Bank run on RBC in Caribbean over fees

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – The exodus of customers from the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) in St. Kitts continues.

Last Friday, customers intent on closing their accounts over an impending $25 monthly charge on accounts, filled the bank’s downtown location, the line extending outside and around the corner.

Customers in St. Vincent also made a run on the RBTT bank in Kingstown. RBC owns RBTT Financial Group. So far there have not been similar occurrences reported in neighbouring islands.

According to RBC Caribbean’s website, effective May 23, personal banking and savings accounts will attract an EC$25 (US$9.26) monthly fee. Sixty Plus accounts for seniors will be charged $12.50 each month. However, Leo’s Young Savers accounts for children will not be charged.

Business deposit accounts also will see a service charge of $25.

Customers complained that they received no notice from Royal Bank, which has two branches in St. Kitts and one in Nevis.

Police issued a warning to individuals withdrawing funds from the bank. The authorities are advising persons to safeguard those monies in another financial institution as soon as possible.

According to a police press release, “Taking the money withdrawn from the bank and keeping it around the home, office, under the bed, or on your person and not in another financial institution, is not a wise choice. Burglaries and Larceny are crimes of opportunity.”