Kralendijk- Customers of the Maduro- and Curielsbank react indignant and in some cases furiously to the introduction of a fee of five dollars for every cash transaction that has been charged to customers in the bank’s branches since the beginning of this month.
Although various customers had already reported the extra costs of carrying out transactions in the bank in past days, the MCB only today issued a press release on the new transaction fee today. The bank states that the fee is intended to ‘encourage customers to conduct transactions in less expensive ways’, such as via the bank’s ATMs or via internet banking. An argument that is not understood or swallowed by everyone.
“Can the MCB explain to me how I can deposit electronic money?” asked an angry customer.
Internally there also seems to be some confusion about the extra costs and especially by whom they are due or not. For example, the MCB states in its press release that the fee is not levied on people living on welfare or who are retired. Several pensioners, however, reported that they had to pay $5 during the course of this week for transactions carried out at one of the bank’s tellers. The biggest complaint is that the additional costs per transaction must be settled. A customer who performs 3 transactions in one visit to the bank is therefore paying no less than 15 dollars in costs.
The fact that the bank only communicates the implementation of the new fee on August 9, while it is said to have already been introduced on August 1, can be labeled as sloppy. Many customers were therefore unpleasantly surprised by the extra costs.
In its press release, the MCB points to the fact that business customers still have the option of depositing funds in the bank’s night vaults. “For this, only 40 cents per returned pouch is being charged,” according to the MCB. The bank also indicates that the fee does not apply to deposits on the Lito youth saving accounts.
The introduction of the fee of the MCB hits home extra hard, now that the Giro Bank has decided to close their branch on the Bonaire. Customers could, until now, make payments without any charge at the Giro Bank towards for instance the tax office. That option no longer exists at all. Incidentally, that also could become a problem for the tax office.
In response to complaints from citizens, the Ombudsman some time ago found that since citizens could now pay for free via the Giro Bank, the action of the tax office to close her cash registers could not be found ‘unacceptable’. The question is how the Tax and Customs Administration will deal with the new developments.