BoG, bankers’ assoc to meet on Republic Bank situation
DPI, Guyana, Thursday, December 12, 2019
The Bank of Guyana (BOG) is considering penalising Republic Bank Limited (RBL) following its publicised update of systems in November which has left many of its customers upset.
According to BOG Governor Dr. Gobind Ganga, “Republic Bank is forcing us in this direction.”
His comment was in response to a question about possible action against the institution for the way it has handled customers’ concerns.
He added that though the does not allow the Central Bank to enforce penalties, the Governor could issue regulations or circulars forcing financial institutions to take action.
“The Central Bank has been in contact with Republic Bank to ensure they are putting the necessary structures in place,”the Governor said.
Dr. Ganga noted that while RBL maintained that it was doing its best, “we are ensuring that they are continuously addressing this issue to make it more acceptable to the public.”
He added that while he was not threatening any financial institution, they must understand their obligations.
The Central Bank is expected to meet with the Guyana Association of Bankers today to underscore the obligations of commercial banks.
“We want to bring things in the open, this is what is expected of you and if you’re not doing what you’re required to do, then this is the penalty,” Dr. Ganga said.
“We are hoping that when this new platform is put in place that they will be able to compensate the customers in some way for all the discomfort they would have caused,” the Governor said about the RBL situation.
RBL completed the conversion of over 15 banking applications and systems on November 4, resulting in lengthy delays to complete transactions, difficulty in accessing payments, and inconsistencies concerning the use of various other electronic services.
According to the Trinidad-owned bank, the issues would be fully resolved by the middle of this month.
In an invited comment, Minister of Finance, Hon. Winston Jordan said that in 2020 legislation to counter banking sector lapses would be tabled. This will entail further amendments to the Financial Institutions Act to allow the BOG to institute penalties.