FTC says it can't tell banks what to charge
The ongoing complaints about what some critics have called excessive fees charged by the commercial banks operating in Barbados has led to a response from the Fair Trading Commission.
In a press release issued on Thursday, Sep 5 the FTC said that it can’t do anything about those fees and charges. It said it wanted to let the public know that “The Fair Trading Commission does not have the authority to restrict a financial institution or business from amending its fee structure,” adding it can only set prices for utilities.
In fact, said the FTC, its role outside of utilities is basically to “ensure that the terms and conditions given to consumers by enterprises do not contain unfair contractual clauses,” and the amount charged for a good or service does not influence whether a clause is fair or unfair.
A non-utility business can therefore charge whatever it wants as long as it gives consumers adequate notice, said the FTC.
If it doesn’t the business may be in breach of the Consumer Protection Act CAP 326 D. Institutions, says the commission, “must give timely and personal notification to consumers of impending changes” through the media.