People’s Campaign Calls For Review Of Banks

June 5, 2014

[Updated with video + Premier's comments]

The People’s Campaign hosted a press conference today [June 5] to “challenge the government to take action in regards to the policies and practices of the banking sector in Bermuda.”

The People's Campaign Bermuda, June 5 2014-1

The People’s Campaign said they recognize that banks play a vital role in Bermuda’s economy and to the community, and said they need to build the confidence of the community by doing all that they can to be empathetic to the needs of their customers and employees.

Saying they are “alarmed with several practices and policies utilized by the commercial banking institutions namely HSBC Bermuda, The Bank of N.T. Butterfield and Clarien Bank,” the People’s Campaign listed the following examples:

Bank’s redundancy policy
Since 2008, the commercial banks have collectively reduced employment levels by an estimated 500 Jobs, with the majority of job losses being absorbed by Bermudians. We have noted that during this recessionary period, the banks have continued with their systematic redundancy policies especially The Bank of N.T. Butterfield and HSBC Bermuda.

Reduction of mortgage benefits for staff
We are troubled by reports that Clarien Bank has decided not to honour previously agreed and contracted mortgage benefits provided to staff. This unilateral decision by the management of the bank have put staff in a position of being unable to pay increased mortgage payments eventually leading to financial hardship, selling of property and foreclosure of homes.

No interest on savings versus increased administration fees
Bank customers. are currently receiving close to no interest on savings at the banks, while the banks continue to erode customers’ savings through increased fees on savings and checking accounts, safety deposit boxes and other administrative fees.

Lack of willingness to assist borrowers
Sadly, during these harsh economic times Bermuda’s banking institutions suffer from a general lack of consumer confidence and consumer trust because the banks do not appear to be willing to ease some of the lending rates, in order to stipulate local spending and help Bermudians who are finding themselves in economic hardship. Continued feedback from our respective memberships reveals their angst and frustration with the banks.

Lack of willingness to assist employees who have received pay reductions
In September 2013, the Bermuda Trade Union Congress signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Bermuda Government. As a condition of that MOU, the Government was to make contact with the banks requesting that they assist with the financial hardship of workers who have been negatively affected by the economic conditions. To our knowledge, the banks have done absolutely nothing to assist during this period where we are supposed to be experiencing and embracing a ‘Shared Sacrifice’.

Discriminatory lending practices against seniors
The commercial banks continue to discriminate against the seniors in our population. Seniors find themselves unable to borrow funds from the banks solely on the basis of age.

The People’s Campaign said they are “calling upon all those in Government, both the Governing OBA and Her Majesties Loyal Opposition, the PLP, to take action in response to the issues we are presenting today by supporting the following recommendations”

1. We are urging the Government to undertake an immediate review of the banks’ redundancy policies, in order to ensure that Bermudians are not being disproportionately targeted for termination. A review would include, but not be limited to, a review of the current bank employees that are Bermudian compared to non-Bermudian permit holders.

2. We are also urging the government to establish a process in which agreements can be reached with the banking industry that ensure maintaining levels of Bermudian employment, which if breached will trigger consequences determined and enforced by the Bermuda Monetary Authority. (If this exceeds the current purview of the BMA, then we ask that legislation be introduced immediately to give the BMA such powers.)

3. We are also urging the government to undertake a full review of the Bermuda Monetary Authority with a view towards strengthening the regulatory and enforcement powers of the BMA, in order to protect Bermuda’s national interests.

4. Given that Finance Minister Mr. Bob Richards has stated as a matter of public record that, “The domestic banking environment at present features deposit interest rates at infinitesimally low levels, coupled with excessively wide margins between deposits and loans…, and to _top it off banks continue to lay off Bermudian staff. This is, on multiple levels, contractionary banking policy at a time when we need to expand this economy.. .Attaining such forward momentum is much more difficult to achieve when such an IMPORTANT ECONOMIC DRIVER AS THE BANKING SECTOR IS PULLING IN THE WRONG DIRECTION” (Budget Statement 2014-2015, p.16)

The People’s Campaign supports this position of the Government, however, to date it appears as if this position has “stalled.” The People’s Campaign would like for the Government to specify what agreements have been reached or are being proposed to get the banking sector “pulling in the same direction” as the Government.

