“Consumer Banking Law still needed regarding Paypal access, Protection Agency, and Cap bank fees”
PHILIPSBURG:--- Leader of the United People’s Party MP Rolando Brison sees the initiative of the Central Bank to implement a 10-day limit for the opening of bank accounts for all natural persons as a “good first step”. “I don’t think it’s a coincidence that within just a few months after the Consumer Banking Protection Motion was passed and the initiative law for consumer banking protection was sent to CBCS for vetting, we see elements of this law being implemented in practice.”
The MP pointed out that the agreement between CBCS and the Banker’s Association to implement a 10-day limit for opening a basic bank account for natural persons seems to be a copy of Article 2 sub 1 of the Draft Law.
“A bank that offers payment accounts to consumers in St. Maarten shall, upon request, give consumers who lawfully reside in St. Maarten the opportunity to apply for and use a basic payment account…”. The draft law also states in Article 2 sub-4: “The bank offers the payment account… within 10-days of receiving a completed application”.
However, the MP, whose party has been advocating for banking reforms within the banking and financial sector, believes many other aspects are missing, reinforcing the need for the proposed law.
“While I’m happy to see a small part of the law already being implemented voluntarily, this voluntary policy is not ideal and needs to be legislated,” stated Brison, “The consumer banking Draft Law addresses many more concerns. One glaring problem is that the current situation still leaves the discretion of granting a basic account with the banks and does not cover companies, only natural persons. We need to legislate a right to an account for ALL St. Maarten residents and companies. We also still need better consumer banking laws to allow them access to PayPal and other E-Commerce services. The draft law also seeks to regulate and cap ever-growing bank fees without price control or oversight. And finally, the draft law would implement a consumer banking protection bureau, which would function as a sort of ombudsman for banks, to provide consumers more rights against predatory and unfair bank practices.”
Financial reforms in our country need to be a holistic approach. There is no singular solution. The UP Party has presented multiple solutions for reforming the banking sector to benefit our people. The Consumer banking protection Draft Law helps our consumers, cryptocurrency and blockchain allow us to innovate our financial industry, and a transaction tax ensures tax compliance which benefits the government. These are all economic reforms the party has not just called for from early this term, but we have done the actual work to ensure they can be implemented.