RBC customers unhappy with new cashing policy

Barbadians, who do not have accounts with the RBC Royal Bank, will soon have to look elsewhere to have their cheques cashed.

The bank has announced that with “limited exceptions”, it is about to end the practice of cashing cheques other than for its members.

Asked by Barbados TODAY to explain the move, which is due to take effect within the second quarter of this year, the bank said it was in an effort to safeguard the financial institution against fraud and money laundering. It also said, in a written response, that it forms part of a wider transitioning process which aims to encourage more clients to “go digital”.

RBC Royal Bank of Canada has announced that with “limited exceptions”, it is about to end the practice of cashing cheques other than for its members.

However, the pending move is not sitting well with some local employers who currently pay their staff by cheque.

Describing it as antisocial, Michael Brown told Barbados TODAY he was concerned about the hundreds of people who did not wish to open an account.

He accused the bank of behaving like a bully, arguing that measures to counter money laundering and fraud should not impact negatively on customers.

“The excuses that the banks use, not only Royal Bank, they have carteled themselves into a ‘we will bully you into doing what we like because it suits our purpose’. Money laundering is not a problem of the client, it is a problem of the bank, and to pass the responsibility of money laundering on to the bank’s clients is just a complete nonsense,” Brown argued.

“Our society is still very much a cash society and yet many employers pay their employees with cheques and to force all employees who are paid by cheque to open bank account is just nonsense,” he insisted, adding that “words cannot describe how ridiculous it is for a service institution like a bank, that is a for profit institution, to make their clients behave how they want them to behave”.

An incensed Brown also pointed out that his 67-year-old housekeeper, who has been working with him for the past 40 years, has never had a bank account, adding that he was concerned about what many others like her would do if they have a RBC Royal Bank cheque to change and were not able to do so.

“She doesn’t use Internet banking, hardly able to use a cellular phone. A bank has no right to do that,” he stressed.

The businessman also said while he did not think he would be changing banks as a result of the move, financial institutions should not be allowed to dictate how people here conducted business.

In the meantime, one employer in the retail business who also pays his staff by RBC Royal Bank cheques described the move as unfortunate and backward, saying he might have to consider switching banks.

“I confirmed with a representative of the bank that they propose to stop cashing cheques for anybody who does not have an account with them, and I know that the people who work with me do not have a bank account there,” said the businessman, who did not want to be identified by name.

“I may have to think about switching banks. This is not a good thing to do because not everybody has a bank account and not everybody wants one. What if they have an emergency and cannot wait for days for the cheque to clear? The money is already barely enough,” he said.

“A lot of employers pay their employees by cheque and there are people who do a part time job or a one-off and are paid by cheques. What if that cheque is a RBC cheque, are you telling me I can’t cash that cheque if I do not have an account, is this their way of forcing people to get an account with them? This should not be taking place in Barbados,” he suggested.


27 Responses to RBC customers unhappy with new cashing policy

  1. Lisa Browne January 10, 2018 at 11:56 pm

    Royal Bank has become slowly the worst bank on the island. So many arbitrary rules that no other bank has in place. Now this! They need to just cease operations here, they are trying their absolute best to alienate all of their customers.

  2. Ian Bourne January 11, 2018 at 12:04 am

    What about Fair Trading Commission?

  3. Pat Clarke January 11, 2018 at 2:14 am

    Blame the ones who gave the banks permission to do as they like.

  4. Concern citizen January 11, 2018 at 5:15 am

    I believe that the bank is doing this to make more money for its share holders. Do you realize that the bank is charging $5 amount plus vat for any account that is under $5,000.00 a month in the Bahamas.

  5. Shaka Sadu January 11, 2018 at 5:41 am

    Welcome to reality as it is. Being a North American bank, it is a fact that unless you are a member of a specific bank, you can’t cash your cheque there. Neither as a visitor can you walk into a bank and have any foreign currency changed.

  6. Mark Rosmar January 11, 2018 at 7:06 am

    As they are more than likely not paid with paper notes, can’t the employee cash the cheque at their own bank?

    • tedd January 11, 2018 at 10:25 am

      yes, but there is a 4 day wait. so getting paid on friday and not being able to spend it until the following thursday is too much for a weekly worker to bear

  7. Johnathan January 11, 2018 at 8:27 am

    The Trinidadians doing as they like in these banks and think they have the power to enact changes that suit them because of a weak spineless government. They totally disrespect bajans despite coming here and living their best lives ever. Bajans need to move All of their money to the local banks and the credit unions.WE NEED TO START A MOVEMENT AGAINST THESE TRINDADIAN DICTATORS WHO NO SAY THETE BUT WANT TO BE KINGS HERE.