5. Immediate review of banking lending practices as it relates to the refusal to make loans to persons over 65 who have the equity and assets to meet the criteria for qualifying for a loan, this practice is discriminatory and should be ended immediately. It is additionally egregious, given the long history of racist lending practices by banks in Bermuda that many Bermudians feel that age is also being used as a mask to conceal the continuation of racist lending practices.

A spokesperson added, “On May 1, 2014, the People’s Campaign presented to the Premier and the Leader of the Opposition the People’s Manifesto which outlined the expectations of the people of Bermuda. In response to receipt of the Manifesto, both the Premier and the Opposition Leader made a commitment to thoroughly review it and then to meet with the People’s Campaign.

“On May 20, 2014 we wrote to both the Premier and the Leader of the Opposition expressing our concern regarding their failure to respond to the Manifesto. We were hopeful that they would take the people’s concerns seriously as they had committed to meet with the People’s Campaign to discuss the contents of the Manifesto.

“As of today they have not even acknowledged receipt of the letter that was sent on May 20, 2014 nor have they made any effort to meet with the People’s Campaign. We hope that this does not reflect that they are dismissing the concerns of the people of Bermuda.”

The letter the People’s Campaign sent out is below [PDF here]

Update 7.14pm: Premier Michael Dunkley reached out to Rev. Nicolas Tweed to acknowledge the group’s activities today and in responding to the criticism by the group that Government has not formally recognised their concerns raised in their Manifesto, Premier Dunkley said, “I can confirm that very soon after becoming Premier, a meeting was held with the principle representatives of the People’s Campaign to specifically discuss their concerns regarding a local bank. I was very clear in advising the group that Government would undertake to review and address their concerns.

“As it relates to their Manifesto, I can also advise that we have outlined our commitment to address the issues raised and formalised correspondence will be sent to the group in due course.”

The Premier concluded, “I think it’s important to note that I and my Colleagues take this matter very seriously. And I stressed to Rev. Tweed that it is our aim to continue a dialogue regarding the issues so that we can find common ground solutions to benefit all of Bermuda.”

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Comments (64)

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  1. Huh says:

    How about the practices of the BIU & the BIU Credit Union including the Berkeley bond?

    • 32n64w says:

      Don’t forget weekly Union dues. Haven’t they been increased as well?

      If the People’s Campaign calls for shared sacrifice what are +90% of the BIU’s revenues, inclusive of their member donations, business, rental and investment income, etc. spent on their executive salaries and benefits? What has the union directly given back to their thousands of members?

      It’s easy to ask others to make sacrifices but shouldn’t they lead by example?

      • Evie says:

        You people are funny as hell when you see Chris Furbert you go crazy the Union is not Mr Furbert the people are the union you should be mad at how they (banks) are taking from you with your eyes wide open oh it’s okay because they old wrinkled white men in suits Hahahahaha SMDH Bermuda funny as hell

    • Robert says:

      You and the rest of those in your circle need to come to the realization that the Bermuda Industrial Union is here to stay……….united we stand, divided we fall

      • jt says:

        united you stand, united we fall….under current methods

      • Wow says:

        @Robert. The perhaps you might be right. However, that isn’t anything to be proud about. There are many, many unions in Bermuda and most are well run, well managed and respected! Sorry, but the BIU is not one of them.

        As a member, you would know that their financial statements were over 10 years late. How can you be okay with that? For over 10 years you didn’t know where and how your union dues were being spent, and how your money was being managed or mis-managed. That should be a big red flag to you. After 7 years, even if their was any wrong doing suspected their is little you could do.

