meeting of the Partnership for Sustainable Development at the Courtyard by Marriott in Hastings, Christ Church.

“I would also want credit union leaders to come together to lobby for the legislative changes that govern credit unions. For too long credit union leaders have sat and done nothing in this respect,” she added.

FirstCaribbean has implemented a $3 charge for over-the-counter deposits and a $10 monthly service charge for chequing accounts. The bank has also abolished its average balance requirement fee for accounts falling below a minimum amount and has imposed a standard “monthly service charge” of $5 across the board.

According to the Barbados Today, Holder described this development as “scandalous”, charging that it was unconscionable for banks to raise fees at a time when the country was going through severe economic challenges.

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