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ECCB to Study Bank Charges

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Contact: Prime Ministerís Press Secretary

March 10, 2003 - The Monetary Council of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) has accepted and adopted a proposal by the Government of St. Lucia to conduct a study of interest rates, fees and commissions charged by the banking sector in the member-states of the Organisation of East Caribbean States (OECS).

            The interest rates and other charges by the regionís banking sector came under the usual scrutiny of delegates at the 27th meeting of the ECCBís Monetary Council, which took place in the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis on February 27th.

            The Council, which comprises mainly Prime Ministers and Finance Ministers of OECS member-states, was apprised of developments since the policy decision taken some time ago to reduce the regulated minimum interest rate on savings. Following the appraisal, the ECCBís Monetary Council agreed to leave the interest rates unchanged.

            However, the Council expressed concern with regard to the cost of banking services across the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union and authorised the Central Bank to adopt a proposal by St. Lucia to conduct a study of the issue across and throughout the union. The study will examine the actual interest rates, fees and commissions charged, in order to inform policy formulation.

            The St. Kitts meeting of the ECCBís Monetary Council was attended by Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Economic Development, International Financial Services and Information, Dr Kenny D. Anthony.

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