        The BIU has no place giving advice as they have not done a good job themselves managing YOUR money or any business. CO-OP, Credit Union, BIU, Liberty Theatre, Berkely BOND, PHC, the list goes on. Nobody is saying there should not be unions? I don’t even have an issue the BIU as a Union – I was a member myself when I worked at the Princess many moons ago. I had a lot of respect for Bro Ottiwell Simmons. If you are okay with the way things are run and the way your money is being handled, well I guess that is your purgative. Like they say, ” a fool and his money, will soon be parted”.

      • 32n64w says:

        Don’t think anyone is calling for their demise, however, the public likely prefers less hypocrisy and more shared sacrifice. Have the BIU’s executive salaries and benefits reduced over the last six years? No.

    • Cleancut says:

      The Peoples campaign have their own logo now. A 3rd party perhaps? With Chris Furbert party leader? I guess we will see more OBA red ties jumping on board before the next election.

      • Cleancut says:

        Corr. I guess we will see more PLP people jumping on board wearing OBA red ties.

  2. bdaman441 says:

    *Pops a biiiiiiiiiig bowl of popcorn* can’t wait to see what’s next.

    • Redo says:

      What’s next is that these banks get sick of groups like this who think for some reason they owe Bermudians a job AND THEY CLOSE THEIR DOORS AND PACK UP AND LEAVE!!! Read my lips: THESE BANKS DON’T NEED US. Be careful or they will pack it in. Will you all be happy then?

      • coolieh says:

        We can then open up a new local Bank, with a Bermuda focus!

  3. Jim Bob says:

    Do you know, I as saying to myself they really could be on to something here. Then I clicked on the link and saw Chris Furbert standing there in support of this. Anything with him involved I really have to question twice.

    • Y-Gurl says:

      Your right, the visual aid kind of dictates the quality of the story

    • Wow says:

      Why would anyone think that adding him to a board would be of any real benefit? Unfortunately, until he gets his own house in order, he shouldn’t be the voice for any associating giving advice on how any company should run. He takes away from any credibility this group may have had. At one point (2-3 years ago) the BIU and Union were over 10 YEARS behind on their financials.

  4. In Mark's Opinion says:

    All I can say This Island is finish. All our banks are now in the control of The New World Order.

    • Is it only me that takes notice of who it is that’s “standing tall”? If not mistaken wasn’t it the Progressive Labour Party that permitted the H.S.B.C. to take over the Bank of Bermuda along with the loans given to the Butterfield Bank and who knows what else they were responsible for?
      Now, the Bermuda Industrial Union, aren’t they responsible for far too much wrongs to be boasting? After all of their crap they are asking / demanding the One Bermuda Alliance correct more of their, (P.L.P.)wrongs…Really :-(

      • Wow says:

        And we know how in happened! What doctors’ / former leaders brother was the head of HSBC at the time!

  5. Jim Bob says:

    Here is a perfect example. Why are both letters dated May 20th? One letter refers to Premier Dunkley and the other refers to Premier Craig Cannonier. However, there is a slight problem. Premier Craig Cannonier stepped down as Premier on May 19th! What is going on Furbs?

    • Onion says:

      That’s nothing. About 2 years ago the BIU’s Worker’s Voice recommended that Bermuda seek closer ties to the Soviet Union and its satellites.

      I’m not kidding.

  6. Muhammad Goldberg says:

    Its a free country. Go open a bank that provides all the services and benefits you want for its customers. I’m sure loads of people will flock to your new bank and you’ll be very successful….Just like Terry Lister and his chain of grocery stores..

    • Spanky says:

      Not that easy to open a bank. Be nice to have peer to peer payment system where we can just transfer funds directly to individuals for payment, similar to Dwolla. Eliminate banks and most of their ridiculous fees all together. But can’t do it here because of all the regulations and hoops to jump through. Their days are numbered though.

  7. frank says:

    first of all the banks have one agenda to make money
    the worst part is the largest bank is not a local bank
    at the banks you are no longer a customer just an account holder

    • Jus' Sayin' says:

      Actually none of the banks are local banks if you look under the hood. Got rid of 60/40……

    • Hmmm says:

      1) Is there something wrong with making money. People work to make money don’t they.

