RBC Royal Bank has defended its decision to increase fees for personal and business banking services, saying the new rates are within industry standards.
In emailed responses to questions from the T&T Guardian, the bank said its competitive edge will not be diminished by the adjustments to its rates which are due to take effect on May 31 and June 17.
RBC’s revised schedule of fees and charges include a $1 increase in standing orders to $7. The fee for initial set up of a standing order, as well as for amendments to a standing order, has been increased to $10.
In addition, customers will now have to pay $35 for the cancellation of a standing order due to three consecutive insufficient funds—up from the old rate of $12.
On savings accounts, the charge for withdrawals and other debit transactions has been increased from $4 to $7.
SEE ALSO: RBC TO INCREASE FEES
In a statement yesterday, RBC said it continues to offer competitive products and services to its client base in T&T and operates a very competitive business.
The bank said its new opening hours are one form of staying competitive: “Through our extended hours and Saturday banking services, we calculate that we are serving our clients 630 hours more than any other bank in T&T. With our new mobile banking app our clients can conduct their banking anytime, anywhere.”
RBC said it is not unusual to periodically conduct reviews of its products and services and emphasised that “there has been no across the board increase in rates.”
“We seek to ensure our clients are sufficiently notified—through the mail, on our website and also directly in our branches. Our fees and service charges are either on par or below that of others in the market. We believe we continue to deliver good value and competitive pricing and we encourage our clients to call us or visit their branch to meet with their financial advisor to ensure they have the banking options and advice that best meet their needs,” the bank said.
T&T is not the only market in which RBC is attempting to increase its fees. In Canada, the bank’s parent company, Royal Bank of Canada, is backing off some changes to account fees it had planned to implement from June 1. The bank said it has “listened closely to client feedback” and decided against the move.
The bank said the fee were increased due to mounting pressure, on booming areas of their businesses, such as mortgage lending. The bank, which is Canada’s largest, had planned to start charging some customers as much as Can$5 for making a mortgage or loan payment effective June 1, until customers complained.
In neighbouring St Vincent and the Grenadines, where the bank still operates as RBTT Bank, there had been reports of customer complaints about increased fees which took effect there yesterday. RBC Royal Bank is part of the RBC Financial Caribbean banking network which was established in June 2008 when the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) acquired RBTT Financial Group (RBTT).
It is one of the most extensive banking networks in the region with a presence in 17 countries and territories across the Caribbean serving over one million clients. Its headquarters are based in Port-of-Spain.
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