Letter to the Editor: Beware of Scotiabank

Sunday, August 18th, 2019

Dear Editor,
Recent events leave me no choice but to advise the public of an ongoing situation at Scotiabank. If you have a credit card account or accounts; Beware!
If you are being charged late fees and interest, through no fault of your own - as I am, it is basically wrong and possibly criminal. Scotiabank systematically sends out the monthly statements late.
On my Credit Card statements with Scotiabank, the statement date is printed on the 11th of each month. So why does it take Scotiabank 21 days to get the statements to the Post Office in our small town when I only have 25 days to pay it? How is a customer to pay the balance, without penalties, if the statement is received after the due date? Obviously, it is impossible when Scotiabank automatically charges a $60USD Late Fee for every statement posted. How can this be legal?
The San Pedro Post Office has confirmed that Scotiabank delivers several hundred statements at one time to the Post Office. The Post Office Staff distributes the statements with a received postmark (date) on the envelopes and puts them in clients’ PO Boxes within hours. Is Scotiabank purposely sending out late statements? I was recently charged almost $1200 in Late Fees and interest!!! When I recently met with the Scotiabank Manager, I was informed that she would take care of this internally. It has not happened to my satisfaction as I have received only half of the promised refund for Late Fees.
Also, in my meeting with the Scotiabank Manager, she suggested I use online banking. I shuddered as I get 2-6 Spam and Phishing events a month from Scotiabank copy sites. I questioned how online banking should make me feel more secure when they cannot even send my statement out on-time? The response from the bank was, “It happens”.
As it happens, I am a Registered Business Owner with the Financial Investigation Unit. I am obligated to divulge these fraudulent practices.
Is the Central Bank of Belize aware that Scotiabank is not acting in good conscience by holding statements until almost the due date? (And then blaming the local Post Office!) I suggest the above authorities investigate Scotiabank’s supply management and fraudulent conduct.
You may have Late Fee charges too! If this is happening at every Scotiabank branch in the country, not only in San Pedro, I believe hundreds of Belizeans are being defrauded through no fault of their own. BEWARE!
Respectfully
Glenn Schwendinger

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