      2)In other countries is there really anything left that is a local bank?

      3)I think you have a point with the lack of people contact.

    • Inquiring minds says:

      Just an FYI none of the banks are local . NTB owned by Canadian group, HSBC no explanation necessary, Carien owned by major overseas persons . Is commercial bank even a retail bank at all(outside of the obvious min accts)

  8. Ginger Beer says:

    Looks like another BIU / PLP Mess about to happen. Since when do these jokers speak for me, never in a million years would I ask them to.

  9. aceboy says:

    The People’s Campaign does not represent me at all.

    Typical nonesense from a morally bankrupt bunch.

  10. Truth is killin' me... says:

    Oh lawd. Here we go again!

  11. Truth is killin' me... says:

    How come none of you stood up for son of the soil Mr. Darrell when he led his one man army against Bank of Bermuda…now HSBC! Now everyone’s feelin’ it and y’all coming out of the woodwork!!

  12. Huh says:

    How about an investigation into how the PLP got the Govt. into so much debt? All their overspending, travel, over priced padded contracts, mismanagement etc.?

    • 32n64w says:

      Shhhh …. it’s ok when “they do it”.

      After all we’ve been in a recession for six years (while the rest of our major trading partners have experienced remarkably significant comparative growth) and the PLP continue to dodge responsibility for the massive growth in our debt levels and annual deficits preferring instead to retort with the stale mantra that the people spoke in December 2012 and we need to move on … but to this day continue to find blame with a non-existent UBP from whom the inherited a solid economy and efficient Civil Service.

      They want the electorate to ignore their record while simultaneously point blame at a political ghost. Sounds like their MPs start each day with a hot cup of ganja tea that elicits selective memory loss. How sad and irresponsible.

      PLP – betraying Bermudians since 1998; one unemployed, undereducated and debt ridden voter at a a time.

  13. watcher56 says:

    To be clear, this group does not represent the people of Bermuda, no matter how many times they use such phrases. The people of Bermuda are represented by those we legitimately elected. “The people” is often wrongly usurped to mean “the workers”, and particularly “unionised workers”, but let’s not get caught up in our own allegory.

    To be fair, I think the issue of bank practices is a very legitimate one at this time. Bob Richards has rightly criticized the banks from the outset.

  14. Double Standards says:

    I agree with some of their points but disagree with their assertions on the very last one raised.

    Lending to people over 65 based solely on their assets (i.e. homes) is silly and a practice that is prohibited in Banks around the globe and not just Bermuda. Loans are issued to people based on their ability to repay and not the collateral securing the loan. If they did lend based solely on the collateral backing the loan, and knowing full well the debtor does not have the capacity to repay, many would scream about predatory lending practices and the lot when the inevitable occurs (i.e. default, repossession and/or foreclosure).

    Usually at the age of 65+ most people do not have the same level of income they did as compared to their working days and instead rely on smaller pension payments and the like. Therefore, lending large sums to these individuals makes no sense for either the bank or the borrower as their capacity to repay has been greatly diminished and increases the risk for both bank and individual. And in all honesty the bulk of borrowing usually takes place for a person during their working life as opposed to retirement.

    In terms of rates I also agree the need for these to be looked at by the Government and the banks themselves. The spreads are too large. However, this requirement should also apply to the Credit Union whose current rates are nearly double than what the banks are currently offering to the public. And the Credit Union borrowers are usually the individuals who can’t procure financing from the banks due to a slew of reasons. In other words It needs to be a concerted effort by all lending institutions.

    So no this isn’t some underhanded way of ‘continuing racist lending practices’ as older white people also fall under this prohibitive policy of the banks not just in Bermuda but throughout the banking industry around the world.

  15. Sun says:

    CONGRATS!!!!!!

