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Int’l transactions hardest hit in JMMB fee restructure

JMMB Bank has advised that it will be adjusting some of its fees, effective June 15, 2023, changes that will force retail customers, particularly those conducting international transactions, to dig deeper into their pockets.

Retail account holders who have grown accustomed to conducting international bank ATM transactions such as withdrawals and balance enquiries, free of cost, will next month be charged $375.55 and $55.00 for the transactions, respectively. JMMB Bank has also added a charge of $54.00 on declined international ATM transactions.

Additionally, international POS or point of sales purchases and declined international POS purchases will also attract new rates of $47.50 and $74.25, respectively.

The new fees to be laid on international transactions carry the heaviest changes in JMMB’s revised fee schedule, which was released on Monday, May 1, for its retail clients, corporate and SME accounts, along with its investment clients.

The majority of services saw an uptick in fees, to include late payment fees on loans, statement reprints, overdraft fees and international wire transfers across all three business lines.

But JMMB Bank has also lowered fees on some transactions and, in other cases, kept the fee structure flat. For example, inter-bank transfers, cheque deposits to JMMB Bank, and cheque cashing for non-JMMB Bank cheques remain free.

The bank has also lowered the amount clients will pay on some document request fees, such as account research/voucher search, which will move down to $2,600 for up to one year’s research, from the current fee of $2,875. Auditor’s confirmation fee has also dropped to $3,500 per account, compared to the current charge of $3,948.50.

“While businesses and consumers alike continue to navigate these challenging economic times, we take this opportunity to reassure you that the JMMB Group remains committed to our guiding principle of charging fair fees,” JMMB Bank said in its emailed advisory.

It noted that the bank does not charge a fee for teller transactions to its clients who visit the branch to deposit or withdraw funds from their bank accounts; and does not charge an ATM usage fee to clients who use a JMMB Bank ATM to withdraw funds. JMMB Bank says it also does not charge a dormant account fee.

“In instances where there are fees charged by third parties over which we have no control, we always seek to ensure that those fees are competitive,” it added.

Each year, JMMB Bank says, it actively reviews its fees within the context of both its operations and the needs of the clients. Coming out of that annual review, fees are then removed, adjusted, or new fees added, all done in “alignment with the guiding principle of fairness in how fees are set, our core value of love, and having our clients’ best interest at heart,” the bank has said.

In the latter half of 2022, amid the changed interest rate environment, National Commercial Bank, JN Bank, Sagicor Bank, First Global Bank and VM Building Society announced that they would increase interest rates on existing personal and SME loans, as well as new loans being issued, in accordance with market changes, .

Last week, while also citing the central bank’s policy rate hikes as its reason, JMMB Bank said it would follow suit, with increases on all its variable interest rate loans by no more than 2.25 per cent, which took effect on Monday, May 1.

After a series of rate hikes since the autumn of 2021, the central bank has held its key interest rate steady at 7.0 per cent since last November.

The rate has been unchanged amid falling inflation, which was back to 6.2 per cent in March and was the lowest out-turn since August 2021. It also pulled annual inflation towards the outer band of the central bank’s target range of 4 to 6 per cent.

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