    • tedd January 11, 2018 at 10:26 am

      RBC is Canadian, the royal bank of Canada

  8. PG January 11, 2018 at 9:32 am

    There are benefits to writing less cheques as a business person. You have less risk of someone forging your signature on a cheque. Less reconciliation to do. It takes less time to upload an electronic payroll file with 20 names than to sit and write 20 cheques. The world is moving towards a cash less society it will be only a matter of time it gets to the Catibbean.

  9. Sue Donym January 11, 2018 at 9:44 am

    Rather unprofessional… isn’t a necessary part of the service to a cheque-writing customer, the ability of the payee to cash it?
    Why should another bank be happy to cash a RBC cheque while RBC charges their customers for services not received? Nonsense and greed.

  10. Mark My Word January 11, 2018 at 10:00 am

    I done wid Royal Bank long time
    Time is now to shift to Credit Unions

    • milli watt January 11, 2018 at 11:16 am

      credit unions put your money in commercial banks like RBC lolololol……..wonder how they deal wid checks from the credit union

  11. tedd January 11, 2018 at 10:27 am

    can credit unions issue fx, Visa travelers check card?

  12. Jr. January 11, 2018 at 10:29 am

    Don’t use rbc…simple as that. Carry your account and business elsewhere. If other banks were smart, they would offer a special to make the process easy for rbc customers to move over to their bank.

  13. Roses January 11, 2018 at 11:08 am

    And if your account does not have on 500.00 dollars at the end of each week they deduct 5.00. This is rediculous!!

  14. Kim January 11, 2018 at 1:25 pm

    That bank is becoming increasingly wicked and self serving. I closed my accounts when I realised they charged 10.00 a month for the chequing account (they did not disclose up front, and I had not experienced this at my previous bank). Then they started charging 5.00 a month on each account if the balance was not 500.00. 240.00 a year is what I stood to lose to them. Seriously? The average working person does not have 500.00 to just leave on the bank after they pay their bills.

  15. meakai January 11, 2018 at 2:29 pm

    I would have thought that in 2018, most workers would be be paid via direct deposit to a current account where there is no minimum balance required.

    Still, this is an opportunity for some enterprising persons to offer cheque changing services, for a small fee of course.

    Those that don’t trust banks or living pay cheque to pay cheque and must have cash. Sign the cheque over to a third party who is willing and able to cash it.

  16. gsmiley January 11, 2018 at 6:10 pm

    An incensed Brown also pointed out that his 67-year-old housekeeper, who has been working with him for the past 40 years, has never had a bank account, adding that he was concerned about what many others like her would do if they have a RBC Royal Bank cheque to change and were not able to do so.

    The above comment by Mr Brown stuck with me.

    Here is a responsible (I assume) businessman who has had a housekeeper working for him for 40 years. She is now 67 years old which means by my calculations that she was a young lady of 27 years when he hired her.

    Are you telling me that in 40 years he didn’t encourage her to
    open a bank account to at least save some of her earnings?

    Didn’t he try to convince her that it was a good thing to do?

    Is this a statement that Mr brown should be proud to supply?

    What kind of employer is he?

    We are talking 40 years here. How am I to interpret this?
    I know that some of you wont see with me but I find that confession by Mr Brown totally irresponsible for an astute businessman/employer to actually come to the public with.

    • Frightened Sparrow January 12, 2018 at 7:30 am

      I was wondering the same thing! How old was he when he hired his housekeeper? 10? 20?

  17. Dhc January 11, 2018 at 6:58 pm

    Don’t you think that financial planning is the employees responsibility? How is the employer to blame? Who says he hasn’t given her some counsel in that regard and who says that she didn’t bother to follow said advice? It’s her choice and responsibility!

    • gsmiley January 12, 2018 at 5:59 pm

      Its obvious that you didn’t see my question marks DHC.

  18. Sheron Inniss January 11, 2018 at 7:43 pm

    @gsmiley. What is so heavenly about a bank account? I don’t have one now and if I had known what I know now I would never have opened an account when I started to work. However it was not a stipulation of the bank (CIBC as it was then) that we have an account to get our cheques cashed as that was where my employer’s account was.

    I chose to have an account based on my former beliefs which have long changed.

  19. GieB January 13, 2018 at 12:58 am

    Employers need to change their bank then!!

  20. James January 13, 2018 at 10:03 pm

    Why we making so much noise stop dealing with them its so eze are we so dumb just stop let them go somewhere else

  21. Sayitasitis January 14, 2018 at 11:27 am


  22. Zeewee January 14, 2018 at 7:39 pm

    I have employees paid by cheque who queue to cash them . I will close my account and go elsewhere . Simple .


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