    They know the names of all the banks in Bermy and kept up to date with the new names….In other news

  16. Toodle-oo says:

    Well , I will give them credit for one thing .
    HSBC is currently (and has been for a long time ) giving only about .06 % on a savings account. They now also charge you to have that savings account all the while they’re getting 5-7% + interest on YOUR money when they lend it out.

    They should be locked up for that. Plain and simple .
    And don’t get me going about the computerized answering service that no matter what number you hit ends up with a non English speaking person in the Far East on the line who can’t do squat for you .

    • Rockfish#1and#2 says:

      Agreed. Paying .06% on our saving account while getting up to 7% on it, comes very close to stealing.

      Question. Do all the banks charge/pay the same rates?

  17. Y-Gurl says:

    Red…the new green…and they collectively have about 1 year of business experience between them, oh sure we should listen to you while you take aim at every financial and business institutions in Bermuda and spew out reteric that doesn’t even make sense, if you want to make a difference go back to work

  18. LP says:

    Anything related to these clowns is tainted … mind you, they all know about unregulated “borrowing” with their track record in Govt!!!

  19. Come On Man says:

    the banks have been screwing people over for years now they are doing their staff over..

  20. Ace girl says:

    There is a mentality evolving in Bermuda that every foreign owned commercial operation is in business strictly for the benefit of Bermudians. Wake up Jason Hawyward. Rev. Tweed, Chris Furbert et al, businesses locally and abroad are in business to make a profit, if they don’t, they cease to exist. Plain and simple. You should be gratified that they create employment opportunities. YOU are in no position to dictate to them other than on a regulatory basis how to run that business. If they downsize it is generally due to a reduced profit margin. YOU cannot tell them not to eliminate Bermudians if the Bermudians don’t have the skill sets required for the business to go forward. If they outsource, it is because the labour costs are prohibitive locally. Why not look at solutions to make Bermuda more competitive. Anyway gentlemen, don’t see you taking pay cuts or reductions in your annual income. You seem to fly under the radar in that respect

  21. Pay attention says:

    Why should these banking institutions look out for you? They’re not locally owned. Not anymore, Butterfield is following close behind and since these banks no longer have local roots or a commitment to Bermuda, why would there be an expectation of loyalty and consideration? This is what happens when you don’t know your worth and give away your birthright like Esau for a temporary bowl of stew.

  22. Know it all says:

    The union is speaking on behalf of bank workers, of which none are unionised… so what they trying to get too?

    Everyone complains about low rates, but no one complains and protests about everything from cars to shoes that are marked up 200%…have options and can invest your money as needed, Banks are not the only place.

    Lending to seniors is always a sketchy area, as it essentially becomes a reverse mortgage and either the homestead has to be sold or the kids inherit a high level of debt and sink themselves for life as a result.

    Staffing changes, last I checked, immigration rules exist for all, but they are implying another layer of rules for banks?

    Think the BIU need to check their own credit union before they start pointing fingers at others. Sounds like they want a socialist country…

  23. nuffin but the truth says:

    The Bermuda Government and it’s people will never dictate policy to any Bank.
    You can blame this on the defunt and failed plp actions during their 14 years of terror campaign.

  24. Vice Commodore SM says:

    I’m thankful for Commodore JB of BBIRYC and his bank. Bank of Boden has great rates and treats their customers as if they are valued.

    • Truth Seeker says:

      Vice Commodore SM, are you on drugs? If you do not have anything constructive or reality based to say them may I suggest you take a jet ski ride into never never land of the great four twos Cove Valley.

  25. Alvin Williams says:

    Unless you are a share of the banks you would not see anything wrong with a call for reform in Bermuda;s banking system.
    What is being ask for is nothing new; just today the EU had demanded that banks in Europe get up off the monies they are sitting on and release it for loans.
    A peoples movement in this country is long over due as it has the ability to keep both the government and political opposition in line and remind them why and who put them in parliament. As I stated in the beginning if you are not a shareholder in the banks; than I can not see what you will find wrong in this simple request on banking reform in this country that can only benefit the rest of us.

