Kaieteur News – The Bank of Guyana (BoG) has finally gathered some commonsense, decency and humaneness and intervened to stop the banks harassing poor souls that save their pittance from their days of being employed.
The story of who got the bank to act is one that cannot be told until years from now. Years from now, I will write it and identify that person. But not now. He wouldn’t want that. It is a courageous act on the part of that person who earns our admiration. That person is not from BoG. No one from BoG cared about what these idiotic, asinine financial houses were doing to low risk customers. The BoG is a heartless, incompetent institution.
The UG council terminated my contract in 2011. I have only received an income since then from Kaieteur News which I utilize to live on. My two accounts have had no deposits since 2011. My pension is paid into my account and that is a pittance. I am the world’s most low risk customer. Any sensible bank official looking at my two accounts would see there are no money deposits for several years now. So there can be no suspicion. Yet my family is required often by the Bank of Nova Scotia (BoNS) to produce a ton of documents.
If there is anyone reading this column who knows my daughter and wife could ask them; we spent almost four hours in the bank to complete that transaction. I had to raise my voice when they asked me for three pieces of identification. They insisted that proof of address must carry the post office date stamp. You had to see how clownish, the then manager, Brian Hackett looked as he poked his eyes wide open to read the obscure date stamp on the soiled envelope.
BoNS has written us again requesting a ton of documents for an account that has not moved since 2012. BoG knows what these commercial banks have been doing for decades now since the anti-money laundering legislation came in. I have researched this violation for years even contacting the Governor of BoG. I remember in one of the many columns I did on this ugly masturbation by the commercial banks, the Governor called me on my cell when I was driving to inform me on the mistaken requirement of proof of address by the banks. Yet nothing changed since that call. I have been writing on this ugly masturbation over the past eight years now. See my column of Friday, April 13, 2018, “Did Republic Bank CEO misled Dr. Gobin Ganga?”
So we finally got somewhere. My daughter doesn’t have to show proof of address since she has no correspondence from any institution. Her address on her driver’s license has to be accepted by BoNS now that BoG has stipulated that. In any case, if GWI or GPL requires proof of address from my daughter, she has no proof to produce since the BoNS doesn’t send us paper statements.
Where was BoG when these financial houses were harassing poor customers since the anti-money laundering act came into effect? There have been hundreds of letters in all the daily newspapers the last decade about cruel harassment by these banks. A man from Essequibo sent me an email four years ago. I asked him if Jose Ferreira is his real name because there is an internationally famous person by that name. He described how the Republic Bank at Anna Regina asked him for proof of address and when he showed them a statement with address they sent them, they refused to accept their own envelope.
BoG has been misleading this nation on the nonsense the commercial banks have been doing to poor customers. In my column of Thursday, October 14, 2017 captioned, “Bank of Guyana about to stop a Guyanese stupidity,” I wrote the following, “Mr. Lall’s interview had a satisfactory ending. He informed me that the Bank of Guyana is aware of the envelope controversy and is in discussion with the commercial banks about adhering to the AML while making banking customer friendly. He said from what the bank knows the envelope request seems to be a problem. BoG never acted.”
I end with an extract from that column: Senior Manager (of BoNS), Petra Allen stressed that her bank wants to see that the document in front of the teller passed through the post office system. Asked if Scotia will accept an important document like certificate of fitness from the Police Force that has a person’s address, she responded, “Mr. Kissoon how would the bank know if that is a valid paper?” How BoNS will know if my driver’s license is valid?
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.)
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