    • Ringmaster says:

      If you are receiving, or hope to receive in the future, a pension from the Government of Bermuda then almost certainly you are an indirect shareholder of HSBC in particular. Where do you think the money is invested to produce the returns to fund the pension scheme? Yes, from sources such as HSBC.

  26. What makes Bermuda special? says:

    I don’t understand why this group thinks that Bermuda is somehow special and should escape the restructuring that banks are going through elsewhere.

    Barclays announced that they would be cutting 7,000 jobs in its investment banking arm (that’s 30% of its staff), HSBC has been shedding jobs globally, the list goes on. So why should Bermuda be exempt?

    • Valirie Marcia Akinstall says:

      @ What makes Bermuda special?

      When you post the following statement:

      “Barclays announced that they would be cutting 7,000 jobs in its investment banking arm (that’s 30% of its staff), HSBC has been shedding jobs globally, the list goes on. So why should Bermuda be exempt?”

      Please try to outline a balanced opinion because here is the story on Barclays Bank regarding shredding 7000 jobs with an insert on HSBC.

      ‘Barclays boss Antony Jenkins raised eyebrows last year when he told MPs and peers he was ‘shredding’ the legacy of predecessor Bob Diamond.

      Giving evidence to the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards – set up by George Osborne in the wake of Barclays’ £290m fine for rigging Libor interest rates – Jenkins promised a break from the high-rolling ‘casino’ bank culture associated with his gung-ho American predecessor.

      But despite persistent pledges to turn Barclays into Britain’s ‘go-to bank’ critics argued very little had actually changed.

      The investment bank still made up the bulk of its profits, and staff continued to enjoy bonuses beyond the dreams of avarice.

      Jenkins claimed to be averting a ‘death spiral’ of top staff leaving for rivals with bigger wallets when Barclays hiked bonuses by 13 per cent at the investment bank, despite a 37 per cent slump in profits last year.

      Investment bankers received bonuses of £60,100 on average.
      But for all Jenkins’s efforts to appease shareholders, 34 per cent of votes failed to back its remuneration report at a fiery annual meeting in London last month. Far from shredding the legacy of Diamond, Jenkins appeared to be keeping it very much intact.

      Yesterday’s brutal overhaul of the investment bank leaves little doubt that he wants a break with the past. He described it as a ‘watershed moment’ in the bank’s 325-year history.

      As part of a ‘bold simplification’ Jenkins announced plans to cut 7,000 jobs in its investment bank by 2016.

      The bank said the total number of staff fired this year would increase to 14,000, bringing its planned cuts worldwide to 19,000 by the end of 2016. Some 9,000 of the cuts are expected to be made in the UK.
      Barclays says it will also shrink its investment bank from half of the group’s assets to a maximum of 30 per cent by 2016. It means UK retail and corporate banking, Barclaycard and its African operations will make up the majority of the business.

      A non-core – or ‘bad bank’ – will house £115bn of underperforming and troublesome assets which it wants to wind down or sell off over time. Some £59bn of this had already been earmarked for disposal as part of Barclays’ Transform programme.

      The bulk of the new ‘bad bank’ – some £90bn – is made up of the very ‘casino’ investment banking activities that Diamond cultivated as he transformed Barclays into a global powerhouse capable of taking on the Wall Street giants such as Goldman Sachs.

      Some bond and derivatives trading desks will be parked in the bad bank. It marks a shift away from Barclays’ traditional focus on fixed income, currencies and commodities – or FICC –to corporate finance and equities.

      In common with its rivals, Barclays’ fixed-income division – once a profit-making machine – has suffered from a combination of tougher regulations which force it to set aside more capital to cover losses and a fall in demand from clients.

      This week, Barclays revealed that profits in its investment bank dropped by almost half in the first three months of the year, driven mainly by the dismal performance of its fixed-income trading desk.
      Barclays will also move its struggling European high street operations, including in Spain and Italy, into its ‘bad bank’. This equates to £16bn of assets. The remaining £9bn of the £115bn ‘non-core’ assets will come from its corporate, Barclaycard and the wealth division.

      The shrinkage will come with a hefty price tag of £800m on top of the £2.7bn that has already been spent to turn around the lender. But the markets believe this is money well spent, with shares soaring almost 8 per cent to 262.45p, adding more than £3bn to Barclays’ market value.

      Analyst Sandy Chen at Cenkos welcomed the overhaul – with one major reservation: ‘Let’s be clear: shrinking the investment bank drastically and pulling back from European banking are a good thing to do for Barclays.

      ‘It’s just the uncertainties involved with the next two to three years of hacking back the brambles that we’re a bit concerned about – and the income-generating capacity of the severely pruned investment bank that will emerge.’

      Read more: http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/markets/article-2623577/Watershed-Barclays-boss-Antony-Jenkins-bold-rethink.html#ixzz33sS1uWmY
      Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

      So, Barclays admits that they were ‘casino’ banking and sustained heavy losses, but that did not nor currently does not interrupt the bonuses at the top, just cut the jobs at the bottom.

      And have you taken the time to read up on the bonus pot for HSBC top executives? over £4billion in a reserves pot whilst they shred jobs.

      Now why should Bermuda be exempt? The banking environment in Bermuda is regulated differently from its UK and US counterparts.

      But your question surely emphasises that you have quite a unique outlook on the welfare of your fellow Bermudians.

      London, England

  27. We are a unique little place though, domicile should be significantly different for our little population, we could do a little deal when inceptual agreement to company charter,(better % rates on savings interest could be requested and required),as we are only a hand full of people and we are a country unto itself under Britain.As a requirement as domicile could also mean better rates of insurance….these companies are all overseas and international….perhaps we should ivestigate comperable countries and their rates….really…we are only 50,000 people,it seems as though….it seems as though our rates are pretty much negligable…what do you gain?Having said that….we create our own unhappiness,the purpose of suffering is to help us understand who caused it…..Willy Nelson.

  28. When you build something, you do your market research….you find out what sells quick,you will find 9 times out of 8,that the ones that are done estheticly pleasing with landscaping and charm,well thought out ergonomic and Bermudian achitecture will sell before and as it is built,it seems greed was a big factor in one recent build you know where…..This was a fail….blog fails on utube…bank doesn’t do failure well…

  29. Ok…here is what you do…. Are there any other …..if the dollar devalues you might consider these countries,Dubai,India,Russion,Taiwon,China….what currancy do you think will prevail…..is there to be a world currency on the horizon…will it be euro dollar….Pound Stirling?….but most importantly…who guarantees their currency?…how isit backed?

  30. What significant cutting edge banking is being done ?…what is it?…and where is it?

  31. Justice For All says:

    Solution #1: Open your own bank. Solution #2 Support your own businesses. End of discussion.

  32. js says:

    looking at these photos reminds me of the current state of the black community in Jackson Mississppi

    desegregation was great for the black community as a whole but signalled the death blow for black owned businesses

  33. Navin Johnson says:

    The Civil Service should adopt the policies of HSBC

  34. Barracuda says:

    Is this the beginning of the new PLP?

  35. Cheated says:

    4 or 5 years ago I switched several accounts for me and my children to CapG (Gibbons). The promised I “never” had to pay for ATM use anywhere. There was no account maintenance fee. I still have some personal accounts at Butterfield and a business account at HSBC. Cap-G introduced maintenance fees about 2 years ago, but different from other banks they are not waived if you opt for electronic statements. They also charge for ATM use other than their own three or four machines. Then Clarien took over, said there were no changes for customers, and within a month raised the fees to become the most expensive bank in Bermuda, took away the benefits for their own employees (mortgages, and reduced health care). Either it is outrages corporate greed or they may be in deeper financial trouble than we know. Maybe we should all get our money out of their bank. It might collapse. Another annoyance is that all three banks make your account “dormant” or unclaimed” if you don’t move your money at least once every couple of months. Then they increase the fees for that account, and call it an “unclaimed” account, and you have to pay a fee to “claim” your own money. Mind you, they have your name and address on file. Lots of people (even from overseas) have their money in our banks, and some think a savings account should not be touched until you need it. However, if you are just scratching by for a while because you lost some income, so you don’t deposit for several months or even years, it might be gone by the time you need it. That’s what I call stealing. They know most people don’t have a clue what their “terms” mean and only find out when it is too late.

  36. Valirie Marcia Akinstall says:

    One has to read several posts before an opinion even begins to address the issues discussed in the article. Political propaganda, irrelevant criticism of who is in the picture, and of course, the way wards practices and policies of the last PLP government that sent Bermuda to financial hell of which OBA supporters are certain that Bermuda will never recover from.

    These launched attacks are direct hardline political wrecking balls that demonstrate no understanding and/or regard for the importance of the issue, by throwing toxic comments out at those who want to put clarity, focus and equable treatment on the table for both bank employees and/or account holders deserves ridicule, scorn and/or the taint of political bias?

    The issues being presented to government are valid concerns that affect all Bermudians. This group does not appear to be highjacking your concerns and place them under a BIU banner, nor to mislead the voting public in attempts to undermine what the political responsibilities are for the politicians. But succeed they cannot nor should not because one man is the BIU president? So this issue is subjective not objective; it’s not about looking into current banking practices with a view to improving the conditions for all concerned. No, it’s about one black man and the practices of the BIU before and/or since his presidency? Well, what a way to highjack a story and attempt to destroy the value and substance of what they would like to see accomplished.

    The banks internationally took the world into economic crisis and meltdown, they themselves went running scared to their governments begging to be rescued at they were “too big to fail.” And their governments bailed them out of the catastrophic meltdown that warped the west in a free fall recession, and noted, Bermuda has yet to recover.

    And whilst you uphold them with political bias and taint they continue to fleece you and take million dollar bonuses and/or share options for their most senior executives. Whilst you squabble over ideology and keep a scorecard, they remain unregulated to fleece your accounts. Bermudians, never putting their eyes on the right point, the honest point, the just point, but yes, always on the political point, even when it is not the relevant point.

    This is why Bermuda cannot move ahead, political toxicity that destroys even the most genuine attempts to help. If you cannot see the forest to the trees, why should your politicians behave any more responsibly than you do? Why should Bermuda move forward when the public psyche is mired in low ground?

    When there is optimism, positive thoughts and/or actions, it results in positive reactions – nothing new in these words. Bermudians are creating their quagmire of self-defeat and those who capitalise and reap of the rewards are not Bermudians, whether it be company and/or individual.

    Now does Bermuda have a bank regulator? Mandated by legislation? There must be a parliamentary oversight committee that can bring bank presidents to the House to be questioned by politicians on why retired citizens who own their own homes (with little or no mortgage) cannot get an inverted mortgage? My understanding is that it is a mortgage that requires no payments but will be repaid once the owner dies (so a will is very important, but the bank holds the deeds). It can be used for eldercare expenses, travelling and/or whatever the persons wants it for. And a parliamentary oversight committee should probe why all these bank fees yet no direct encouragement and incentive to savings accountholders.

    But one must ask this piercing question, why would bank presidents even take a parliamentary oversight committee in Bermuda seriously and/or even show respect by attending, if called to do so? Did Bob Richards (Minister of Finance) show any such respect when asked to attend a parliamentary committee? Politicians in Bermuda need to act in a responsible and exemplary manner as what goes around comes around, in other words, politicians cannot weaken and/or trash their own political committees and/or institutions to exercise good governance without experiencing its public fallout.

    London, England

  37. Ex-Pat says:

    Bank regulation of lending practises is a completely separate issue than that of restructuring, and the People’s Campaign should stick to the former if they want to achieve anything. Banks are well within their rights to make employees redundant. If you have one ex-pat doing the same amount of work as two Bermudians, you cannot force them to let the ex-pat go. These are businesses, it is nothing personal.